Kū Holo Mau / Kū Holo Komohana: 2007 Voyages to Micronesia and Japan
Preparing to Sail (December 8, 2006-January 23, 2007)
December 8, 2006 drydocking of Hokule'a; projected date for launching Maisu
The final drydocking of Hokul'ea for the 2007 voyage will take place Dec. 8, 9, and 10 at Ke'ehi Marine Center on Sand Island. Hokule'a goes back on the ocean on Monday, Dec. 11, back to Honolulu Community College's Marine Education Training Center at Sand Island for loading and provisioning for the voyage. Call Ramona at 536-8405 for more information or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alingano Maisu will be launched Saturday, December 16, 2006, on the Big Island. The double-hulled canoe, built under the leadership of Na Kalai Wa’a Moku o Hawai’i, is a gift to Dr. Pius Mau Pailug, Grandmaster Navigator, to honor him for his achievements and thank him for his gift of knowledge. "Many hands, hearts and minds have made the Ku Holo Mau Project a success."
Projected date of departure: Hokule‘a, from Honolulu Community College's Marine Education Training Center at Sand Island to Kawaihae, Hawai‘i: January 4, 2007; Alingano Maisu and Hokule‘a from Kawaihae for Micronesia: January 6, 2007.
December 13 update on re-Launching Hokule'a
Hokule`a will be launched from Keehi Marine Center ship yard on Friday, Dec. 15. Crew call is at 7:00 am at Keehi Marine Center. The canoe will need to be rig and readied for crew training and sails on Saturday, so work will continue until all pau on Friday. Please let us know if you can help; and once again, mahalo to all of you for the many volunteer hours given to care for our treasured Hokule`a.
December 15 preparing to launch Alingano Maisu / Kawaihae
The mumuku wind blows down Kohala to Kawaihae, he has been strong for the last day as we prepare to launch Alingano Maisu. Preparations that will last far into the night till the mornings first light begins to appear over Maunakea. Two canoes sit side by side, Maisu,the anxious child impatient and awaiting her leap into the water; her destiny, to perpetuate the legacy, and Makali'i, the youthful spirit standing as guard, watching & encouraging ~ our humble reminder of family, friends and loved ones who have gone on to exist with Wakea. Men, women and children, makua and kupuna work hand in hand, side by side through the fierce mumuku...echos of 2,3,huki are heard as wa'a,man and elements interlace in harmonious melodies of work, process and completion. As the sun rises off on the eastern horizon, the waters of Kawaihae will breathe LIFE into them. One will touch the moana, her new home....& one will remember and weep in honor of the newly born. E ola mau i ke ola o ka wa'a kaulua! Eo Hokule'a, Eo Makali'i, Eo Maisu!
Maisu Blessing Ceremony, Kawaihae: Ready for the 'Awa Ceremony. Center: Maisu Navigator Chadd Paishon. Photo by Momi Wheeler
December 20 provisioning and loading of Maisu
Aloha Kakou! Its been a productive week thus far, the paddle is done and ready to be lashed on. Shake down sails will be happening throughout the week and weekend, come by if you can. We will start the provisioning and loading aspect of the voyage, we could use all the help we can get, ALL HANDS ON DECK! The canoe is scheduled to leave on or after January 6, depending on two things, weather and the completion of MAISU. Theres still lots to be done in the way of safety gear, loading, provisioning, shake down sails.....this is a hard time of the year to call everyone together, especially for crew call......however, any kokua that we can get on days other than Christmas Eve and Day and New Years Eve and Day would be great! Please forward this email on to your family and friend, colleagues and peers.....besides calling everyone, this is the easiest and fastest way to reach everyone! Thanks for all the support.
December 22 Maisu...on the ocean
With the star lit sky as a back drop, Maisu sails past the waters of Pahonu and breaks free of her confines to 'aina that birthed her. The last colors of the sun line the edges of pillowy white clouds that stand watch over 'Alenuihaha. Tonight, La'amaomao dips into ipu 'iki, the small calabash that brings to us ka makani 'olu'olu. Mahalo! Astern is Makali'i in the east as we guide her bow to La Komohana, the resting place of the sun, of Micronesia and of Japan.
The crew of Maisu work diligently to prepare her for her maiden voyage to Micronesia. We will start the packing and provisioning of the canoe next week. Shake down sails have been occuring every day in the late afternoon and evening. Work days are still all days except for the eve's and the "days". Mahalo nui to Nainoa, Kathy, Lita, Ramona, Kaiu,Bruce,Anela, Mike....the list goes on and on,for your great leadership with the voyage preparations. Eo Hokule'a, Eo Maisu, Eo Makali'i, Eo Hoku Alaka'i, Eo 'Iosepa, Eo Kanehunamoku!
Maisu off of Kawaihae. Photo by Michael F. O'Brien
December 26 provisioning Hokule'a for the voyage
Mahalo so much for your kokua throughout the year. Hokule`a will be voyaging in 2007 as you all know, but before that happens, we still have work to do to ensure a safe and successful voyage, including packing food, water, and supplies on the canoe.
Tuesday to Saturday, Dec. 26 to Dec. 30, from 10 am to 8 pm, at Honolulu Community College's Marine Education and Training Center on Sand Island.
Tuesday Schedule: pack food for voyage; 4 - 8 pm, or until all food has been packed.
Wednesday Schedule: continue to pack food for voyage, 4 – 8 pm if not all done by Tuesday.
Lita Blankenfeld is the voyage food coordinator.
December 29 na makani paiolua o kawaihae!!!
the winds of ke kaimalino o kona filled our sails, and off we were!!! we danced in a rhythm with the sea, up and down, to and fro, pinching ever so slightly to reach the "edge". the sleek blackness of her hull tracks through indigo blue, her newest companion, her new life line. the umbilical cord has been cut, from the 'aina as she now test her boundaries a little more everyday. each trial brings new found confidence, shapes her pesonality and in the long run, will define her character. our escort watches in awe as we pull away. Ke akua has blessed us with the opportunity to have this time, to work the rigging, to stretch lashings, to test the limits, to "bond" - wa'a & kanaka!
MAISU - "US I AM" luv ya "UB"
January 2 Hokule'a's departure for Kawaihae delayed
Due to a gale force wind warning for the 'Alenuihaha Channel between Maui and Hawai'i on Wednesday and strong and gusty trade winds forecasted till Thursday, Hokule‘a’s departure to Kawaihae has been delayed until Saturday, Jan. 6 or Sunday, Jan.7. Winds should gradually diminish between Friday and Sunday, allowing for safe sailing to Hawai'i.
January 4 Hokule'a departure ceremony
The departure ceremony for Hokule'a's 2007 voyages to Micronesia and Japan was held on Jan. 4, at Honolulu Community College's Marine Education Training Center, her home base. The actual departure is still on hold till strong and gusty trades back off, possibly early next week.
Kii Lashed to the Aft Manu in preparation for the voyage. Photo by James Hadde
Cousins of Mau at the Departure Ceremony. Photo by Kanako Uchino
Kamehameha Schools Hawaiian Ensembleat the Departure Ceremony. Photo by Kanako Uchino
Ancestral Obon Drum Dance by The Young Okinawans of Hawai'i/Paranku Club of Hawai'i. Photo by Kanako Uchino
January 4 Maisu update
Maisu will not be leaving this weekend due to final canoe preparations and weather. We are looking to depart next weekend out of Mahukona.
The weather's a bit crazy at the moment, but same scene, every year, the water is a chocolaty brown with a dash of white water for the creme!
If anyone is interested, we are working all day everyday, with the exception of this Sunday, we all go home and come back early Monday morning. If you come bring a little mea'ai to add to the meals.
Weather forecast for the departure indicates easterly trade winds, building to 10-15 knots through the weekend, fair wind for sailing southwest for Majuro in the Marshall Islands.
Alaka'i, the Makali'i escort boat, left Wednesday morning for O'ahu to meet up with Hokule'a and escort her to Kawaihae. They are scheduled to arrive back in Kawaihae sometime on Friday.
Food and water have been loaded onto Maisu; the last of the glassing work is done, adding more strength to what is already present. Crew and 'ohana worked hand in hand, not separated by legs but joined in the understanding of kuleana and love.
We greet the morning with Pule to Ke Akua, followed by the 'aiha'a Makali'i, Hokule'a haka, and mele Maisu. The evening is brought to a close with halawai where we share our thoughts, music and dessert, that is followed by a pule and sleep.
Hokule'a and Maisu are scheduled to depart for Micronesia on Saturday - however, we are watching the weather and will complete all necessary kuleana to the canoe before leaving.
January 12 where is Hokule'a?
Hokule'a is off Olowalu, Maui, this morning at about 7 am and expected to arrive at Kawaihae Harbor tonight.
The ceremony and departure of Hokule'a and Maisu from Kawaihae to Majuro has been pushed back from Saturday, Jan. 13, to Sunday Jan. 14.
Hokule'a is being escorted to Kawaihae by the radon Pono.
January 13 Hokule'a update
Hokule'a stayed a few miles off-shore from Kawaihae for a couple hours after hearing of the tsunami watch. [An 8.3 magnitude earthquake recorded near the Kurile Islands north of Japan last night resulted in a tsunami watch in Hawai'i.]
Once the watch was cancelled, Hokule'a and the two escort boats [Alaka'i and Pono] proceeded into Kawaihae, docking in the harbor at about 11:30 last night, everyone safe and sound. After cleaning up and tying up everyone was off the canoe by 1am.
Today: more cleaning, preparing and loading of fresh food and water this afternoon. Leadership are meeting and looking at the weather and will decide on the time of ceremony and departure tomorrow.
Malama pono, aloha, Kathy
January 14 high winds in 'Alenuihaha channel; voyagers will wait at least till January 16 (Tuesday) before departing
Hokule’a arrived in Kawaihae safely last night. Nainoa Thompson, Hokule’a captain and president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, says the sail from O’ahu was a rough one and a perfect shakedown for the canoe.
“Last night, in the 'Alenuihaha channel, we experienced winds of 35 knots and we know the channel is even rougher now and building," Thompson says. "If we were to have a problem, it would have happened then, but Hokule’a performed well and is ready to go.”
The 'Alenuihaha Channel is one of the world’s most dangerous and, since last night, the winds have increased, as predicted. It is something we have been watching and are concerned about as the forecast is for winds to continue to strengthen at least through Monday.
Leadership of both canoes met today with their focus on their number one priority, which is safety. So given safety and weather, which drives our schedule, the plan is to have a simple ceremony at 4pm tomorrow at Mahukona.
Chadd Paishon, president of Na Kalai Wa’a Moku o Hawai’I says “It’s not a ceremony to say good-bye but to bring family together. Instead of leaving it’s a joining together of all of us as we prepare to depart.”
The canoes will not be at Mahukona for the ceremony. Thompson says, “The departure ceremony is again about gathering and aloha and it frees the canoe and crew to go when the wind lets us go.
"The departure of the canoes is scheduled to be from Kawaihae Harbor at the first appropriate weather opportunity starting at sunrise Tuesday morning. We will update you Monday afternoon, or sooner if possible.
"Thank you for your interest, support and understanding that our priority has always been and will be safety first, which is integrally connected to the ways of the weather."
[Note: In the 'Alenuihaha Channel, waves and winds funnel through a relatively narrow span of water between Maui and Hawai'i and two high mountain areas, Haleakala on Maui and Mauna Kea-Kohala Mountains on Hawai'i Island, and also down the saddle between Mauna Kea and the Kohala Mountains. Trades winds are stronger there and swells larger and steeper than in other areas of the islands."'Alenuihaha" means "Great swells smashing." Kawaihae is on the northwestern side of Hawai'i Island facing the southern end of the 'Alenuihaha Channel.]
January 15 Mahukona and its heiau
Mahukona is … a connection to Hawaii's voyaging past. On a bluff overlooking the sea stands a ko'a heiau holo moana, an ancient voyaging heiau.
Unlike a more typical heiau, which is a raised platform of stones, the navigation heiau is an assembly of upright stones.
Anthropologist Elizabeth Lindsey, who studied with Mau for nine years, said Mau would tell her how certain stones were associated with certain islands.
"At a certain time of year, he'd follow the shadow of the stones pointing the way back to the island," she said.
Cultural practitioner Pua Case explained how the Mahukona navigational heiau had been under the guidance of the Solomon family for generations. Auntie Marie Solomon had been an important figure in forming Na Kalai Waa, which first built the voyaging canoe Makalii and now has completed the voyaging canoe Maisu for Mau.
[Mau sailed on Makali'i from Kawaihae to Satawal, his home island, in 1999; the voyage, conducted by Na Kalai Wa'a Moku o Hawai'i under the leadership of the late Clay Bertelmann, was called "E Mau, Sailing the Master Home."]
Paishon said that even though the crew of the Maisu will leave the canoe in Micronesia as a gift and fly home, spiritually they will end their voyage at the Mahukona heiau as they started their voyage there.
Leadership of all three vessels - Hokule'a, Alingano Maisu and the escort boat Kama Hele - met this afternoon and have decided that departure will be around sunrise Thursday morning. When a specific time is decided upon, I will let you know. Thanks always for your support.
Ceremony Held at Mahukona Heiau, January 15, 2007.
January 15, 2007 ceremony on Kahoʻolawe
Protect Kaho‘olawe ‘Ohana
P O Box 39
Kaunakakai HI 96748
January 18, 2007
Contact: Kim Ku‘ulei Birnie
Ceremony on Kaho‘olawe for long distance voyage (Kealaikahiki, Kaho‘olawe).
Kealaikahiki. Kaho'olawe. Photo by Momi Wheeler
Ceremonies for the Hōkūle‘a and Alingano Maisu were conducted on Kaho‘olawe early Monday morning, January 15, 2007, by the kahu‘āina, stewards, of the island to open the pathway at Kealaikahiki for the launching of the canoes with ancestral blessings for calm waters and fair winds during the canoes’ voyage to Micronesia and Japan.
Kealaikahiki, or pathway to Kahiki, is the piko (navel) of the main Hawaiian islands and traditional training ground for ocean navigators. It was at Kealaikahiki in October 2004 that Micronesian master navigator Pius Mau Piailug gave the charge to all the canoe families to begin each long distance voyage by paying respect to the kūpuna there.
Members of Protect Kaho‘olawe ‘Ohana (‘Ohana) and representatives of the Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRC) gathered in anticipation of receiving the canoes and their crews at Kealaikahiki. Noa Emmett Aluli explains, “We're fulfilling the kuleana given us by Papa Mau to ask our ancestral navigators to guide and protect our voyagers as they launch and until they return home safely.”
“We’re here to send aloha for the voyage,” believes Craig Neff, cultural practitioner with the ‘Ohana.
Just after dawn Monday morning, the kūpuna of Kaho‘olawe, those with whom Mau Piailug so deeply connected in October 2004, were called upon to give blessings to the canoes and the voyagers. ‘Awa was offered to Kanaloa, deity of the open ocean, to open the pathway for the canoes to depart.
“No worries. We’ll take care of Kaho‘olawe for them,” offered Lopaka Aiwohi, Kaho‘olawe practitioner, knowing that Navigator Nainoa Thompson and his crew will meet up in Satawal with Mau Piailug. “As Mau directed, the Hōkūle‘a and Maisu have been ritually launched from Kealaikahiki.”
A small wa‘a, representing the voyaging canoes, was launched into Kealaikahiki Channel bearing gifts for the voyagers: cups of ‘awa, dirt from Pu‘u Moiwi adze quarry, a moi and coral from the shores of Kealaikahiki.
Preparing a canoe for launching at Kealaikahiki. Photo by Momi Wheeler
Mau Piailug was represented in the circle at Kealaikahiki by the ‘aha cord he presented to the ‘Ohana in 2004. “The cord has been symbolically sent to sea with the Hōkūle‘a crew,” adds Aluli, “and will pull them back home when the journey is complete.”
The vision of the Protect Kaho‘olawe ‘Ohana is Aloha ‘Āina. Its mission is to promote Aloha ‘Āina throughout the islands through cultural, educational and spiritual activities that heal and revitalize the cultural and natural resources on Kaho‘olawe. The Protect Kaho‘olawe ‘Ohana was founded by George Helm in 1976.
January 15 earliest departure is Wednesday January 17
Leadership met this afternoon, went over the weather and have decided not to leave tomorrow (Tuesday) because winds in the Alenuihaha Channel are still up to 35 knots. Nainoa Thompson says "we’re prepared to go and are waiting for the winds to tell us when it’s okay. Our best guess is that we’re hoping for, and planning for, a Wednesday departure at sunrise." Forecasts have indicated a possible slight slack in winds tomorrow evening and Wednesday.
We will be able to update you tomorrow afternoon.
