Interview with Nainoa Thompson Aboard Hokule'a, 10/4/99
by Tiare Lawrence
As of 10-4-99, 9:55pm
Currently the weather is great! The skies are 100% clear. No moon, only stars. And they see tons of [bioluminescent] plankton in the water.
WIND SPEED: As of 9:56 pm, wind is coming from 'Akau (N) very slowly. Hokele'a is moving approx. 3 nautical miles per hour. Winds are light approx. 8 mph.
I asked Nainoa if he could see any latitude indicators since the skies were clear...Since the skies were very clear he spotted four and is just waiting for one more to rise. The latitude indicators he was able to spot were the stars Alderamin, Phalf (Zeta Cephei, which follows Alderamin in Cepheus across northern meridian and precedes Cassiopeia?); the Constellation of Cassiopeia, with the stars Caph, Navi, Ruchbah, and Shedir. The navigators are waiting to spot Hanaiakamalama (Southern Cross). [Acrux, the bottom star in the Southern Cross, skims the horizon below the South Celestial Pole as it crosses the meridian at the latitude of Rapa Nui at about 11 p.m. at this time of the year. Seeing this star will give the navigators a precise clue that they are at the latitude of Rapa Nui.]
Now I'll go with the questions I asked.....
Based on your readings of the stars, what latitude are you at? 25.5 degrees latitude.
How are the conditions? -- Today was rough. It's been really hot since the winds died down. Very hot due to light easterly winds early today.
How is the health and well-being for the crew?-- TOP SHAPE!! there is zero illness!!
Are you tacking? Yes, we're tacking to the east heading for Aina Malanai (ESE), 2 houses south of east.
What's your strategy? We plan to hold this direction for now, we feel winds are not definite, they feel their closer to Rapa Nui. We estimate that Rapa Nui is to the east and south of Hokule'a. We plan to sail as far as we can with the wind they have now before it changes.
What are you eating? Reel in any big ones? "We caught 2 mahimahi going to Pitcairn, and since the departure from Pitcairn we caught 2 more mahimahi. The crew has spotted lots of aku but are unable to catch them because Hokule'a is moving too slow."
For ocean awareness reasons, have you seen any litter? No, but we did spot lots of buoys bopping around.
How do you feel about this sail? "PRICELESS! I feel like the LUCKIEST man on earth!!"
Final remarks: After leaving Pitcarin, Hokule'a was blazing
so fast, that we are way ahead of what we expected. We had planned to see
the first quarter moon as we approached our destination, but because
blazed so fast we are 10 days earlier than expected.
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