Learning Journey: Navigation Class Onboard Hikianalia from METC to Honolua Bay

By Linda Furuto

Kaʻiwi Channel – Life isnʻt meant to be planned, life is meant to be lived.  Those words rang true as they guided our experiences and learning over the past 24 hours.  We initially planned on leaving the METC on Saturday, August 17, but due to weather conditions leadership postponed the sail a day.  We left the METC at around 12:45 p.m. on Sunday, August 18 and made Laʻau Point about six hours later.  Mahalo nui to Bob Perkins and Keli Takenaga who towed us east to the winds.  Once set free, Hikianalia headed straight for the call of Molokaʻi.

Austin blows pū as Hikianalia departs METC

A special opportunity presented itself and pwo navigators Nainoa Thompson and Bruce Blankenfeld thread Hikianalia from Molokaʻi through Lanaʻi and on to Maui where we arrived in Lahaina around 4:30 a.m. on Monday, August 19.  They shared stories about sailing in the 1970ʻs, conversations with ancestors while voyaging, and how the cultural climate of the islands has changed over the past four decades.  They also turned the sail into navigation training for the next generation.


Nainoa leads a navigation discussion about Hikianalia

Apprentice navigators Lehua Kamalu, Austin Kino, Jenna Ishii, and Haunani Kane have been training for the worldwide voyage, and will be participating in the big navigation training to Nihoa in preparation for Tahiti next year.  According to Haunani Kane, “Nihoa is a really small island and the cliffs are really steep, so itʻs a good place because itʻs small and hard to find.  Nainoa is trying to teach us what the island will look like at sunrise and what the Paniau Niʻihau line will look at sunset.  The important things are distance, speed, and your heading.”


Captain on the boom

Some of the questions from Nainoa for the crew are, “How tall is Nihoa?”, “How tall is Paniau?”, “How far is the run from Paniau to Nihoa, and how are you going to figure out your speed?,”  “What heading are you going to be towards?,” and “Once youʻre in the heading Noio Hoʻolua, what are you going to use to stay in that direction?” Hokupaʻa or the north star and the moon will guide us so we donʻt get lost.


Linda blogging

We would also like to thank Archie Kalepa, Max Yarawamai, and Teri Hee who met us in the lee at the south of Lanaʻi, and provided a tow into Lahaina.  The goal is to make it to Honolua this morning so we can connect with Hokuleʻa, Uncle Les Kuloloio, and the PVS ʻohana on Maui.  May the moon above us continue to guide our and your paths with safe travels and life-changing journeys wherever they may lead.

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