Monday, July 12, 1999 (8:30 a.m.)
Canoe Departed Hilo p.m. June 15, 1999,
As of Sunrise Today Hokule'a was at Sea: 26.5 days
Actual Position (From GPS unit on board escort boat).
July 11, 4:50 p.m.: 08 degrees 22.27 minutes S, 141 degrees 18.54 minutes W
July 11, 8:15 p.m.: 08 degrees 10.92 minutes S, 141 degrees 09.92 minutes W
July 11, 11:00 p.m.: 08 degrees 02.37 minutes S, 141 degrees 00.60 minutes W
July 12, Just Before dawn 4:50 a.m.: 07 degrees 50.31 minues S, 140 degrees 53.28 minutes W
Landfall at dawn this morning: the navigators and crew of Hokule'a sight Eiao! Congratulations to Navigator Bruce Blankenfeld, Apprentice Navigator Pi'ikea Miller, and the crew on "Hokule'a."!
Navigator's Estimate (from Bruce Blankenfeld, Navigator, and Pi'ikea Miller, Apprentice Navigator on "Hokule'a."):
July 11, Sunset: 09 degrees 5 minutes S, west of the Marquesas
July 12, Sunrise: 5-7 miles from Eiao.
Last night at around 2 a.m, heading Manu Ko'olau (NE), the navigators sensed something was changing in the wave pattern. They thought they might be passing an island and put down the sails and stopped. Rain squalls started up, sweeping in with the ESE tradewinds. The canoe was straight upwind (WNW) of the islands of Eiao and Hatutu,11 miles off; the islands were blocking the ESE trade wind swell. The canoe started to drift. Dawn came and they couldn't see the islands in the curtains of rain. But as the squalls moved off, Russell Amimoto sighted the edge of Eiao, an island of steep cliffs,14 miles off. The sea was full of diving and fishing land-based seabirds the crew had been hoping to see for the last two days: manu-o-ku (white terns) and noio (brown terns), along with boobies.
The canoe is tacking south and heading around Eiao for Nukuhiva, 60 miles off. The wind is from 'Aina malanai (ESE) at 15-20 knots; seas are choppy, with various wave patterns created by the 12-18 foot swells wrapping around the seven islands of the Marquesas to the SE. Weather continues to be squally, and swells were crashing over the bows.
It was an awesome tack back into the teeth of the easterly trade winds, for four days, from 200 miles to the west, where the crew had been searching for the Marquesas. The navigators employed a search pattern along a known latitude that is part of the traditional strategy for wayfinding without instruments and finding islands in the immense empty spaces of the Pacific Ocean; and that strategy has been successful again!
Late yesterday afternoon, just before cooking dinner the crew was visited by some whales and dolphins, good luck signs for sailors. Instead of the usual music and mo'olelo (storytelling) over the last two nights, the crew has been looking for land.
Strategy: Heading south past Nukuhiva, then tacking back NE to that island.
Daytime navigation: Sun: sunrise and sunset (ENE/WNW). ESE tradewind swell.
Nighttime navigation: Stars.
Fishing report: lost a sail fish this morning.
Sea Life: whales, dolphins, manu-o-ku, noio, 'a (boobies).