Kū Holo Mau: 2007 Voyage for Mau
Pohnpei and Chuuk (February 22-March 12)
Westerly course of the Canoes through Micronesia: Majuro to Yap
(Oceanography Department, UH Manoa)
February 22 departing Majuro for Pohnpei
Destination: Pohnpei Harbor [6.983, 158.217], 779 miles, or 1442 km, west of Majuro Lagoon.
The voyaging canoes Alingano Maisu, Hokule`a and escort boat Kama Hele departed from Majuro today, Feb. 22, 9:30am Majuro time, or Feb. 21, 11:30am Hawai’i time. They are heading west for Pohnpei, the first stop in the Federated States of Micronesia. Hokule’a is the lead canoe on this leg. The vessels will not be going to Kosrae due to weather conditions in the area. The distance from Majuro to Pohnpei is about 750 miles. We estimate it will take about one week for this portion of the journey.
Crewmembers of all three vessels, Na Kalai Wa`a Moku o Hawai`i, and the Polynesian Voyaging Society would like to thank the Marshall Islands’ government and community for an overwhelming welcome and for their generous hospitality from the moment the canoes approached Majuro, through their stay and this morning’s departure. We’d like to thank our sponsor Matson Navigation for hosting a dinner for the crews as well.
The crews were also impressed by and very much enjoyed the visit of many of the atoll’s school children to the canoes.
February 22 rain fell from the clouds as we sailed out of the lagoon, light winds
We are on our way again, Maisu, Hokule’a and Kamahele departed Majuro this morning after a wonderful stay. Everyone appreciates the hospitality of the people in Majuro who hosted and welcomed us. It was also nice to see people from Hawai’i so far from home.
The crew on Maisu has grown to 16, Patti Ann Solomon, Kawika Escaran, and Rod Floro joined the crew in Majuro. The Hokule’a crew has made a few changes as well, Dr. Ben Tamura and Bob Bee left in Majuro, and Dr. Gerard Akaka and Gary Kubota have joined us.
We are on our way to Pohnpei, Bruce will be navigating us over 750 miles to the west, which should take us about 6 days if the weather cooperates.
More rain fell from the clouds as we sailed out of the lagoon, and we were sailing along slowly most of the day with very light wind. We caught a dog-tooth tuna, which Russell has cut up and prepared quite a feast. He seared some, fried some, made sashimi and two different kinds of poke. It’s an awesome meal to begin our voyage to Pohnpei.
Thank you for everything!
Take care, ka’iulani
We leave Majuro knowing that saying goodbye is never easy, but we know we will be seeing each other soon. The Majuro 'ohana have been awesome in taking care of us. The "ono grinds", the ".75cent taxis" Mahalo Ke Akua!
February 23 stars in pockets of clear skies
After leaving Majuro yesterday, we held a course steering La Kona (W by S) until this morning, when we shifted to a course heading directly Komohana (W).
Last night was mostly cloudy, but we steered by the few stars that revealed themselves in the pockets of clear sky. We looked to our port beam and used Hanaiakamalama (Southern Cross) to help us find Hema (S). On the starboard beam was Hokupa’a (North Star), and before Orion set in front of us, we were able to use Mintaka in Orion’s belt to show us where Komohana was.
Today we were blessed with more fresh water coming in squalls here and there. The gray cloud cover held up just about all day except for maybe an hour when the sun came out from behind the clouds and we could see patches of blue sky. When we could see it, we used the sun to hold our course, along with the wind and swells.
This morning we caught another mahimahi, and Kaleo is cutting it up for a black bean garlic mahi dinner. We saw a manu o ku this morning and a lone iwa glided in the early afternoon. We were surprised that there were so few birds since we left Majuro. The air seems sticky and keeps us warm day and night.
Aloha from all,
February 24 too cloudy at night to navigate
Around 2:00 in the morning we got completely socked in and shut our sails to wait for the clouds to clear. We wouldn’t want to sail in the wrong direction, especially at our average speed of 5.5 knots. A couple light squalls followed by some heavy rain drenched the 2-6 watch. By morning we were on our way again and most of the day sailing between 5-6 knots.
Last night’s garlic black bean mahimahi disappeared quickly, Russell continues to chef up awesome meals.
This morning we had a double strike, 1 male and 1 female aku, the i’a we have long been waiting for. Timi cut and cleaned them and the crew is looking forward to our first aku dinner. Russell made poke and Timi fried some of the aku, yum.
