Crewmembers of the Hokulea and Hikianalia had hoped to leave American Samoa sometime in this weekend, but now the departure for the next leg of the voyage is delayed again.
It’s all up to mother nature.
But there is one person who isn’t completely disappointed they haven’t left yet.
Kaiulani Murphy of Waimea on Hawaii Island, is a veteran Hokulea deep-sea voyager, and has been studying non-instrument navigation for at least 15 years now. In 2004, she navigated on her own for the first time, to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
She arrived in American Samoa last Monday, and is about to embark on her biggest navigational challenge yet. Although she and navigator Kaleo Wong will take turns, and they’ve been studying with Captain Bruce Blankenfeld. She will be navigating under new skies to Tonga 320 miles south, then on to Aotearoa, New Zealand, 1,400 miles further south.
“There’s definitely a nervousness that i’m about to embark on this particular voyage in waters that I haven’t sailed in before,” said Murphy.
But, she says she’s excited as some of her fellow crewmembers are from Tonga and Aotearoa and have sailed those waters and under those skies.
Since Monday, the crew conducted educational programs and met with American Samoa’s national marine sanctuaries team, there are thousands of miles of marine protected areas there. And they’ve been prepping the canoe and themselves while waiting for the weather, especially the wind, to allow them to set sail.
Kaiulani says the earliest departure looks like Wednesday, October 15.
KHON asked her how waiting for weather makes her feel, such as more anxious, more stressed or thankful?
“Yes, all of the above,” Murphy answered, giggling.