January 17 departure planned for Thursday, Jan. 18
Leadership of the voyaging canoes Hokule’a and Alingano Maisu have set 6 am tomorrow morning, Thursday, January 18, 2007, as the departure time for the two canoes and the escort boat Kama Hele. They will be departing from Kawaihae Harbor, where the canoes have been provisioning, making final preparations and waiting for favorable winds.
The original plan was first to sail to Kealaikahiki ("The Way to Kahiki"), a key Hawaiian navigation site on the western end of Kaho’olawe, which would have taken the canoes across the Alenuihaha Channel. However, the forecasted winds for tomorrow are still quite strong in the channel, stronger than 30 mph.
We have been working closely with the Kaho`olawe Island Reserve Commission and the Protect Kaho`olawe `Ohana, both of which have been on Kaho`olawe recently to support the mission of the canoes.
They have been very supportive and have said the canoes need not come, as they have done the appropriate protocol and ceremony to open the path for us to go to Micronesia.
So the canoes will sail straight for Johnston - to sight the island and get a bearing, but not stop there - and on to Majuro.
Thank you again for all your support and well-wishes for the voyage, canoes, escort vessel and crewmembers. Here we go!
The distance between Kawaihae, Hawai'i, and Majuro is 2364 miles (2060 nautical miles). The estimated number of days it will take to sail there: 22 days. Johnston Atoll is 931 miles (810 nautical miles) from Kawaihae, in the direction of La Kona, W by S.
January 18 hold on... winds still too strong for departure
Leadership met this morning and winds are still very strong around the Big Island with a wind advisory at the summits and gusts still into the 30 knots. And so when Chadd, Shorty, Mike Taylor, Bruce and Nainoa met this morning, they decided to wait, with tomorrow looking much better.
I have copied the contents of the press release below. Thank you again for continued support and well-wishes!
As crewmembers, family and friends gathered at Kawaihae Harbor before sunrise this morning, leadership of the voyaging canoes Alingano Maisu, Hokule`a and the escort boat Kama Hele met for more than an hour, discussing weather conditions and forecasts. With winds still strong and gusty around Hawai`i Island, and a forecast for lighter winds tomorrow, they decided not to depart today.
Speaking for the group, Maisu navigator Chadd Paishon, president of Na Kalai Wa`a Moku o Hawai`i, said “The decision this morning was a safety decision. We’ve decided to delay because of weather….We have a legacy of 30 years and they have taught us the decisions that need to be made. It’s not always the best for others but it is the best for us.” He explained that any decision to go affects not just the crews but their families and the community.
Paishon said they will delay a day and check the weather at sunset tonight then again at sunrise tomorrow morning, at which time they may decide to embark on this landmark voyage. When the time is right, they will go. We will let you know when that decision is made.
January 19 still holding...
Leadership met this morning and say we're "getting close, but we're not there yet." They are refering to the weather as there is a fine line between too much and too little wind. The trend is that winds are slacking on Kaua'i but not here on the island of Hawai'i yet. The buoys the vessels will be traveling near are still showing winds gusting well above 30 knots at times. What leadership is looking for is the peak of the winds then the decline. Departure is tricky and timing is critical so they will meet again at noon, then again at sunset if necessary. I will update again after the noon meeting. Thank you!
January 19 weather window opens: canoes leave
Alingano Maisu, Hokule'a and escort boat Kama Hele departed at 5:50 p.m. for Majuro in the Marshall Islands.
The distance between Kawaihae, Hawai'i, and Majuro is 2364 miles (2060 nautical miles). The estimated number of days it will take to sail there: 22 days. Along the way: Johnston Atoll is 931 miles (810 nautical miles) West by South of Kawaihae. If the canoes head straight for Majuro, their bearing will be 'aina kona, or West Southwest.
From new reports by Jan Tenbruggencate, Honolulu Advertiser:
Polynesian Voyaging Society president Nainoa Thompson said that the canoes expect to immediately sail south to retain as much of the most favorable winds as possible, turning west-southwest once they reach South Point.
Mission spokeswoman Kathy Thompson said that a whale appeared a short distance from Maisu as it left the harbor, diving once and displaying its tail before disappearing. "As if it was waving goodbye," she said.
The weakening of the tradewinds was a key element that they were looking for, for a safe departure. The gusts around the island of Hawai’i have dropped to an acceptable and safe level below 30 knots.
