Trying to navigate…it’s just a super humbling experience to be on that path.
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The Worldwide Voyage is creating new opportunities and training for navigation and deep sea sailing. As apprentice navigators prepare for their roles on the canoe, crew members realize that the practice and time for training has changed since the initial rediscovery of traditional navigation more than 40 years ago.
“I was just talking to Nainoa last night about preparing for this navigation piece of the voyage, and he said it’s not like what it was when I was navigating. He would go out to sea with Mau for hours and hours and hours,” said apprentice navigator Jenna Ishii.
“I looked at his notes the other night, and it’s just mind-boggling how much he knew, how much he studied, and he said, ʻIt’s different for you guys. You don’t have time. You don’t have time to immerse yourselves every single day and throw everything else to the side, but you have to make time and it’s tough.’ You really have to force yourself to stop and say there’s going to be thousands of things that don’t get done, but this day is just going to be for learning and then a lot of it is just self study,” said Jenna.
In her studying, Jenna realized that part of navigation requires a real physical connection with nature that cannot be learned in a book.
“You can’t just get an app and study on your phone; you got to get out on the ocean. And that’s the beautiful thing about it is you can’t cheat it. It just comes with experience. you can’t wait for anyone to take your hand and say, ok, tonight we’re going to do navigation. It’s just a different time,” said Jenna.
ʻJenna’s dedication has been tested and so far successful during the leg to Tahiti, and she continues to gin experience with her fellow apprentice navigators.
“Trying to navigate last night and tonight with cloud cover, it’s just a super humbling experience to be on that path,” said Jenna on the journey from Hawaiʻi to Tahiti.