Back at Sea / 13 July 2011
Posn N24.03 W159.43 course N speed 8knots. 12 July.
I have to admit it is great to be back on the sea even if I am suffering a little from a head cold, too many late nights and early mornings on land. Now we can get into a routine again. Don't get me wrong, we love being hosted and cared for, but (theres always a but),we also need time to do nothing, or at the very least have no commitments for a few days.
In Hanalei, the people of Kauai want to show us around their Island,host us to welcome and farewell ceremonies and pretty much mix and mingle. It was wonderful, but to be honest not quite the rest time crew really needed. Having said that we probably would not have done things much differently back home.
After I sent my blog yesterday we received even more aroa and gifts. Our guys went to buy our fresh meats for the Vaka and Kurt refused to let us pay for it, with his work mate Kai, they bought our meat. And then they feel they have not done enough for us. Michael Sheehan finds a stand-up board for the Vaka and delivers this just before we sail out, he also donates a new pair of gumboots for the crew. "Keep your feet warm and dry guys".
The goodwill here is amazing,how do we thank all thesew wonderful people, we don't have anything to give so we take them out for a day sail, all who have given to us and more, we end up with 7 crew, plus 2 from Uto ni Yalo and Leihana,Kat, Moana, Chantal, (sorry i forget the others)from PVS. 39 on board, I can't believe it, how did this many get aboard, I count again, sure enough its 39. Lets stay in the bay area, we sail out past the point and tackback, in and out we go. The guests on board love it and we love sharing with them. It's all we had to give, that and a promise of hosting when they come to our land.
I duck back to the marquee for some lunch, Nainoa is going to give the navigators a brief on the sailplan, I have to sit in and hear the master at work. Being the super humble guy he is, Nainoa starts with an apology, "sorry I overloaded you guys with info yesterday" he says, "even I was confused, I woke last night just before 3am and had worked it out. I had a dream of you all arriving under the Golden gate bridge, it was the big dipper guiding you in". He then goes onto explain how to use the two bottom stars of the big dipper to sail into San Fran. "When the distance between these two stars is equidistant with the distance between the ocean and the bottom star you will be at the 39th parallel, here you can turn east, allow for one degree difference on the bottom measurement and you will be under the golden gate brige at 38 degrees.I know you all can do it or I would not have had the dream last night" he says. Nainoa Thompson master navigator, motivator, humble Hawaiian.
I wander along the beach, procrastinating, not wanting to leave, I am not the only one, many of the crew are chatting with new friends along the sandy shore. Hugs kisses and tears, more gifts, leis sewn and plaited that morning. I stand at the waters edge with Kurt, Kai, Pualaa, Mitch, Doug and Madeleine. Leaving is not easy, we snap off some more photos, hoping that someone might say, "hey lets leave in the morning". It doesn't happen, I wade out to the vaka there is a young girl in the water with her Mum and younger brother. "But Mum i just have to have a look before they go" she says, "climb aboard guys". They are so happy to have touched our Vaka, we have touched their spirits and they have touched our hearts. The strength of goodwill is amazing. Before she jumps back into the water, she says to me, "I will pray for you guys, and thank you for visiting our Island". This young girl is maybe 12 years old. Rob calls out from the shore, he is standing with a group of young men, their tall wooden spears planted in the sand, colourful feathers streaming from the sharpened end, hovering in the light breeze. They chant for us, "God Bless you all" Rob yells to us from the shore, his wife and kids surrounding him. Harry makes the call, shirts off, "Ivitu ka ivitu,ivitu ka ivitu" we do our amu for our new friends, hair raising amu. I feel good.
Doug makes a last minute delivery of papaya and fruit. Haul up the anchors, Sausage jumps in and races to the shore to carry back the bow anchor. All clear, motors down we head out of the harbour, Michael and Terry are in a small runabout following us out, Mitch paddles by on his standup board. It is time to go. Aere ra Hanalei.
Nainoa was following us out on a small motor boat as we exited Hanalei harbour, "Oi Nainoa, why don't you come for a ride" yells Peia. Quick as a flash, the little boat is alongside and Nainoa jumps aboard Marumaru Atua, grinning from ear to ear like the Ninja eyeing a chilly bin of cold ones. We are thrilled to have him aboard even if it is for a short time, he hugs Peia, "Thank you for me allowing me aboard, I always wanted to sail with you". They embrace each other, Polynesian man hugs, I heard someone remark the other day, gotta learn how to do that. I overhear Nainoa say to Peia, "thank you for accepting the Pwo" (master navigator title), this is the humble nature of Mr Thompson.
Less than a mile out Nainoa waves his beanie to the small motor boat then jumps over the side, they pick him up in seconds. Too easy. Secretly,I think everyone was hoping he might stay with us, what an honour,but again in Nainoa's words, "NO, the honour is all mine". Aere ra Hawaii.
Kauai fades into the night, we head north to Alaska..well almost, we will probably turn east near the 42nd parallel, we will see if the high moves down south then we can turn east sooner. We sail out to the lead, thanks to the fine tuning and sail trimming exercise with Teva of Fafaaite.
I come on shift at 6am this morning, sun is yet to rise, Papa Koro sights some dolphins near the port stern. They come a little closer it is Pilot whales a small pod of maybe 6 or 8. They are following us, suddenly one jumps out of the water in the opposite direction, he dives up over the wave crest, twice and disappears. This is the last we see of the whales.
Bacon and eggs for breakfast, thanks Lorna. So here we are back at sea, captain is napping, Lorna is cooking, Jamaals crew is on watch and I'm blogging. Out here life is simple, uncomplicated. To everyone at home, we thank you for the messages of support and prayers.
Marumatu Atua crew