As Hokule’a continues south along the east coast toward the nearly Hawaiian warmth of Florida, she encounters conditions not envisioned by her ancestors.
We left just before sunrise, and the air was a frigid 31 degrees. Much of the canoe was covered with patches of frost. We have been using plenty of hand warmers which are amazing in keeping our hands nice and warm.
We are pushing 60-70 miles everyday, but our days are short, just over 10 hours long. We passed through a couple of swing bridges today, and only had to wait for one to open. While we wait for a bridge, we sit there and hold our position with the escort boat and dinghy helping us, as well as some crew on the hoe‘uli and some with the paddles on the bow.
The canoe, as her ancestors, has no engine. She is powered by her sails, and by paddles if needed.
And by escort and tow boats in these complicated waters of the east coast. They are moving through the Intercoastal Waterway, narrow, windy as in twisty… and windy, as in wind! There are also strong currents and little room to maneuver. A very different environment than the one in which these open ocean canoes evolved. Even navigation requires some charts at this point. The crew is strong, vigilant and well trained, so despite the strange waters, they will carry on.
I wonder if the Hokule’a crew found the Chesapeake Bay (my home waters which I have sailed and kayaked) as exotic and odd as I would find the Pacific…
Somebody on board is named Moani…