Tomatoes flew thru the air, streaks of red bursting against the grey/blue sea. ”Hey Waka!” He ducked as a tomato flew past his ear.
It’s one of the realities of voyaging that sooner or later your fresh produce goes off. You try and eat it all before that, but with no refrigeration some of it’s going to go overboard. We’ve done pretty well, we’re into day 11 from NukuHiva and the kai is still going strong. Amongst other things we still have a couple of sacks of poumplemousse (however you spell it). Hands down the best grapefruit in the world. We cut them up and eat them like oranges. No scurvy on this waka. A few scurvy dogs, but no scurvy.
The sea on our stern is shining silver in the almost-full moonlight, the last rainy squall a thick, grey mass behind us that has left the deck wet and glistening. We’re hauling along at about 10 knots and have been for most of this leg. We’ve averaged just over 8 knots consistently, that’s 200 miles a day which for any sailboat is great going. The traditional navigation teachers say that on the waka we should imagine the island coming to us over the horizon. Hawai’i is flying towards us and the excitement on board is building. Some people have whanau to meet, others have a date with a hamburger, everyone’s got something they’re hanging out for when we get there.
Below decks the water races past the hull slapping and splashing as the canoe rocks. Behind that noise a voice murmurs in a chant that shifts and changes ever present guiding us in a constant karakia. I can never make out the words, but the quiet droning of a deep male voice moves thru the hull around us. I know with my logical mind that it is the wind humming thru the rigging and the vibration transferring thru the deck, but when I listen I see a man, full head of hair bent forward, face in shadow in a constant quiet prayer. There’s peace and security in his presence, imagined or not.
I’d like to think our time here will deepen our environmental kaupapa. The Tahitians have an active educational programme that they are taking to junior schools everywhere they go. I hope we can find something to bring to the places we visit too. I’m sure we can, we have so much to offer.
Arohanui, Dunc and Haunui
Posted on June 15, 2011 by Duncan for Pacific Voyagers