Remote Ascension Island an important waypoint for Hokulea en route to Brazil


Hawaii’s voyaging canoe Hokulea and her crew are on their way to Brazil, but before reaching South America, they are keeping an eye out for a tiny island in the Atlantic Ocean.

Hokulea just left St. Helena on Tuesday, and on Sunday was about 100 miles from their next destination, which they should be passing Monday.

It’s an important waypoint, letting the navigator and crew know they’re on the right path to destination of Brazil.

“Right now the crew is doing well, everyone is in high spirits and in good health,” said crew member Kekaulike Mar.

They’re voyaging to Ascension Island, another virtual needle in the haystack called the Atlantic Ocean.

And like their sail from Africa to St. Helena, mother nature isn’t making it easy.

“We’ve been having following seas and light winds coming from straight behind us making it difficult to steer our course we’re wanting to steer so we’re going north and south if you’re following us along on our website, and you’ve seen our track it’s going north and south that’s why, this is all being done on purpose,” said navigator Kaleo Wong.

“Had some cloud cover at night so when the stars do come out then we can kind of catch our bearings but for the most part Kaleo is doing an awesome job in navigating, Bruce is doing an awesome job in captaining and Gary’s the greatest cook ever,” added Mar.

That cook would be Gary Yuen, who makes a meal with fresh fish if they catch it, and other food packed away on the canoe.

Meals are a highlight of any voyage, especially a difficult one and because they’re not stopping at Ascension, but like a star, finding it helps confirm where they are which helps guide them to their next stop, an island 200 miles off the coast of Brazil.

“We’re gonna stop there for a little rest and pick up a Brazilian crew member on board for the short leg to Brazil,” said Hokulea captain Bruce Blankenfeld.

The crew says it they should reach their next destination in about ten days, weather permitting.

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