By Curtis Lum

HONOLULU, Hawai‘i (September 25, 1999 – Honolulu Advertiser)---The crew of the voyaging canoe Hokule‘a spent last night on the tiny island of Pitcairn and was expected to depart this morning as it continues its trip to Rapa Nui. After waiting days at Mangareva for favorable winds, the canoe is encountering ideal conditions for its voyage east.

The wind speed had picked up to 15 knots from the northeast yesterday and northerly winds are expected to increase to 15-25 mph during the next 36 hours.

Navigator Nainoa Thompson spotted Pitcairn, which is ½ mile long and 2 miles wide, at dawn yesterday, but was undecided about landing there. He had considered taking advantage of the near-perfect sailing conditions and bypassing the island, according to the Web site for the Polynesian Voyaging Society).

But society spokeswoman Elisa Yadao said the crew did make landfall on Pitcairn yesterday afternoon and was to spend the night before departing at first light today.

"They’re in good spirits and everybody’s healthy," Yadao said. "Everyone who’s on that leg is really excited about being there because it is something that we’ve never done before."

Yadao said the next landmark is Henderson Island, about 108 miles from Pitcairn, from where the Hokule‘a crew will go into a "search pattern" for Rapa Nui.

The voyaging crew left Hilo on June 15 bound for Rapa Nui via the Marquesas Island and Mangareva. Hokule‘a arrived in Mangareva on August 21 and departed Tuesday.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment