Report from Sam Low
Monday, October 11, 1999, Hanga Roa, Rapa Nui
Since arriving in Rapa Nui on Saturday, the crew has been largely engaged in cleaning Hokule'a and her gear in preparation for the fourth stage of her voyage - the one to Tahiti. Our headquarters is in the bed and breakfast of Jorge and Anna Edwards, in the main town of Hanga Roa, overlooking the ocean. During our first day on the island we were entertained by Mahina Rapu's family, who cooked chicken, fish and huge slabs of pork over an open fire in their yard. After a steady diet of saimin and canned food for eighteen days, the crew dug in and consumed everything offered with great gusto. Following dinner we were hosted to an exhibition of traditional dancing and singing at Hotel Hanga Roa followed by dinner. Some of us went back to the B and B for much needed moe moe (sleep) while others found a disco where they danced until it closed shortly before dawn.
Sunday was a full work day for all hands. We off loaded almost everything from the canoe--heavy weather gear, food, galley utensils, safety harnesses, water bottles, coolers, life preservers, tools, personal gear--and took them to headquarters for inventory and cleaning. One contingent stayed aboard Hokule'a swabbing decks, cleaning out the holds and sleeping pukas (holes), making lists of needed repairs and generally preparing the vessel for sea once more. At base camp Max took on the onerous task of washing everyone's clothes and eighteen sets of foul weather gear. Shantell inventoried every piece of gear right down to knives and forks; Doc, Sam, Nalani Wilson (who crewed on the second leg and flew to Rapa Nui a week ago) and Sonny washed out water bottles, coolers and miscellaneous other equipment; Terry, Mike, Mel, Tava, Kealoha, Aaron, Chad, and Bruce worked aboard Hokule'a readying her for sea, her next journey to Tahiti scheduled for early November. Nainoa worked on our future schedule including plans for cultural exchange with the people of Rapa Nui, and Maka worked aboard Kama Hele with Alex to clean the ship and help make her ready for sea. After work - Bruce, Mike and Nainoa paddled with a crew from the local canoe club. In the evening, Tava and Kealoha built a huge fire and we barbecued steak and chicken for our second feast in as many consecutive days.
Monday was another day of work filled with similar activities. Sam went to the home of Carlos Sierra Barra, a local graphic artist and TV producer, to establish contact with home base in Honolulu via the internet and make arrangements for sending photographs back home, a process which was interrupted when we lost our satellite connection a few days out of Pitcairn. Hopefully, within a day or two, daily reports will be flowing once again....
From everyone here we send our special aloha to family and friends back home and especially to those who donated so much of their time to make this voyage possible.