February 12, 2017
Aloha nui kakou,
We are on our third day of the 28th leg of this worldwide voyage. Most of us have sailed multiple legs of this voyage and have thousands of miles of sailing under our belts. What is so great about this crew though, is that they many of us have been sailing together for decades. In the case of our captain Archie Kalepa, he has been sailing on board Hōkūle‘a for about a quarter century and many of those early sails he was a crew member side by side with the likes of Max and Keahi who are also on this leg. For myself, I came into the organization at the same time with fellow watch captain Russell and I have been privileged to sail with at least half this crew before. As we recount different destinations and as the stories come out about previous voyages, its hard to believe that this canoe has travelled so many miles and witnessed so many events. I think at the root of that is the learning that has taken place on board that has shaped the lives of so many individuals. If one counts the education efforts of the crews over the last 40 years and dozen or so voyages, literally hundreds of thousands of people have been on board to experience, in some way, the mana of this canoe.
But for us on board, the experience is totally different for what will probably be almost three weeks of sailing. Different because at this point in the voyage we all have large amounts of sea time and expertise in sailing this vessel and yet, the more we think we know, the more we realize just how much we have to learn. It's a pretty interesting paradigm to be in as we move forward in life, more interesting because we get to be together in these “fairly isolated from the rest of the world experiences” where we have to work together as a team or the destination really cannot be reached. And so all of us bring our best selves to get to the destination. The physical destination is an island a little smaller than Kaho’olawe and about as isolated as you can get. But the metaphorical destination… I think that's a different story. I really believe that we are all here to learn more about this thing called sailing and in that learn more about ourselves. You cannot help but be introspective here. And that state of being is only broken by the occasional need to do something immediate, like stad the watch or sheet a sail. And so over the course of that we have to teach as well. There are those who haven’t spent as much time trimming sails or steering in these types of conditions. So the ability come to this with a humble heart to balance out the teaching and learning requires us to be true to what we know and more to the point what we don't know, and in that we will maybe find some true knowledge. For me, I'm just really stoked to be here, on the deck of this canoe, with this group that will be teaching and learning as we go. Its no wonder Hawaiians use a’o for teaching and learning, the two must go hand in hand if we are to truly attempt either.