Maisu gets close once in a while, giving us a good chance to take pictures of them. We still have quite a bit of cloud cover, but like yesterday the sun peeked out again early in the afternoon.
The ocean conditions aren’t the best, different swell directions push the canoe from side to side and so we are steering with the main hoe uli, steering paddle, as well as the ama side hoe uli, port side sweep.
Hokule'a with sails closed in doldrum conditons. Photo by Mike Taylor
February 25 rain rain rain! drifting slowly, picking up a tow to keep going
aloha kakou! rain rain rain! good to have a break from the rain so can get on the computer...
Last night was another cloudy night with squall after squall saturating everything on the wa’a. Foul weather gear merely kept the water against our bodies wa
After a while of drifting slowly, Bruce decided to take a tow from Kamahele in order to get to Pohnpei on time. No one really likes to be towed, but we understand the safety concerns due to weather and its effect on the total voyage.
This morning we were able to drop the tow and sail on our own for several hours. More rain drenched everyone and everything, and it came down hard. After the rain let up, we had to resume towing, but Maisu was able to sail behind us. As of this afternoon, Bruce approximates that we have three sailing days left to get to Pohnpei. We must keep this speed we are at under tow, 5-6 kts, to stick to the schedule and keep the voyage safe.
For now, we are lucky to have a little break from the rain to dry gear out again, and let’s just hope it holds through the night.
Because we left Hawai’i over two weeks later than planned, and the sail to Majuro was longer than expected, we are trying to make up time to keep the rest of the voyage within the safe parameters of deep sea voyaging. Some island stops have been eliminated to make this schedule. Our aloha goes out to the people of those islands.
[Note: Nainoa Thompson, the leader of PVS and the voyaging project to Micronesia and Japan, explains that this voyage is the most complex and dangerous that PVS has ever undertaken.
The decision to take a tow from the escort boat is driven by the fact that the canoes need to recapture time that has been lost due to the delayed departure from Hawa’i and the longer than expected sail from Hawa’i to Majuro. While being towed by the escort boat, the canoes will continue to be navigated without instruments, with the navigators setting the direction in which the escort boat heads.
The key time element of the voyage is to make the crossing between Palau at 7 degrees North and Okinawa at 26 degrees north as early as possible in April. As the seasons move from winter to summer and its warmer oceans, the ingredients needed to spawn cyclonic activities (typhoons) begin to develop in the seas between Palau and Okinawa, and the chances of cyclonic activity begins to increase dramatically. A typhoon in this area would put the success of the voyage to Japan and the safety of Hokule’a and its crew at considerable risk. (Maisu will not make the crossing to Okinawa, but return to Yap, its new home, from Palau.)
In a conference call when the canoes were in Majuro between Nainoa in Hawai’i and the leadership on the canoes—Maisu captain Shorty Bertelmann, Maisu navigator Chadd Paishon, and Hokule’a navigator and captain Bruce Blankenfeld—all agreed that safety of the canoes and crews were the priority, and that the canoes needed to maintain a tight schedule to Pohnpei and beyond, even if it meant towing the canoes.
The active doldrum conditions that the canoes are now encountering on their sail from Majuro to Pohnpei (light and variable winds, rain squalls, thunderstorms, 100-percent cloud cover) are also related to the late departure out of Hawai’i; these conditions are moving north with the sun over the voyaging route, as the spring and summer seasons in the northern hemisphere approach.
Nainoa is confident that the difficult decision to tow the canoes when the winds are too light and variable to sail is the right one, given the safety issues involved.]
February 26 ALL HANDS ON DECK, ALL HANDS ON DECK!!!
Its one of those calls that you really don't want to hear because you know something serious is happening. I open up my hatch to see buckets of water "dumping" on everyone! People moving quickly to the bow of the canoe, to the "Genny", she needs our attention. Lines being pulled here and there in all directions. 30 seconds seems like a long time especially when its intense. After everything was secure we looked at each other and started to giggle a bit...sopping wet, cold...not real sure what to do now.
SHOWER? LAUNDRY? LUNCH?
All of the above!
Another beautiful day on the blue sea!
Rod Floro (Maisu)
February 26 sailing again
Today, before sunset we dropped the tow and now both wa’a are under our own sail power, heading Komohana.
Yesterday, with the light winds we had, the wa’a captains decided to have Kamahele tow both Hokule’a and Maisu in order to keep everyone together and make good speed.
