I am quite accustomed to the process of waiting for a departure; the crew needs extreme patience when it comes to having the wind blow from the desired quadrant. On previous voyages, the crew has sometimes had to wait several weeks for the right wind, a wind blowing from the right direction that will guarantee a successful passage, nothing else.
I have sailed on numerous long distance voyages but this trip will be different. Although I will serve as one of the leaders for the voyage, I also see my role as a mentor to the young and upcoming crew. We have a very young crew; however, they make up for their lack of experience through the enthusiasm and positive spirit that each of them brings to the voyage. Now that we are getting closer to the start of the trip, I am beginning to get excited about heading back to sea one more time. I enjoy teaching and sharing and look forward to nurturing this young crew.
Guiding a new generation of voyagers
Reflecting back on the previous thirty-nine years of voyaging, I think about how Mau would approach this trip and surmise that Mau would bring his typical oceanic mindset to the voyage—confidence in his skills, endurance and discipline, joy for once again having the privilege and honor to represent his community and island, and the strong oceanic spirit that would carry him over thousands of kilometers to distant islands. Mau possessed abundant enthusiasm for going to sea; it was his real home and the place in which he excelled. When I close my eyes I see Mau staring out at me from his compartment, Port 6, his large oceanic smile and eyes communicating excitement for the voyage.
Kālepa at sunrise on Hōkūleʻa
I take with me all my previous experiences and I will build upon them with this new journey. If there is a goal or a challenge that I would issue to my young crew mates, it would be the same challenge that I asked of my crew of peers some 20 years ago: “Donʻt worry about making landfall as we are very skilled navigators, but what I want you to work on is being better friends at the end of the voyage than you were at the beginning; this means that you will need to sacrifice and care for each other, and do all the little things that will make this voyage memorable.”