Tuesday, September 21 / Rikitea

Prepared by Documentor Sam Low

The crews of Kama Hele and Hokule'a are in final preparation for departure today at noon. Winds are still very light, but the navigators feel they have a 48-hour window to make some progress toward the east and Rapa Nui, so they are anxious to get going. Arrangements have been made to carry crew member Max Yarawamai, arriving from Pape'ete at 3 p.m., from the airport to the canoe by power boat.

At a recent crew briefing, head navigator Nainoa Thompson explained one essential part of his strategy to find Rapa Nui is to employ experienced and qualified navigators as watch captains. Bruce Blankenfeld, navigator of the first leg from Hawai'i to the Marquesas, or Chad Baybayan, the navigator of the second leg from the Marquesas to Mangareva, will be on watch to supervise the three crew members responsible for steering to insure that the course steered is accurate and precise. This is important because the only way Nainoa knows where they are is by calculating in his mind how many miles they have sailed each day in a given direction from Mangareva--a process called dead reckoning. Nainoa will catnap during the voyage and when he wakes up, Bruce or Chad will be able to tell him how far and in what direction they have traveled while he slept. Then Nainoa will be able to recalculate in his mind where the canoe is on its course between Mangareva and Rapa Nui.

For back reports on the leg to Rapa Nui, go to Rapa Nui Back Reports

For more information on the leg to Rapa Nui, go to The Mangareva-to-Rapa Nui Page

For more information on the quest for Rapa Nui, go to the PVS Homepage