Before dark last night, Maisu sailed up ahead of us and threw their tow line into the water. We retrieved their line with a boat hook, and secured it to the bridle we have on the aft of Hokule’a. The double tow worked out well and Kamahele was able to pull us at 5.5 knots throughout the night.
Palani and Terry made a delicious chicken and bacon curry for dinner last night, which disappeared quickly with the mango chutney. Bruce talked story with the crew after dinner about this voyage as this first leg is almost complete. He explained why he chose our crew and how well we worked together. I think hearing what Bruce had to say about each of us made us all feel good, and we are grateful to have had the privilege to sail with not just an awesome person, but also an excellent captain and navigator.
We got rained on again early this morning, around 3am, but today was somewhat clear and dry. Palani made taro blueberry pancakes and spam with Vienna sausage and onion for breakfast. Everyone got up for that! We caught a small aku in the afternoon, which Timi cut up and sliced sashimi to go with another delicious dinner. Kaleo made salmon patties, Palani made mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy, and Nohea made coleslaw. Mandarin oranges topped off the meal, and everyone is full and satisfied. (Some of us even a little too full…)
Malama pono, ka’iulani
February 27 a partly starry night; a day of extremes, blazing sun, pouring rain
We sailed throughout the night with the help of the moon, and not long after midnight, we started to see some puka in the cloud cover. It seems like we haven’t seen stars forever, but it has only been a few nights.
The first stars that revealed themselves were ‘A’a, Hokulei, and Puana in Ke Ka o Makali’i setting in the west. Looking south we started to see the false cross, then Na Kuhikuhi and Hanaiakamalama. After a while, Jupiter and Ka MakaunuiaMaui came out from behind the clouds as well. The star line Ka Iwikuamo’o shone through as well, the handle of Na Hiku pointing to Hokule’a then Hikianali’a and Me’e. We couldn’t see too many faint stars, but it was very nice to see these bright ones.
[The stars are in three lines used to navigate--(1) Ke Ka o Makali'i, or the Bailer of Makali'i, curved like a coconut bailer around Orion; (2) Ka Iwikuamo’o, the backbone, a line of stars from Hokupa'a (North Star) and the Big Dipper (Na Hiku) to the Southern Cross (Hanaiakamalama); and (3) Ka MakaunuiaMaui (the Fishhook of Maui, or Scorpio.]
Today started out great, sunny blue skies and a mahimahi decided to be our dinner. Before noon, however, the grayness set in and we were engulfed in a wall of cold water pouring out of the clouds. It has been a day of extreme temperatures, either the sun is blazing hot and the crew hides in the shade of the sails, or it gets super cold with the wind and rain beating down on us. Gray clouds are still to the side and in front of us, but the skies behind us look a little promising and we hope for a relatively dry night.
Timi cut up the i’a and Gary Kubota cooked a wonderful dinner for us tonight, miso mahimahi and teriyaki mahimahi with cabbage and onions on the side and canned pears to finish it off. Most of us eat better out here than we do at home!
Malama pono, ka’iulani
February 28 another wet, wet, wet day
Today was another wet, wet, wet day. Squalls would come here and there from late morning through early afternoon. We’ve been watching the gray walls of water behind us and guessing how long they’ll take to get to us.
In between the rain, Russell cooked some rice to have musubi with tuna or with sesame dried cured pork from our friends back home, the Bishops. It was ‘ono, our first actual lunch in a while. By the time the afternoon watch started, it seemed to continue raining for hours. The rain was cold, much colder than the ocean water. Some of us took advantage of the downpour, soaped up and washed off. It was still raining around dinnertime and Terry made a wonderful saimin meal to fit the weather.
In anticipation of getting to land possibly tomorrow, the guys are again talking about what we’re going to eat when we get to land again. Ice cream sundaes, root beer floats, shave ice… anything with ice. But more importantly, we’re all excited to meet the people there and see the island of Pohnpei and the incredible feat of mankind, Nan Madol.
February 28 safely docked in a lagoon in Pohnpei
Hokule'a, Maisu, and Kamahele are safely docked tonight in a lagoon in Pohnpei, everyone tired but well and dry for a change.
Congratulations to the crews of all three vessels and we thank them for all their awe-inspiring and very hard work.
Early Thursday morning (Friday in Pohnpei) the vessels will move to a different dock where welcome ceremonies will be held. There to greet them will be government officials, community members, and the Aloha Medical Mission group of volunteer doctors from Hawai'i who have been there for a few days now providing medical assistance for the community.
