Led by master navigator and captain Bruce Blankenfeld, Moani Hemuli is part of a dry dock team caring for the traditional voyaging canoe Hōkuleʻa in Auckland, Aotearoa (New Zealand). Hōkūleʻa will venture outside of the Pacific Ocean for the first time in April 2015 as the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage continues with the message of Mālama Honua – Caring for Island Earth.
At the end of every day as we sit in our crew van just before leaving the Hōkūleʻa, Uncle Bruce runs down our day’s to-do list. We check off what we accomplished and what we are still working on. As a new day arrives we have breakfast together and run down the day’s to-do list; some things carry over from the day before and new things added. The famous yellow paper divided by light blue lines that Uncle Bruce uses to write the lists always gets crumpled at the end of the day. We all smile when the list gets crumpled because we know we are slowly but surely moving along. Smiles for knowing we are taking care of our kuleana to our waʻa Hōkūleʻa.
Today was a different day, wind switched to on shore and clouds just kept rolling in. The sky was grey with light drizzles here and there. The crew kept working on despite the weather: Uncle Bruce scraping the bottom paint to make ready for a new coat for the hulls; Uncle Kalau sanding the three hoe so they can apply fresh epoxy; Naiʻa with his headphones in rocking out to the Eagles as he sands away on the forward spreaders; Jason, Nakua and our two Maori for the day, Hoki and Kate, sanding every piece of exposed wood top side from the second ʻiako forward. I was taking care of some hull damage and some cosmetic flaws to the famous Hōkūleʻa brown color.
Tomorrow will be a new day, and I can’t wait to watch Uncle Bruce crumple that famous yellow paper.