Hōkūle‘a in Nawiliwili; Hikianalia Preparing to Sail for Nihoa

Kaua‘i –

On Saturday, Sept. 7, Hōkūle'a sailed/towed from Hanalei Bay on the north shore of Kaua‘i, around the west side, to Kalapaki, Nawiliwili, on the southeast side, with a brief stop in Waimea. This morning she will move to the boat ramp at the Nawiliwili small boat harbor, for educational outreach programs.

Tracking  Map by Michael Shintani

Tracking Map by Michael Shintani

Hikinanalia remained in Hanalei Bay preparing for her navigation training sail to Nihoa, scheduled to depart Monday, Sept. 9, pending weather.

Hikianalia Crew Blog. by Haunani Kane

As we wait for the rest of our crew to arrive in Hanalei, we continue to prepare Hikianalia for her maiden sail to Nihoa, in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. The Nihoa sail will be the first deep sea sail of the Worldwide Voyage, and the first deep sea navigational challenge for us  apprentice navigators. We are deeply humbled and honored to be given the opportunity to visit one of the kūpuna islands, and to be a part of the crew with the pwo navigators and leadership.

Going to Papahānaumokuākea is important to us as Hawaiians and people living in Hawaii to re-affirm our connection to aloha āina and caring for our traditions using a waa kaulua (double-hulled voyaging canoe).

Apprentice Navigator Jason Patterson sitting on the navigator's chair. Photo by Haunani Kane

Apprentice Navigator Jason Patterson sitting on the navigator's chair. Photo by Haunani Kane

Over the past couple of weeks we have been working as a team with Nainoa to map our sail plan and identify the celestial bodies that we will use to navigate. Nainoa said yesterday that finding Nihoa is like trying to find Mānana island (Rabbit Island) in Waimanalo from Kona. (The two islands are similar in size.) Nihoa is approximately 118 miles northwest of Niʻihau.

Hōkūle‘a off Nihoa, on a previous voyage.

Hōkūle‘a off Nihoa, on a previous voyage.

The sail plan calls for sailing to the northwest side of Ni‘iahu;  then heading Noio Hoʻolua (NW by W) for Nihoa, from Mt. Pānī‘au (highest point on  Ni‘ihau, on its northeast coast).

Click on image to enlarge it.

Click on image to enlarge it.

Today we were finally able to study on the canoe using the star houses that we put on the night before Hikianalia arrived in Hanalei.  The markings of the star houses allow us to overlay or imagine the canoe as a star compass.

For example if we want to head ʻākau (north) and the sun sets in komohana (west ), then the navigator would sit in the starboard navigators chair and align the the star off the port beam.

*compoass_rose

Click here for a explanation of the star compass: Star Compass

The sail plan is a little trickier than this example as the sun is setting slightly north of west at this time of the year, and Nihoa is about 30 degrees north of west.

Sunset at Hanalei Bay. Photo by Jason.

Sunset at Hanalei Bay. Photo by Jason Patterson

All in all, we are excited to be a part of this upcoming sail.

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