The Aloha Medical Mission is a partner in the voyage to Micronesia and is sending doctors to the islands ithat Hokule'a will be sailing to.
March 1 arrival in Pohnpei
Hokule’a and Maisu arrived in Pohnpei today, and our crews are happy to be together on an island again. Bruce did another incredible job navigating us here; especially in the cloudy and rainy conditions we have had since Majuro. Uncle Maka saw a clear outline of one side of the island at about 3:00 in the afternoon, and when the rest of our crew on Hokule’a saw Pohnpei not far on the horizon, the crew on Maisu clapped and cheered for us. Little did we know, the Micronesians on Maisu saw the island almost four hours earlier and were waiting for us to see it for ourselves. It was hidden from our eyes in the vog-like clouds, and when it finally revealed itself we were awed at how close we were and how beautiful its mountains looked from the sea.
We arrived in the pass before sunset, graced by incredible waves on either side and welcomed by several boats. We were greeted on shore by our local hosts and crew members from Hawai’i who will be switching out with some of the guys going home from Pohnpei. Everyone was grateful for the wonderful dinner they fed us and the comfy beds we had to sleep in after taking a nice fresh water shower that didn’t come directly from the sky.
March 1 on Pohnpei
Honolulu, HI – Crewmembers on board Hokule’a sighted the island of Pohnpei at about 5:45pm HST this afternoon, despite very heavy cloud-cover as reported by escort boat captain Mike Taylor. This brings us close to the end of the second leg of this overall voyage, a leg of about 750 miles from Majuro to Pohnpei. This leg was characterized by fairly active doldrum weather – very cloudy, rainy, many squalls and winds varying from calm to up to 40 knots.
In Honolulu, Nainoa Thompson said “despite these difficult conditions, captain and navigator Bruce Blankenfeld did a remarkable job of finding his way and making landfall. Equally remarkable is that the two canoes could stay together in these conditions and for that we commend the leadership of the Alingano Maisu, captain Shorty Bertelmann and navigator Chadd Paishon. Congratulations to the leadership and the crews of all three vessels – Hokule’a, Alingano Maisu and escort boat Kama Hele.”
The vessels have now completed nearly 3,000 miles of the 7,200 mile voyage through Micronesia and Japan. They are expected to reach the pass into Pohnpei by sunset their time, which is about 9:30 tonight Hawai’I time. If all goes well, they will be able to enter the lagoon and anchor in the calm waters overnight, then pull into the dock tomorrow morning when arrival ceremonies will greet them.
They are expected to stay in Pohnpei for about 4 days where there will be a nearly full crew change and full reprovisioning of all vessels for the next leg. Ten crewmembers left Honolulu for Pohnpei on a Continental Airlines flight this morning, they arrived just a few hours ago. Nine crewmembers will be returning from Pohnpei next Monday morning.
Notes on Crew Changes:
The crew arriving to sail for Chuuk, Satawal, Ulithi, and Yap: Hokule'a Captain and Navigator Nainoa Thompson, Dr. Marjorie Mau (diabetes specialist), Na`alehu Anthony (electronics and videographer), Keoni Kuoha (cultural protocol specialist), Max & Ana Yarawamai (relatives of Mau Piailug, from Ulithi, living in Hawai'i; Max is a veteran Hokule'a voyager), Billy Richards (veteran crew member on '76 voyage to Tahiti), Pomai Bertelmann, Patty Ann Solomon, Pauline Youropi.
Staying aboard Hokule'a: Ka'iulani Murphy, Attwood Makanani, and Tim Gilliom.
Joining the Maisu Crew: Kanani Kahalehoe (veteran voyager, Mau's caretaker on Hawai'i island); Weston Correa (close friend of Mau's); Pomai Bertelmann (veteran voyager, who sailed through Micronesia on Makali'i in 1999; daughter of Clay Bertelmann, who promised to build a voyaging canoe for Mau; niece of Shorty Bertlemann, captain of Maisu.)
Joining the Kamahele Crew: Bill Beadle
Among the crew departing, after over 5 weeks at sea on Hokule'a: captain and navigator from Hawa'i to Pohnpei Bruce Blankenfeld; crew members Russell Amimoto, Bob Bee, Terry Hee, Nohea Kai'aokamalie, Kaleo Wong, and Palani Wright; and Dr. Gerard Akaka, who boarded at Majuro to serve as medical officer in place of Ben Tamura.
