November 7, 2023 | Leg 9, Day 16

November 7, 2023 | Leg 9, Day 16.
Dana Pt., California. 

Aloha Kākou, We’re at the second to last stop for Leg 9, and as a crew, we can all feel and see the growth. We move as one, and are beginning to anticipate what we need from each other. Attitude reflects leadership, and Captain Tamiko Fernelius continues to lead with a compassion, drive, & humble demeanor that extracts the best of us.

A highlight of our day was taking a huaka`i along the intertidal zone of the Dana Point Headlands Conservation Area. The nearly 60 acres of protected coastline are managed by four passionate non-profits. One experience that we have, when others show us their home, is sharing the pride of our pilina to the `āina which we come from. It reinforces the reason why we voyage, and our love for this Moananuiākea journey.

Towards the end of the day, we joined up with our friends from OLUKAI. We have had a nearly decade long relationship, and it shows when we get together. This partnership has grown, and been forged through countless discussions, and the dedication of uncle Archie Kalepa. Kerry Konrady and Melissa Ziegler invited their entire staff down, even Big Jim, OLUKAI president, came down to hang out. Good food cultivated a festive energy, and music obviously led to hula, with Lucy Lee, and Soloman Kaupu taking center stage.

The night wrapped with hugs, and a Hawai`i Aloha to remember. It has been a pleasure to engage the Dana Point Community, and a privilege to have been hosted by the Oceanic Institute. Mahalo nui gang… TSUA!

-Mark “”Gooch”” Noguchi