Closing the Triangle: A Quest for Rapa Nui

Polynesian Voyaging Society

Sailing Strategy / Leg 1. Hawai'i to Nukuhiva (June-July 1999)

Hokule'a will depart from Hilo Hawai'i, on June 15, sailing close to the easterly trade winds south to the Marquesas. At around 9° S, the mid-latitude of the Marquesas, the navigators will look for land-based sea birds and other signs of land. Navigator: Bruce Blankenfeld, with Pi'ikea Miller.


Hilo, Hawai'i: 19° 44' N, 155° 04' W; Highest Point on Hawai'i: Mauna Kea (13,796 ft.)

Taiohae, Nuku Hiva: 08° 56' S, 140° 05' W; Highest Point: Tokao (3890 ft.)

The Marquesas is a chain of islands, stretching from Eiao (8° 00' S, 140° 41' W) in the Northwest to Fatu Hiva (10° 28' S; 138° 50'W) in the Southeast. 148 miles North to South; 110 miles East to West. Other major islands are Ua Pou, Ua Huka, Tahuata Hiva Oa.

The Voyage to the Marquesas Islands has three segments:

Segment 1: In the Northeast Trade Winds-Hilo (19° 44' N) to 9° N

Heading: Manu Malanai (SE)

Distance to be Traveled: 930 miles; Sailing Days: 7.75 days

Segment 2: In the Intertropical Convergence Zone-9° N to 3° N

Heading: Nalani Malanai (SE by S)

Distance to be Traveled: 430 miles; Sailing Days: 7 days.

Segment 3: In the Southeast Trade Winds-3° N to 9° S

Heading: Na Leo Malanai (SSE)

Distance to be Traveled: 780 miles; Sailing Days: 6.5 days


Totals for the Leg 1

Total Distance along the Course Line: 2140

Total Sailing Days along the Course Line: 21.25 days