Latest leg to U.S. Virgin Islands takes Hokulea, crew into seemingly familiar waters

Provided by Polynesian Voyaging Society

On Valentine’s Day, there are 12 people who are oceans away from their loved ones, but they are taking care of each other, they’re a canoe family living on the 42-foot by ten-foot deck of Hawaii’s voyaging canoe Hokulea.

The team bid aloha to Brazil earlier this week, and in about two more weeks will be arriving in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The crew is made of 11 men, one woman, from Oahu, Molokai, Maui and Hawaii islands.

They’re on every one of Hokulea’s long-distance deep-sea voyages, creating a quiet start to this 17th leg of malama honua, the voyage around the world, and captain Kalepa Baybayan says it’s fitting.

“It’s a nice start because it’s very very comfortable, it’s very pleasant the winds aren’t too strong, the seas are relatively very small so it’s flat conditions,” Baybayan said.

And there’s a comforting familiarity even here, where these experienced crew members and Hokulea have never sailed before.

“It feels different in that this is a new environment for us but the world’s oceans are the same,” Baybayan added. “Now we’re moving into familiar waters, we’re dealing with the tropics again which is where Hawaii is located. The weather here is very, very warm and it’s very, very familiar.”

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