Young navigators on Hokule’a Saturday night found their last stop before New Zealand.
“At 220 degrees, a course line at 2 p.m., at four knots, along our reference course 235? Yes,” said Hokule’a navigator Kaleo Wong.
Wong, speaking the language of a navigator, checks in with his teacher, navigator and Captain Bruce Blankenfeld.
The other navigator, Ka’iulani Murphy, is also at his side. This leg of the voyage around the world is their test.
They left Tonga last week, navigating to the Kermadec Islands, about half way to New Zealand, or Aotearoa in the indigenous Maori language.
“You want to find the last closest single land mass to reorient to know exactly where you are before you go to New Zealand, so instead of it being a thousand mile trip from Tonga to New Zealand, because they found it, it’s only gonna be a 500 mile trip,” said Nainoa Thompson, Polynesian Voyaging Society President.
Great job, Thompson says, they’re about eight miles from Raoul Island, which although is tiny, is higher than Koko Head, about 700 feet tall, a good target.
The Kermadec Islands are protected by the New Zealand government, so Thompson says it has an amazing ecological system, another story in the Malama Honua voyage about protecting earth.
It’s been 29 years since Hokule’a last voyaged to the Kermadecs. Thompson remembers it as being cold.
In a video special to the web that you can see above, Thompson shares a favorite story from that trip to the Kermadecs, a kind of spiritual story involving a whale.