March 2 welcome ceremony in Pohnpei, with sakau
This morning we moved the wa’a over to the dock where we were welcomed with a ceremony that included sakau, which we call awa back home. When the men pound the root of the sakau on a bell stone the rhythmic beats create a unique sound, like music.
Preparing for the Ceremony in Pohnpei. Photo by Na'alehu Anthony
The crews were taken to a nearby school where our hosts cooked a pig in an uhm, similar to our imu only it isn’t underground, and prepared more sakau for us to drink. Four crew members visited the College of Micronesia, FSM where we spoke with more than one hundred people about the Ku Holo Mau voyage.
March 5 activities on Pohnpei
Our crews have had a full weekend, including visiting Nan Madol on Saturday morning and getting our first ice cream cones along the way. Nan Madol is an incredible place, an awesome feat of the people of Pohnpei.
[For more about the megalithic city of Nan Madol, which lies on the eastern shore of the island of Pohnpei in Micronesia, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nan_Madol ]
The rest of the weekend we got a lot of work done on the wa’a, adjusting the rig and reprovisioning with food sent from Hawai’i on a Matson container. With all the work we had to prepare for this next leg of the voyage, we weren't able to get out to the pass to see for ourselves the unreal surf that we kept hearing about. We made some time this morning and a handful of crew from the first leg was able to check out some of the handicraft shops in the Kapinga Village and visit some local shops for gifts to take to their families and friends before they had to get on a plane and head home. They are missed! We are so very grateful for all the dinners that we have been hosted at, and to be able to stay at Pwohmaria and the Pohnpei Surf Club, mahalo nunui!
March 6 departure for Chuuk pushed forward to March 7
Leadership has decided that the canoes and escort boat will leave tomorrow morning, that's Wednesday morning Pohnpei time, which is late morning Tuesday Hawai'i time.
Everyone is well. The first crews flew home yesterday. Everyone is well here. They were hosted by the US Ambassador here for dinner last night.
Crew spent yesterday changing the rig and finishing up with packing food etc...
Today, more logistics to be handled such as getting things air cargoed from Pohnpei to Chuuk, more work on the canoes, testing out the SSB radio patch with Peacesat in Guam etc...
It's been raining the last couple of days and humidity is more than high, but all are well and happy. I'll keep you posted as best I can. I am in Pohnpei right now and have access once or twice a day to computer. I will be flying to Chuuk on the 8th and not sure about e-mail there.
Until then, thank you again, from all here, to all of you for your support.
March 7 departing Pohnpei for Chuuk
Kolonia, Pohnpei – Under the first blue skies in 4 days, and after an exchange of thank you gifts, a few words from the president of the Federated States of Micronesia, and hugs and farewells, the voyaging canoes Alingano Maisu and Hokule’a, and escort boat Kama Hele, pulled away from the dock at Pohnpei at about 10:15am Wednesday, Pohnpei time. They are on their way to Chuuk, which is about 380 miles away. Their estimated arrival date is Saturday, Chuuk time.
The vessels left today rather than yesterday for two reasons: 1 )efficiency and convenience in doing needed work on the vessels while at dock in Pohnpei as opposed to when they will be moored off-shore in Chuuk, and 2) leaving this morning as opposed to yesterday afternoon will afford the vessels a daytime arrival in Chuuk, which makes for easier entry into the harbor.
This leg of the voyage is being navigated by Chadd Paishon on the lead canoe Alingano Maisu, which is captained by Shorty Bertelmann. Hokule’a follows, captained and navigated by Nainoa Thompson.
The forecast through Friday is for light to calm winds; therefore, it is anticipated that, in order to stay on schedule, the Kama Hele may have to tow the canoes, although still navigated by Paishon. Leadership of both canoes are guided by “safety first.” Staying on schedule is a safety issue as the canoes must get through Micronesia and Hokule’a must go on to Okinawa before the typhoon season heats up. The risk for a tropical cyclone in the area, although still small, doubles from March to April.
There was a large crew change in Pohnpei. Four crewmembers will be flying from Pohnpei to Chuuk to take care of logistics. They will be joined by 6 more crewmembers flying Continental Airlines from Honolulu to Chuuk tomorrow. Below is the crew list for the canoes now on board to Chuuk:
Alingano Maisu – 16 on board
Shorty Bertelmann - Capt.
Chadd Paishon – Nav.
Sesario Sewralur – Mau’s son
Jayson Uruselim – Mau’s grandson
Hokule’a – 14 on board
Nainoa Thompson – Capt./Nav.
