Sailing with a Favorable Wind
I’m finally putting all the training to use as a crew member on Hikianalia.
I was invited by a great friend, Ka’au McKenney, to train for this project many years ago. I knew that I had to make one of the biggest commitments of my life to be a part of the World Wide Voyage. The training sails and months spent on the water over time has required many of us to adjust our schedules and even lifestyles to make our personal responsibilities and training sessions fit together. There is no shortage of sacrifices on everyone’s part; I had to resign from my job in 2012 for the opportunity to go to New Zealand to sail our new canoe, Hikianalia, to Tahiti. It was a great sacrifice but a golden experience.
I’m finally putting all the training to use as a crew member on Hikianalia as we are now making our way to the Society Islands. We’ve been blessed with favorable winds from the first day, gaining what’s called “easting” by sailing southeast, so we don’t end up too far west and downwind of our destination when we near the latitude of Tahiti.
Everyone has their kuleana or responsibilities on the canoe during a voyage. There are about 16 different jobs, such as quartermaster, medical officer, protocol specialist, and cook. Everyone has one or more assignment on top of sailing the canoe. Now that the WWV has begun, communications & media specialist are new jobs for the modern voyager.
There’s a lot of hard work in sailing canoes, and most of the time on watch, we’re pulling lines, steering, or working sails. At the end of a watch, we’re tired and sore, often going to bed wet and with salt still in our hair. It’s not the romantic vision most people have of sailing, but it’s very satisfying and rewarding to know that we are contributing to an effort to preserve the art of wayfinding and are part of a global movement to responsibly care for our oceans and earth. Knowing that a young new generation of future leaders and decision makers will understand the complex issues of caring for our Island Earth and take positive action to correct past mistakes is worth the danger and risk we will take. We need to care for our oceans and Earth the same way we should care for our elderly parents – with lots of love, kindness and careful planning.
May fair winds and following seas always be with you….