Interview with Nainoa Thompson Aboard Hokule'a, 10/4/99

by Tiare Lawrence

Aloha! This is Tiare Lawrence from Lahainaluna High School. I am a senior this year. I've been truly blessed this past year. Ive had the greatest oppurtunity to crew train with Hokule'a. I attended most of the crew training sessions and sailed a couple interisland sails. I know the navigators and crew members personally and give thanks to them for asking me to join the navigation team. It is such a great pleasure to work with you. Let's make this team a living success and put smiles on each navigator, crew member, as well as our advisors faces. We are all very fortunate to talk with the crew so let's make this the best that we can. Last night I had the oppurtunity to talk with Nainoa Thompson. I used a personal format of questions I asked.

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 Hokule'a 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