Max Yarawamai – father
Ana Yarawamai - daughter
Dr. Marjorie Mau
Kama Hele – 7 on board
Mike Taylor – Capt.
Lee Taylor – son
Hokule'a and Maisu leaving Kolonia, Pohnpei, the capitol of FSM, surrounded by foreign fishing vessels. Photo by Mike Taylor
March 7 last day in Pohnpei
Leaving Pohnpei marks the end of the first leg of this voyage as well as the departure of many of our first leg Crew Members. We want to thank those that helped get Hokule’a, Maisu and Kama Hele safely to Pohnpei. The Hokule’a crew that returned home to Hawai’i included Captain and Navigator, Bruce Blankenfeld, watch Captain Russell Amimoto, Palani Wright, Kaleo Wong, Terry Hee, Nohea Kai’aokamalie, and the canoes’ Doctor, Gerard Akaka. Thanks to them for their hard work and to their families for allowing them to be away from home for over a month. Our new crew includes leg one crew members Ka’iulani Murphy, Tim Gilliom, Gary Kubota and Attwood Makanani. They are joined by Captain and Navigator Nainoa Thompson, Watch Captain Billy Richards, Max Yarawamai, Ana Yarawamai, Pomai Bertelmann, Nick Marr, Paulina Yourupi, Keoni Kuoha, Marjorie Mau, MD and Na’alehu Anthony. Our crew tops out at 14 people on board.
Our 7 day stop in Pohnpei was jam packed with work as well as many activities that allowed us to share the story of the canoes and learn a lot from the Native population to this place as well. We were given the opportunity to visit schools and the college to present to students about the voyage. We also hosted hundreds of visitors and eager onlookers at the Pohnpei Harbor where the canoes were docked. The 40’ container provided to us by Matson was filled with the provisions and gear necessary to continue the voyage. It took our crews more than four days to manifest, pack and stow all the included items. Also shipped in were a set of curved booms for our crab claw sails. The booms were test fitted for proper tricing against the spars. Our new rig looks beautiful under full sail. The tanbark sails are reminiscent of the canvas sails from the 1976 voyage to Tahiti. All were excited to see Hokule’a’s “new old look” Pomai Bertelmann commented “It brings out the essence of Hokule’a. I love it.” Billy Richards, an original crew member from 1976, said “There’s nothing, absolutely nothing like the silhouette of a crab claw sail on the horizon. It’s who we are.”
Today’s departure at about 10 am was filled with mixed emotions as we had to leave our newly made friends in Pohnpei. We want to thank all of those who took the time to help us get through the transition of a crew change in a foreign land. Without our local contacts we would never have gotten through the incredible amount of work in such a short time. Kama Hele towed us out of the harbor past some beautiful 8 foot surf. We’re headed for Chuuk, some 380 miles from here. The sun is out in full force with only the sails to shade us. Our new crew is getting into the rhythm of the watch system and getting acquainted with their modest quarters. Lunch was a simple peanut butter and jelly (or banana) sandwich. For dinner were having rice and kalua pork. For dessert, our friend from Pohnpei, Suzanne Lowe, smuggled a chocolate cake on board to help us celebrate Pomai’s birthday today! Happy Birthday Pomai! Where else better to spend your birthday than sailing on a voyaging canoe?
Me Ka Ha’aha’a,
Shorty Bertelmann and Pua Lincoln talk about cloud formations while departing Pohnpei. Photo by Na'alehu Anthony
March 7 Maisu journal: departing Pohnpei for Chuuk
Kau ka la ma lalo o ka halawai. Sailing away from our new home, Pohnpei. Thoughts of our 'ohana and friends that we have made over the past few days linger as we set our new course towards Chuuk.
He nani no he venuse...Venus appears at our bow, brightly shinning down on us...it is so good to be back on the ocean, i ka moana hohonu, we have all missed the salty breeze, and rolling waves.
No ka po maikai...another evening riding the wake of our Tutu Lady, Hokulea, gracefully gliding before us...piha me ka haaheo.
Destination: Chuuk [7.433, 151.85], 380 miles, or 704 km, west of Pohnpei [6.97806,158.20323]. In fair winds, the sail takes 3 or 4 days.
