Hōkūleʻa Arrives in Easter Island

Feb 27, 2017

Hōkūleʻa sailing towards Rapa Nui
Credit Nāʻālehu Anthony / ʻŌiwi TV

It’s been 2 weeks since the Hōkūleʻa left the Galapagos Islands for Rapa Nui – or Easter Island. This is one of the toughest legs on the worldwide journey due to the size of the island. But we caught up with Nāʻālehu Anthony who says the conditions, crew and fishing are all good.

Credit Nāʻālehu Anthony / ʻŌiwi TV

The crew is doing really, really well. We have a pretty broad mix of experience. We have one crew member who is an original crew member from 1976 on board, as well as many veteran crew members. And we have a whole navigation team of individuals who hadn’t even sailed before the start of the worldwide voyage. And so 13 of us on board, it’s a pretty diverse mix of people. Everyone’s getting along really well and it’s definitely a great learning experience for all on board with respect to the navigation and canoe handling and everything.

Credit Nāʻālehu Anthony / ʻŌiwi TV

We got to talk just a couple of weeks ago, and we were just leaving the Galapagos when we spoke last. It’s been a of couple great weeks of sailing, we’ve had all kinds of conditions that challenged us. We had three or four days where there wasn’t really any stars out and the navigation team had to use wind and swell to hold their directions. And then we had some really, really beautiful nights of sailing where you could see every star in the sky. It was thousands upon thousands of stars were out, and in use for the navigators to set our position and know where to sail. And so, I think it’s been really good from the standpoint of learning and it’s definitely a good time for this crew as we make our way south. These next handful of days are the critical days where all of the measuring of distance, as well as the measuring of latitude kind of comes into play. Where hopefully they did a good enough job of doing all the information so that they put us in the ballpark of where the island is and we can look for it in the next couple of days.

Credit Nāʻālehu Anthony / ʻŌiwi TV

The fishing hasn’t gone as well as we would have liked. We did catch one nice sized aku a handful of days ago, and that went really well. The fish got on the line and they got the fish up and gaffed and in the canoe in pretty good speed. There have been now a dozen strikes on our lines. And for whatever reason a bunch of fish keep breaking off the strikes. So yesterday, something really, really big hit one of our leaders and took the whole line. And then it came around and hit the other side and broke the rubber bands. So we couldn’t get it on and couldn’t land it. So I think out here it’s really, really big fish country and so some of them may be larger than the lures we’re trying to run.

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