Crew View: Hiapo
Today we made “da big turn” from about a 10 degree heading to 350 derees, which gets us heading almost directly home. Everyone is looking forward to getting home and getting excited as we get closer to Hilo Bay — talking about all the different foods they are going to eat when they get to land. I’m just looking forward to eating a home-cooked meal at Kuhio grill.
The other day I was surprised to wake up and find more than half the crew up before 5 am. I’m on the 6 to 10 shift watch with Maka, Mike, Nikki, and Keli, our cook. Some may say we have the easiest shift because our hours are closer to a normal sleeping pattern than the 10 to 2 or the 2 to 6 shift. We also get to use the sun at daybreak to navigate. It’s more accurate to use the sun between sunrise and about 10ish in the morning and to check your position and wave and wind patterns. I say we’re just blessed to see the sun rise and set, two of the gifts ke akua blesses us with every day. During breakfast this morning we were entertained with Boobies diving after hundreds of malolo (flying fish) for hours, which was good for Saki since she was trying to make herself stay awake for 24 hours straight as part of her navigator’s training.
I have been trying to invent new games to play to pass the time. Using Saki’s book with only a picture of a moose on it, and all in Japanese, we tried to guess what the book was about. Since it is makahiki time, this led to a riddle game that ‘Onohi won. We have been playing an “A to Z” game, which we played with my crews from the Pacific Voyagers that test your trivia knowledge. When you have some of the oldest crew members playing with some of the younger crewmembers, I had to become mediator in topics of music and movies. The older players were naming songs and shows from the ʻ60s and ʻ70s. The younger one didn’t know their answers, and the younger players named shows and songs from the ’90s and 2000s that the older ones didn’t know. I had to let both groups know whose answers were true — too funny.
We started off this second leg with Kaleo reminding us we are traveling in the same route, wind and waters that our ancestors traveled. Remembering oli of Pele’s voyage from Kahiki to Hawai’i makes this experience even more grounded for me. I have to say that this is the best voyage and crew I have ever been with, both first and second legs. Everyone here brings his or her mana to Hikianalia. Their backgrounds, stories and ʻike. The conversations and knowledge shared have been awesome.
This will be a very special voyage for me. This is the first time someone in my ʻohana since my Kupuna kāne lima sailed to the Hilo coast with his ship “Primo” – we’re talking nine generations ago! It will be a very special way to finish at home after over a year of voyaging with the Pacific Voyagers, then on the tall ship The Lady Washington, then back to the Pacific Voyagers, and finally working on Hikianalia and then sailing her maiden voyage.
So many people to mahalo for supporting me living my dream. I want to mahalo Dieter Paulmann and the Salthouse Boatbuilders ʻohana for building such a wonderful wa’a for our future. Also, everyone involved in the Pacific Voyagers: the “Admiral” Magnus Danbolt, Dunc, John Misky, Nick Henry, Murray Bright, Kalei, Tua Pittman, Hoturoa Kerr, Frankie Kane and Liam Ogen. Jordan Martin ʻohana and Keliʻi and Raime Keanaaina for taking care of my cars. My friends and ʻohana, you keep me going and keep me grounded. A very special mahalo to Nainoa for inviting me and to Bruce for having me aboard. Words cannot express my feelings and emotions related to your making this special life event possible. It has been a privilege and an honor to represent and to be a part of Hikianalia. Maka, Kealoha, and Mike — Da NZ crew. ‘Onohi and Bob for all your ʻike. All my crews and schools following us.
I want to share with you a prayer that has been close to me the whole voyage:
“E Ka Moana Nui”
E ka moana nui
E lana malie kai mau ale
E ka makani nui Ikaika
E pa ko lonahe malie oe
E nihi e ka hele
E hooma kau kau I ka ala I kauhale o ko kakou mau kapuna
Amama ua noa lele wale alu la
O thou great ocean
Thou deep sea
Let thy waves flow gently
O thou strong winds blowing
Breathe softly and tenderly
Go thou with serenity and peace
Let nothing arise to bar your way
Pave the way to the home of our ancestors
Take care. God bless.
Hiapomalulani “Hiapo” Elderts
(See Hikianalia Crew List: Aotearoa to Tahiti for more about Hiapo.)