March 8 Maisu journal
The weather in this area is truly a sight to see. The abilities of the navigators from these islands are extraordinary because of their skill to be able to predict such weather. For those of us who have traveled on the voyaging canoes from Hawaii to the South Pacfic we were always challenged by the weather. This whole voyage in Micronesia has been in the ITCZ otherwise known as the doldrums, light wind, no wind, rain squalls you name it we got it, high clouds, low clouds no clouds...wish you were here to see the sunset. Hauoli la hanau e Hokulea!
Navigator Chadd Paishon
March 8 Hokule'a journal
Kaselehlie from the ocean!
It’s our 2nd day at sea heading toward Weno, Chuuk. It’s another beautiful & hot day for sailing with an awesome crew who are so full of life and passion for the sea. The sun is up with a calm sea & little ripples that sway the canoes to and fro.
This is my first time to sail on a long voyage without my family and yet I still feel safe like I am with my dad. That’s how one feels onboard the canoes, you’re one ‘ohana.
To my APLP ‘Ohana, I wish you are all here to enjoy these immeasurable feelings of intense peace & joy of being out on the ocean with no land in sight. It’s fantastic! Watching the crews onboard the Hokule’a has been awe-inspiring for an island girl like me.
Pauline Yourupi, APLP [Asian Pacific Leadership Program, coordinating educational projects for the voyage]
March 8 Maisu journal
It was a beautifully hot day on the ocean as we celebrated Hokule'a's 32nd birthday! Hau'oli La Hanau e Hokule'a! We celebrated with a morning breakfast of fluffy blue berry pancakes, vienna sausage, some north of the equator peaches (pears) topped off by Star Bucks coffee out of the press. We snacked over lunch but had a fabulous dinner of chicken stir fry, with rice and pears - and topped it off with Famous Amos Cookies. Mahalo to the students of PICS High School for the pua'a - we has pot roasted pork smothered with sliced apples and carmalized onions on our first night out, yummers!!! No fish to report yet...a few strikes here and there but nothing landed yet. We are hopeful for today!
Making our way
With sails open and full, Hokule'a glides gracefully over the face of Kanaloa
She embraces each of us as individuals,
spoon feeding us our daily lessons in small doses
so that our simple minds can process the valuable lessons that we are given.
Kanaloa gently rolls us closer to our destination of Chuuk.
There, we will be reunited with friends and family and familiar faces
who have cared for us before.
The sun beats down on us from above,
encouraging us to be mindful of our individual selves and our
responsibility to making sure that we are physically and mentally well.
We hydrate our minds and bodies with cool clear water that helps us to remain focused on the task at hand -
Malama the canoes, support the navigation, steer straight, take care of each other, simple!
With Kamahele in front of us and Alingano Maisu behind we are in great company as we make history.
Maisu has found her sea legs and sails the ocean with a passion and zest for life. In the wake of Hokule'a she is the gentle child learning to test her boundaries on the open ocean. She has enocountered much on her maiden voyage - she has come through each test with strength and perserverance. Hokule'a has been her constant companinon encouraging her to progress forward. Making our way to our destination we are happy to be together, we are proud to be sailors of the sea. Mahalo Ke Akua!
Mahalo nui loa to all who continue to support us as we make headway to Satawal.
Me Kealoha Nui!
March 8 Maisu journal
The anticipation of the approach of Satawal has been so great, along with being with Shorty Bertelmann, Chadd Paishon, the crew members and the seven Micronesians from Satawal. Anxiously waiting for the voyage with Sesario from Yap to Palau for the Pacific Island Festival to honor Mau with Aligano Maisu. It is a great honor to be with Mau's first Hawaiian student and his 'ohana. Aligano Maisu will not only affect the Hawaiian people, by giving them joy in giving a gift to Mau, but the Micronesian people as well in sparking interest and joy in learning their navigational traditions.
March 9 approaching Chuuk
The Alingano Maisu, Hokule'a and Kama Hele are expected to arrive at the northeast pass to Chuuk Friday afternoon Hawai'i time (Saturday morning Chuuk time).
They are expected to be greeted at the pass by two official boats, helping to keep the way clear as dozens of 16-22 foot boats with a single-engine outboard (the popular mode of transportation here) are expected to great them as well.
They will moor off-shore, be shuttled in to the seaside College of Micronesia where an official arrival ceremony with the governor, mayor, chiefs and community will be held, featuring speeches, food, song and dance.
Sunday is a day of church and rest in Chuuk and so it will be for the crewmembers. Refueling, provisioning and visiting schools will occur Monday morning with a possible departure Monday afternoon, subject to change of course.
