August 13, 2023 | Leg 6, Day 6

August 13, 2023 | Leg 6, Day 6.
Salt Spring Island, B.C.

The crew woke up to crisp cool air and beautiful sunny skies above Salt Spring Island this morning. Not long after sunrise, visitors from the local town of Ganges began to trickle onto the dock, eager to find out more about Hōkūle’a and the Moananuiākea Voyage. A small team of crew members had done anchor watch throughout the night, marveling at the Perseid meteor shower running across the sky during the early morning hours, and were there to greet visitors as the day began. With these greetings came gifts – homemade jams, fresh tomatoes, blackberries, plums, small carvings – and stories of adventure, wonder, and aloha.

As the crew all gathered at the canoe we began to set up for the day, and turned our attention to cleaning and preparing Hōkū for her first canoe tours on Salt Spring Island. We continued to be showered with generous gifts and stories from visitors, eager for 1 pm and canoe tours to start.

After having a quick and delicious lunch on board, including some of the local fruits and breads that had been shared with us, we opened up Hōkūle’a for the excited community to come on board. Locals and visitors alike were filled with gratitude and appreciation for the opportunity to be a part of the Moananuiākea voyage, and shared so many stories from both the island and some of the places from where they had traveled.

When canoe tours wrapped for the day the crew hurried over to the Harbour House Hotel, where Captain Bruce was captivating an audience with stories of Hōkūle’a and her many voyages and voyagers, and highlighting the intention and efforts of the Moananuiākea Voyage. Many who came to watch were members of the WSANEC nation, descendents of Native Hawaiian, William Naukana, and other Native Hawaiians who had settled here on Salt Spring Island long ago. This only made all of us on the crew more excited to learn about their mo’olelo (stories and histories) in and of this special place over the coming days. After Captain Bruce took questions, we moved over to the restaurant to share a delicious Hawaiian style meal, which the hotel and local Ganges community used to raise funds for a Maui Fire Relief Fund.

We had a wonderful first full day on Salt Spring Island and look forward to learning and sharing more over the next couple of days here!

– Dan Kinzer