Sept. 24, 9:15 a.m. HST--Landfall! Pitcairn was sighted off Hokule'a's starboard bow at sunrise this morning (4:35 am HST; Hokule'a is about 1 hour ahead of HST). The island was a small shadow on the horizon under the dawn sky when navigator Nainoa Thompson spotted the 1/2 by 2 mile island. (Click Here for a photo of Hokule'a's last landfall at Pitcairn on August 24, 1999, when the canoe was on its way to Mangareva. Photo by Moana Doi.) Beautiful sunrise this morning (Sept 24), beautiful night of winds from the NW last night. The wind speed has picked up to 15 knots from the NE and Hokule'a is currently sailing at 4.5 knots. Calm seas; swell from the SE; fair weather, cumulus clouds. The wind is forecasted to increase to 15-20 knots in the next 36 hours and remain northerly...perfect wind for sailing directly east, without tacking. Escort boat landed a 24 lb. mahimahi yesterday (Kama Hele: 1; Hokule'a: 0). Navigator Thompson is undecided about landing on Pitcairn or not; landing would mean a delay... and the winds are perfect now for going east, so the canoe may have to just keep going. If the winds go west of N, the canoe will target Henderson Island next, 108 miles, or less than a day sail away, to the NE; if the winds are NE, the canoe cannot head for Henderson without tacking, so instead it will head for Rapa Nui. According to Thompson, Ducie Atoll will not be a target, as it is too low and dangerous to approach if the canoe reaches its vicinity at night. Latest thinking: Head for Rapa Nui; after making 3/4 of the distance there (825 miles), begin the search pattern for the island from 275 miles to the west of it. Wind Watch: Northerly winds are forecasted to pick up to 15-20 knots within the next 36 hours...Hokule'a is at the back end of a high and the front end of a low now at 140W and moving east, hence the good northerly winds that are allowing the crew to sail east without tacking.

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