Questions from 4th graders at Kalaheo Elementary School on Kaua’i

Aloha to all the students and faculty and staff at Kalaheo Elementary School. My name is Chris Baird, and I grew up in Waimea.  My mom lives in Kalaheo.  I am also a teacher.  It is an honor to be in touch with you. In fact, I know some of your teachers: Ms.Lori and Mr. Clyde.

1.  What's it like to sail in that type of canoe?

It is a real honor to be sailing on Hikianalia.  There are 14 of us on the canoe.  It is a little different from our Hokulea.  It is has more modern features, but it is still a sailing canoe.  You need to get used to living in a small place with 13 other people.  We listen to a lot of stories and really get to know each other.

2.  What sights have you seen along the way?

This canoe was built in Auckland, New Zealand, so we got to fly to New Zealand and spend some time preparing for our voyage.  It was very cold and windy.  We had to bring warm clothes and bundle up.  Now that we are on the ocean, we see a lot of beautiful sunrises and sunsets.  We saw a huge Fin Whale that surfaced really close to the canoe, and we have seen common dolphins at night a couple times, and shark fins during the day.  We see a lot of seabirds.  At night we get to see millions of stars and constellations.  Clouds are used to determine which direction the wind will be coming from.

3.   What are some of the sailing supplies you brought with you?

We all packed A LOT of warm clothing.  We have sleeping bags.  We have raingear that hopefully keeps us dry.  We also brought boots and slippers.  Before we left, we loaded all our food on board.  The food for each day is packed in plastic tubs and stored below near our bunks. We also loaded 75, 5-gallon water containers that are spread throughout the hulls of the canoe.  We also have extra sails and ropes and anchors.

4.  What's the fastest speed of your canoe?

The fastest we have gone so far is between 16 and 17 knots.   The canoe can go faster.  Knots are a measurement used at sea, similar to miles per hour. Our speed is determined by the winds.  We have two electric motors to run propellers that are used when we leave and come into port.

5.   How do you catch fish? How do you cook it?

We set out hand lines with lures on them.  So far we have caught an Ono and a small Ahi.  We have propane burners that we cook on.  Gary is our cook, and he is the BEST!  Fresh fish is such a treat.  We have had fish soup and sashimi and fried fish.  Yummy!!!!

6.  What kinds of food do you eat?

We have a lot of soups, chowders, curries, rice, fruits and vegetables. We have taro, squashes, spaghetti and pasta.  Gary made musubis yesterday!!!  We have a lot of canned tuna and salmon.  We also have Oreos and pudding!!!  We drink water, Tang and coffee, tea and cocoa.

7.  What problems have you had on the boat?

We have been very fortunate so far and haven’t had any major problems. The wind has been really awesome so far.  The weather has been great.

8. How did you get picked to go on the voyage?

All of the crew has gone through a lot of training prior to sailing.  We have spent a lot of time in classroom studies, working during drydock and training sails.  The Captain selects most of the crew.  We are all honored to be here.

9. What do you sleep in?

On this canoe there are 14 bunks, with seven bunks in each hull. You need to climb down a ladder into the hull, change clothes and then climb up into your bunk.  The Captain sleeps in the Hale up on deck.

Thank you for your interest. Please send more questions.

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