September 7, 2023 | Leg 7, Day 6

September 7, 2023 | Leg 7, Day 6.

Aloha e nā hoa waʻa, After a night of sharing with the Indigenous community at Makah (Neah Bay), we thanked them for their generosity, and affirmed that it was indeed “time to go.” As Watch Captain, Mark Ellis, shared a final mahalo and some closing remarks, he seemed to linger on this phrase which we, as voyagers, have heard so many times from our various teachers. As Nainoa shares the daily updates of our sail plan, we definitely understand that when the time is right and all is good, it is our kuleana to get this waʻa to where she must go. There is so much work to be done — and this is how we know how to do it.

For a majority of the crew, this was our first full day at sea in months, if not longer. Under Nainoa’s guidance, we re-familiarized ourselves with the groove of working in our watch systems. The pace remained steady and constant throughout the day: monitoring the horizon for vessels, keeping in communication with Kōlea, and occasionally spotting a whale or two.

As the sun set behind the clouds and snuck into the Western horizon, I paused to reflect on how far this voyage has brought us thus far, the amazing communities we’ve been able to connect with, and how much more we still have to learn and grow. For the first time this summer, tonight, Hōkūleʻa and the crew are closer to the Equator than the North Pole. The stars are dancing above us as we continue our huakaʻi down South, and I am reminded that Moananuiākea feels like home just as deeply as Hawaiʻi does.

Ke aloha pumehana,
Lucy Lee