Hōkūleʻa has been an inspiration for our cruise – they’re a Polynesian catamaran, without an engine, sailing around the world without electronic navigation.
(Hey, Piggy is a Polynesian catamaran that circumnavigated without electronic instruments, but I digress…)
They navigate using Pacific wayfinders, using patterns of wind, waves, animal behaviours, and the stars. No compasses, no sextants, no math. Awesome.
Hokulea and her sister ship, Hikianalia, departed Hawaii just before we departed Canada, and we’ve been chasing them across the Pacific until New Zealand, when we anchored nearby for their official Maori greeting and Haka. We accidentally anchored too close to their mooring in the serious weather (60+ km/hr) and decided to just tough it out, ready to release our anchor if need be.
We had the best seats in the house for an eery, chilling greeting from a Maori (ceremonial) war canoe, one of the biggest in the world, full of chanting warriors braving the fierce winds and cold spray. I can’t imagine what went through the mind of Captain Cook when he faced the same greetings!