Hōkūleʻa Update | November 15-18, 2016

After Hōkūle‘a splashed back in the water once her dry dock was complete, she continues to move south on Leg 25 down the East Coast to Miami, Florida. Each day, crewmember Kaipo Kīʻaha faithfully documents the crew’s work, the weather (frost!) and more. These 4 days of updates begin in Coinjock, North Carolina.

Day 6: November 15

The morning air was light and crisp as we pulled out from the dock at Coinjock, North Carolina at 6:00am. We proceeded to sail  to our next destination at Dowry Marina, North Carolina, 80 miles away.

IMG_5661While we had a healthy breakfast of eggs, fruit, and oatmeal, we feasted our eyes on the expansive views of the calm Intercostal Waterway. The bright blue sky reflecting on the water helped us keep alert during our three hour watches. After lunch of delectable miso soup created by our cook Tomiko, we passed under the Alligator River Swing Bridge. This impressive bridge literally swung open for us to pass and cars waited on the bridge.

Following the Alligator River, we entered the Alligator Pungo Canal. The rows of autumn painted trees that lined the canal led us to our final destination for the day. We reached the spectacular sunset at the Dowry Marina dock around 5:30pm, where we pulled in and had a delicious curry dinner.

Day 7: November 16

We left Dowry Marina Dock promptly at 6:00am after filling our water bottles with hot water. It was such a breathtaking sight with a razor red sun at our bow and a near full moon shimmering at our stern. We then began on our 78 mile journey down the Intercoastal Waterway once again.

To pass the time off watch, a veteran of the crew, Uncle Mona, shared his knowledge as he patiently taught new crew members how to splice line and lashing. After a lunch of sandwiches, we were treated to magnificent views of a pod of Bottlenose dolphins in the glossy water.

Dolphins swimming by the canoe.

Dolphins swimming by the canoe.

As we sailed, the crew members in the land wa’a experienced views of spacious cotton fields and deer in New Bern, North Carolina. At 3:15pm, we docked at Morehead Marina, North Carolina, where we cooked some Ono fish gifted to us by local fishermen. Afterwards, Captain Kalepa told us the sail plan for next few days.

We are set to leave Morehead Marina tomorrow morning to our next destination in North Carolina 83 miles away tomorrow. On Friday we will reach Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Saturday through Monday we will wait out the cold front until Tuesday morning to continue south.

Day 8: November 17

This morning we left Morehead, NC, at sunrise. This was our fourth day in a row moving the wa’a south down the Intercoastal Waterway. The weather was quite chilly but it was eased by the warm curry breakfast we ate, which was a leftover dinner from a previous night.

The crew has been an absolute joy to be apart of. We are growing more comfortable and familiar with each other with each passing day. What has been a surprise is the shared musical talent many of the crewmembers share. Often we pass the time playing and singing songs.

We passed by many luxury waterside homes and through three swing bridges. At lunch we cooked a wa’a favorite, salmon patties. As the sun became low in the sky we neared Wrightsville Beach near Wilmington, where we eventually docked at the Seapath Yacht Club around 4:00pm.

Keala Kai frying up some shrimp in marinara sauce.

Keala Kai frying up some shrimp in marinara sauce.

We were greeted by several passerbys and all were friendly and nice. Some blessed us with a large bag of fresh oysters and shrimp, which we cooked with spaghetti. It was quite the delicious meal. The sunset bathed the sky in a crimson glow, where the silhouettes of paddlers going by reflected on the glassy water.

As we end the day sitting under the stars and sharing stories and laughs, the chill of night has returned. We will spend the night here and leave at 7 AM tomorrow to make the 60+ mile leg to Myrtle Beach where we will wait out a cold front. Departure from there will be on Monday.

Day 9: November 18

At 7:00 am, we left Seapath Yacht Club, where we were lucky to meet many friendly people. After a breakfast of hot cereal and fruit when we left the dock, we entered the Intercoastal Waterway.

While we were underway, Shantell kindly represented the crew on a radio call with Hawaii Public Radio about our current location and things we were seeing. She described the pretty houses with colorful trees and docks, as well as the bald eagles and dolphins. She also told them how we were keeping warm in the cold.

The weather did warm up today, in fact it was 73 degrees as we pulled up to the Coquina Yacht Club in Little River at 4:15pm. There we enjoyed a delectable feast of fresh shrimp gifted to us from the locals, with veggies in saimin created by our crew members Keala and Tamiko. Dinner is always a pleasurable bonding time for crew members where many laughs and memories are shared.

Then Captain Kalepa reminded us of the cold front to arrive tomorrow and booked hotel rooms for us to stay in preparation. We will stay here for the weekend until we set sail once again on Monday.

Help fund the Voyage as we sail the East Coast

Hōkūle‘a’s visit to the eastern United States is a historic milestone in her 40 years of voyaging.

Celebrate with us by pledging your support to the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage.

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