Hokulea Rings In 2017 On The High Seas

Jan 2, 2017

The Leg 26 crew celebrates the New Year aboard the Hokulea. They're currently sailing across the Caribbean to Panama.
Credit Oiwi TV / Justyn Ah Chong

The crew on board the Hōkūle‘a rang in the New Year on the high seas. The voyaging canoe is expected to reach Panama any day now, before continuing on its sail back home to Hawai‘i. We caught up with Captain Bruce Blankenfeld as part of our ongoing series Hōkūle‘a: Voyage of Aloha.

Credit Oiwi TV / Justyn Ah Chong

On sailing toward Panama:

"We left Miami Dec 21 and are a few days out from Panama. The weather has been really nice. This morning it started piping up a bit. We have winds of 20-25 knots, seas of 15-20 feet. It's a little bit bumpy, but a pretty smooth sail."

Hokulea Captain Bruce Blankenfeld reels in a 35-pound ono on New Years Eve.
Credit Oiwi TV / Justyn Ah Chong

On catching fish in the Caribbean:

"We caught an ono, about 35 pounds. The day before we had a marlin, about 50 pounds, and a small aku one day. We've been doing pretty good with the fish. Our guys go right to work and have a field day. We had sashimi, fried ono, some poke. That's our New Year's sashimi!"

On celebrating the New Year:

"Hōkūle‘a is Hawaii's canoe, it always has been. But now it's part of island earth. We want to thank the people around the world who we've had the good fortune to meet and who have hosted us and cared for us. Through the culmination of all of that, here we are: sailing to Panama and ready to go home. So Happy New Year, Happy 2017 to everyone!"

Hokulea Captain Bruce Blankenfeld takes in the first sunrise of 2017.
Credit Oiwi TV / Justyn Ah Chong

Follow the two voyaging canoes on Google Maps: