Blog | Archie Kalepa: E hoʻomākaukau nō! – Prepare Yourself Now
- Posted on 25 Jul 2014
- In Crew Blogs
The message of Mālama Honua resonates clearly with these communities because as island people, we know how important our ability to mālama ʻāina and mālama kai is to our sustainability as a people.
Sleeping quarters: Each one is really small, 2’x 6’ and about 3’ of head room, with space under the bunk for your gear and basic needs. You learn to keep track of your things because they are pretty much needs, not wants. Just a note: It is important to sleep, so you are ready when it’s your turn to be on watch.
There are 3 watches, with a watch captain and 3 crew on each watch, responsible for sailing and operating the canoe: first, my watch, from 06:00 to 010:00; second, Snake Ahee’s watch, from 10:00 to 14:00; third, Tua Pittman’s watch, from 14:00 to 18:00; then back to my watch 18:00 to 22:00 and so on. We keep cycling.
Responsibilities: Everyone has watch responsibilities, from steering the canoe, to changing sails, to knowing your crew’s strengths and weaknesses. We all have them, but we are quickly learning that the more we work together, the more we are able to strengthen our weaknesses as crew members and individuals as well.
Generational growth on the Canoe: I wouldn’t consider myself a good sailor but I have sailed on Hōkūleʻa before, in 1992 and 1995, both times from Tahiti to Hawaiʻi. To see the development of the younger generation on this 2014 Mālama Honua voyage is inspiring. They are very akamai and many of them ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi. This allows us to engage with our port communities in our own Polynesian languages. For instance, at every port here in French Polynesia, we are greeted with oli, and speeches and dances, and this younger generation of Hawaiians on board can understand a lot of the ʻōlelo Maohi (Tahitian language) and can then ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi back to our hosts. In addition, many of these young sailors are budding navigators who can read the heavens and swells and other natural signs around us. All of this represents huge educational change and growth from a Hawaiian foundation for this voyaging community and these canoes. Based on my first-hand experience with these young sailors, my sincere manaʻo to all of you at home is be proud! This next generation is full of great representatives for us at home in Hawaiʻi.
Voyaging: I hope to follow up with future reports of what I am experiencing on this voyage. For now, here’s a quick review of the past 2 weeks.
We have already visited Tautira, Moorea, Raiatea, and we are currently leaving Maupiti for Rarotonga. All the stops have been special experiences including seeing families that I haven’t seen in 17 years, reconnecting with a sense of place, getting further grounded in the mission of the voyage itself, and seeing a context for rites of passage between leadership and crew. In each place we have been, the chants and mele remind us of who we are as people of the Pacific and how strong our collective mana is throughout Polynesia. The message of Mālama Honua resonates clearly with these communities because as island people, we know how important our ability to mālama ʻāina and mālama kai is to our sustainability as a people. As we voyage farther from the Pacific in the months and years to come, the greater the responsibilities will become to help those we visit abroad understand how important this message is as well.
For all you, my hoa holokai, who serve on later legs of the Worldwide Voyage, e hoʻomākaukau nō, prepare yourself and start internalizing this mission of Mālama Honua now. Share the message with your ʻohana and friends and let’s all strive to live our lives in a way that our children will naturally become better stewards of this earth and each other. Until my next update, Mālama Honua to all!