the wa’a heads west

No no, not that one, the real one, Hawaiian voyaging canoe Hokule’a…

Mālama Honua has and will be the reminder of how Hawaiian Culture has the key practices for a balanced future. Being pono with our food, ʻāina, resouces, and most importantly our people. As we grow closer to each other and our ʻāina, the need for balance and sustainability becomes more apparent. Are we listening?

Today Captain Bruce asked us to remove our watches and make sure we don’t have access to telling time. The beginning of celestial navigation has arrived. The winds, waves, sun, moon and stars are now our main source of time, speed and direction as Key West slowly disappeared behind us. Cuba sits to our South and Florida to our North, while we head west.

we know the way…

Soon enough the rain disappeared and we were back to our perfect sailing conditions with our 10-15 knot ENE wind. The sea grew a little sending 6-8 foot swells our way. This made for a nice little sway in Hōkūleʻa’s hips.

The photos from this leg of the voyage are fabulous.

Look for how many times Maui’s hook appears (worn by crew, a symbol on a mat…)…

Check out one really handles the hoe uli (steering oar, you know, the thing Moana whams Maui with)…

Look for the list of “Na ‘Aumakua”. Those are the ancestors, passed on, who yet guide the voyage. In Moana, they were the “ghost fleet” that passes her when she decides to carry on with her quest (in the song “I am Moana!!”). Hokule’as names include Herb Kane, a Hawaiian artist who worked on such diverse assignments as the Jolly Green Giant (and suddenly I thought of the Goddess in Moana…) and many paintings of Polynesian boats, myths and culture… Mai Piailug, “Yoda of the Seas”, who was the Last Navigator, who taught this next generation the old ways. Eddie Aikau, the only person to die on a voyage, when the Hokule’a capsized on an early voyage, he went on his surfboard for help and vanished. The crew of Hokule’a had to decide whether it was worth the risk to continue voyaging, or to “stay inside the reef” as Moana’s father decides in the film. They kept voyaging.

Malama honua is caring for island earth in Hawaiian. People whose culture evolved on islands have a very clear sense of the limits of our environment and how to care for it.





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