All on the three vessels are doing well. I, or Ramona at the PVS office, will try to e-mail as soon as the canoes arrive. On dial-up from Chuuk and very busy with logistics so likely no photos or attachments.
Aloha to all, Kathy
March 10 arrival at Chuuk
The Alingano Maisu, Hokule'a and escort boat Kama Hele arrived at Chuuk's northeast pass at about sunrise Saturday morning. Navigator Chadd Paishon steered the Maisu from Pohnpei, as the Maisu was the lead canoe on this leg.
The vessels moored at Moen, Chuuk fronting the College of Micronesia at about 11:30am. After clearance from immigration, crewmembers were shuttled to shore where an estimated 500 people gathered to welcome them. After speeches by the governor of Chuuk, Maisu navigator Chadd Paishon, and the college's director, the crew and community were treated to the beautiful dances of Chuuk. Crewmembers then reprovisioned water and settled in for the night.
Tomorrow (Sunday), a local hotel will host all crews for breakfast. Some crewmembers will go to the local churches. Christianity is very strong in Chuuk; we are told it is now a foundation of its culture. In the afternoon, more packing, provisioning and preparing while giving public tours of the canoes.
Monday, the escort boat will refuel while some crewmembers visit three schools here.All crewmembers are well!
Maisu and Hokule'a arriving at the entrance to the Northeast Pass into Chuuk Lagoon. Photo by Mike Taylor.
March 10-12 on Chuuk
We had a great stay on the island Weno in Chuuk, where we were welcomed upon arrival Saturday just after noon. We were happy to see familiar faces from Chuuk and more people from Hawai’i who have joined us to sail to Satawal. Sunday morning we were all hosted at the Truk Stop Hotel for breakfast and some of the crew went to Sunday morning services on the island. The crews headed back to the wa’a in the afternoon to get prepared for the next leg of this voyage. After dinner that night we sang and enjoyed ice cream in celebration of Nainoa’s birthday.
Monday morning several crewmembers went to three different schools on the island to speak with the students and staff about Ku Holo Mau. The junior class at Xavier High School visited the wa’a after our presentation at the school. Chuuk High School had nearly 600 students and community members gathered at the school gym to welcome our navigators and crewmembers and hear about Hokule’a and Alingano Maisu and why we’re here in Micronesia. The Seventh Day Adventist School also invited crewmembers to share about this historic voyage and the gift of a wa’a to our beloved master, Mau Piailug.
Namanuito dancers. Photo by Clark Graham
Welcome Chant at Chuuk High School Photo by Clark Graham
Ka'iulani Visiting a Class. Photo by Na'alehu Anthony
March 12-15 sailing for Satawal
An hour before sunset the wa’a, Kamahele and the Truk Queen headed out of the lagoon to begin our sail to Satawal. The crews have grown a bit, Hokule’a carrying 22, Maisu carrying 18 and Kamahele six. Hokule’a is leading this leg with Nainoa Thompson as captain and navigator. Bruce Blankenfeld is back on Hokule’a, as well as Snake AhHee and John Kruse of the 1976 crew, and navigator and captain Chad Baybayan. Kimo Hugo, another one of the original crewmembers is sailing with Maisu. Several crewmembers are on board the Truk Queen as well, a power boat that was chartered to go along to Satawal and enable more people to be a part of this incredible voyage. It is such an honor and privilege to be with the wa’a, and we know that each one of us is here for hundreds more who couldn’t be here physically. We carry much aloha and mahalo from the people in Hawai’i and throughout Polynesia to Mau and the people of Micronesia.
We were blessed with a clear night, and Bruce gave a fabulous star lesson. Once outside of the lagoon and away from the outer reefs, we started sailing west, in the direction of Satawal. To hold our course after Hokupa’a faded away in the first light, steersmen backsighted the mountains of Chuuk. The crab claw sails look beautiful in the morning sun, but the wind is light and we are trying hard to make at least 4 knots.
After breakfast this morning, Nainoa explained that we may need to head slightly north of west to maintain speed. This course will take us to the island Pulap, 110 miles away, rather than directly downwind to the island Puluwat. We should be at Pulap tomorrow morning, Pikelot Thursday morning and in Satawal by Friday morning (our time.) As the sun climbs higher in the sky, the crew tries to avoid the sticky heat in the shade of the sails and rest while they are not on watch. Uncle Billy Richards commented on how beautiful it is out here, he could be stuck in traffic back home!
Lots of love to all!