Maisu, Hokule'a and Kama Hele Leaving Kawaihae. Photo by Michael O'Brien
January 19 Maisu and Hokule'a on their say to Majuro
Kawaihae Harbor - With a vibrant orange sunset as a backdrop and chanting, dance and thrown kisses to bid them farewell, the voyaging canoes Alingano Maisu and Hokule`a, and their escort boat Kama Hele, left Kawaihae Harbor on the Island of Hawai`i shortly before 6pm tonight.
Prior to departure crewmembers had gathered on the “Maisu,” a gift for master navigator Mau Piailug of Satawal, Micronesia. Together they chanted the Makali`i aiha`a (a chant for the voyaging canoe Makali`I, built by the same voyaging organization that built the Maisu, Na Kalai Wa`a Moku o Hawai`i) facing an estimated 80 well-wishers, turned toward Hokule`a and chanted the Hokule`a aiha`a, then turned back and sang Mau’s song. The 13 crewmembers of the Alingano Maisu, including 5 from Micronesia (one of whom is Mau’s son), 11 crewmembers of Hokule`a and 6 crewmembers of the Kama Hele, then pushed off to begin a 2,200 nautical mile journey to Majuro, then on to Micronesia where the Maisu will be gifted to Mau, and on to Palau. From Palau, Hokule`a will continue on to Japan.
The canoes waited one week for weather, in particular winds, deemed appropriate for a safe departure. After the canoes’ leadership met early this afternoon they said “we recognize the winds are getting light in the northern islands so our sail plan is to initially sail south to South Point in order to capture the best of the tradewinds.” They will then head west-southwest with the intention of targeting the tiny atoll of Johnston.
Polynesian Voyaging Society president Nainoa Thompson says “finding Johnston is like finding a needle in a hay stack. It is so small and so low and there are not many trees. The navigators will be heavily relying on certain seabirds that inhabit that atoll…this is the perfect opportunity to continue the practicing and training of traditional non-instrument navigation. The continuation of practicing and teaching navigation is also seen as an important gift to the voyaging legacy of our teacher Mau Piailug.”
Hokule'a sailing off Kawaihae. Photo by Michael O'Brien
January 21: canoes returning to Kona to repair a crack in a steering sweep
The Hokule'a, Alingano Maisu and escort boat Kama Hele were off shore from Manuka, near South Point, this afternoon when a crack formed on the handle of one of the steering sweeps.
Leadership on the canoes and Polynesian Voyaging Society president Nainoa Thompson says "we cannot continue on without repairing it so we are heading back to Kona. No one is hurt, everyone is safe, but it must be repaired before we go on."
Safety comes first, it is of the highest priority, and because the canoes were still off-shore of the island of Hawai'i, they decided to bring the canoes to a safe anchorage.
They say this stop will probably be no more than a couple of days. I am not with the canoes so I ask for your patience and understanding as communication is not as easy as it had been. Thank you and I will update you as more information becomes available.
canoes anchored in Kealakekua Bay for repairs on a Sweep
The two canoes are anchored in Kealakekua Bay - they look beautiful here. [Kealakekua Bay, in the district of Kona, is 40 miles south of Kawaihae on the west coast of Moku o Hawai'i.]
Canoes in Kealakekua Bay
The steering sweep is being repaired and should be done tonight or tomorrow. Shorty, Chadd, Bruce and Nainoa are meeting right now and, among other things, discussing the new plan. I'll let you know as soon as I know more. Again, everyone is fine and standing by.
(The crack is in the handle of the steering sweep, a very large wooden paddle lashed to the canoe and used to steer the canoe).
As for which canoe's sweep was affected, the leadership is choosing not to make it public, saying, “We have two canoes sailing but this is one voyage. We work very hard as one team. We prefer not to say which canoe because to us it doesn’t matter. That’s just the way we are.”
Thanks for your understanding and endless support,
January 21 Hokule'a & Alingano Maisu update
Kealakekua Bay, Hawai`i - A long-time friend of the voyaging ‘ohana, who is a woodworker, continues to repair the handle of the steering sweep in his shop in Honaunau. Repairs should be done sometime tonight or tomorrow morning. That will be followed by a curing period of about 12 hours, then it will be re-lashed onto the canoe and tested.
The steering sweep is especially critical on this voyage because the canoes will be sailing downwind through the central Pacific and most of Micronesia. As Polynesian Voyaging Society president Nainoa Thompson says, normally “we can steer the canoe with just the sails but when you go downwind, then you must use the sweep.”
