August 2, 2023 | Leg 5, Day 20

August 2, 2023 | Leg 5, Day 20.

The crew woke up in the quiet and stillness of the early morning to prepare for our departure from Alert Bay. We were all pleasantly surprised by the absence of fog from the horizon, signaling a clear morning for the long day we had ahead of us. With our next port, Campbell River, being approximately 85 nautical miles away — we knew it would be an all day expedition.

In our crew meetings leading up to this portion of our journey, Nainoa discussed the intricacies of the waterways we would be going through specifically Race Passage and Seymour Narrows. These passages are trying waterways, even for those who grow up sailing and boating within them. As malihini to this area, it was crucial that we relied on advice and information from local knowledge and that we coupled this with keen observation of the different tides and currents in order to set the crew and canoe up for a safe journey.

The deck was filled with laughter, smiles, and sunshine today as the sky above us was rid of clouds and flooded with sunshine as the day progressed. As we got into the difficult portions of this passage, we found the canoe moving in ways that we had never experienced before. Rip tides and currents pulled Kōlea, the tow line, and Hōkūleʻa in separate directions and we all ensured that we did our part to keep the course and monitor each of the moving parts.

Just before we entered Seymour Narrows, we pulled into Deep Water Bay to tie off for a moment while Kōlea ran to re-fuel as we waited for this eveningʻs slack tide before entering the narrows. During this brief break, we jumped in the ice cold water to refresh ourselves! Jordan shared his best guess of water temperature was 10°C (50°F). Here, we were met by two additional escort vessels from the We Wai Kai First Nation and Wei Wei Kum First Nation who would help guide us from Deep Water Bay to Campbell River. Mahalo nui to them for ensuring our safety and sharing stories and advice with our leadership to help ensure it was the right time to go.

As always, at the end of today’s journey, we find ourselves humbled to be the students of amazing teachers and of this beautiful planet and ocean we call our home. Hōkūleʻa’s magic shone bright today and it was extraordinary to witness and play a part in.

Ke aloha pumehana, Lucy Lee