November 20, 1999 Morning Report (from Bruce Blankenfeld and Kamaki Worthington)/ 10.5 days since departure: Looks like Hokule'a has finally sailed far enough north to find stronger tradewinds yesterday.The canoe is sailing at six knots this morning on a heading of Manu Ho'olua (NW), in steady 10-15 knot winds from La Ko'olau (E by N). Navigators estimate the canoe has averaged about 7 knots over the last 24 hours and made 164 miles. Progress toward the Marquesas will be rapid, as the wind field develops into 10-20 knot trades. The crew can see the effects of stronger easterly winds in the swells, as the easterly swell has increased from 3-4 feet to 4-6 feet. The NW heading of the canoe is the best point of sail for the canoe, to reach maximum speed, as the crew strives to make up days spent bobbing along in light, variable winds farther south. Cumulus and altocumulus (fair weather clouds) at 80 percent this morning; 30 percent cloud-cover last night, with good visibility for navigation. Steering by Canopus, Alpheratz, Sirius, Sharatan, Aldebaran, and Rigel as well as the four bright planets--Jupiter, Mars, Staurn, Venus; also the waxing moon. Estimated latitude at sunrise, 11/20: 15 degrees 43' S, 39 miles east of the reference course. Actual Position at 6:00 a.m. HST: 16 degrees 39' S; 122 degrees 17'W. Fishing: caught an aku; sealife: white tailed tropic birds...birds of the open ocean that nest in the cliffs of the Marquesas islands.
For more information on the quest for Rapa Nui, go to the PVS Homepage.