He says this process is part of the journey and that we have two crews but one family and everyone is pulling together and focusing on the issue of safety. In the end, he says, this is strengthening unity, which is also critical for this voyage.
Thompson says the best guess for departure will be in the next couple of days but leadership will be meeting again early tomorrow afternoon.
[Note: "Normally," on voyages to the South Pacific and back, the canoes sail at an angle to the wind, with the easterly trades coming from the side--from the port, or left side, on the way south to Tahiti and from the starboard, or right side, on the way back north. The wind on the beam or side of the canoe is called "a soldier's breeze" (implying that even an inexperienced sailor could handle a vessel with this wind). Called reaching, this point of sailing is the fastest and most forgiving of lax steering.
[On this voyage, as Micronesia lies to the west, the canoes will be sailing downwind, with the easterly wind coming from aft, or behind the canoe. Unless the crew steers with the sweep, the canoe will swerve to port or starboard and slow down, or turn broadside to the wind and stop. The canoe can also jibe (the aft shifts through the point of wind so that the wind will switch sides causing the sail(s) to lose its drive or possibly switch sides abruptly, putting strain on the rigging and causing the lines to swing dangerously across the deck.) The tradewind swells are also coming from the aft, not always at the same angle as the wind, making steering even more tricky.
[An expert steering team, three on a watch, constantly atuned to the direction of the wind and swells, is needed to keep the canoe headed on a steady course and sailing at top speed.
[Hokule'a is steered with one steering sweep or paddle (hoe uli) aft, at the center of the deck; and two blades aft, one on the inside of each hull (hoe ama, or port steering blade, and hoe 'akea, or starboard steering blade). The team steers with the sweep, and drops and lifts either blade into the water to help hold the canoe on a steady course. Dropping the port steering blade turns the canoe toward the starboard side; dropping the starboard steering blade turns the canoe toward the port side. Steering a fully-loaded 13.5 ton double-hulled canoe like Hokule'a downwind takes a lot of strength, skill, knowledge, effort, concentration, and finesse.
[Maisu has one steering sweep (no blades) and is somewhat lighter than Hokule'a, but still requires the same level of strength, skill, knowledge, effort, concentration, and finesse to steer downwind.]
January 22: our time together!
The wooden deck beneath our feet, soothes the constant itch that burns as we prepare for this voyage. Wanting to head for open sea, we are reminded of kuleana to the promise, kuleana to the mission, kuleana to our future.
Ke Akua has provided us the opportunity to "make ready ourselves" in such a beautiful place. It is one where the village embraces all, where the memories made are reflections of those of our Kupuna, it is one where our impatience is tamed and our souls rejuvinated.
Our bodies are cooled by the calm of her turquoise waters - our heads are made clear as we drop below, and hear nothing but the heart beat of her gentleness. Waves roll in overhead from far off Kahiki, bringing new life & new stories to our shores. In their refraction they will echo the story of Maisu and Hokule'a, they will tell of the special spirit of the voyaging 'ohana, they will carry the mo'olelo of Papa Mau and Micronesia to the all the nations of the world.
Pualehua will be our alaka'i...this is her birthing time, this is her time to prepare....in time, when she is physically ready, her lashings will be made pa'a, and then, it is time to go!
Mahalo Ke Akua...Me kaleo ha'aha'a, me kealoha nui!
January 22 update on repairs
Kealakekua Bay, Hawai`i - The repairs on the handle of the steering sweep are going well. We expect it to be finished tomorrow, Tuesday, January 23rd. Once it is on board and tested and leadership completes analysis of the weather and winds, they will then set a departure time. We will update you at that time.
January 23, 2007
January 23 Departure set for tonight, as early as sunset
The Alingano Maisu, Hokule'a and escort boat Kama Hele are scheduled to depart Kealakekua Bay tonight, perhaps as early as sunset. After Shorty, Chadd, Nainoa and Bruce met this morning and announced the departure, both crews, facing the two canoes in the bay, did the Makali'i aiha'a.
Makali'i aiha'a at Kealakekua Bay. Photo by Michael O'Brien
Thank you to Uncle Gordon who hosted everyone over the last few days, to Jerry for his work on the sweep and to everyone, especially the Makali'i guys for cooking the meals.
Aloha! Kathy and Pomai