I am honored to be asked by Roz and her support team to provide a blog entry so that Roz can concentrate on rowing to Hawai’i. We can’t wait to greet her in Waikiki!
I have not had the pleasure yet of meeting Roz but from what I have read and heard, she is simply amazing! To even begin to imagine myself embarking on a 3-month solo adventure like this requires more courage than I could ever muster. But I share several insights with her from my limited but life-changing experiences on the sea on a traditional Hawaiian long distance voyaging canoe called Hokule’a (star of gladness), and as a person who cares deeply for the protection of our environment. (Last November Roz was given a tour of Hokule’a.)
Hokule’a is a 62 foot double-hulled sailing canoe designed after the canoes that brought the first people to Hawai’i. It has no engine and no modern navigational instruments. Navigators use the stars, wind, ocean swells, and marine life, including birds, to guide their way. When I read Roz’ blog about birds visiting her more frequently as she approaches Hawai’i, I thought of how traditional Polynesian navigators used birds to help find their way home.
To talk about the who, what, why, and how of Hokule`a would take more space than I should for this blog, so if you are interested in learning more, please go to the website of the Polynesian Voyaging Society. It is a fascinating story and the canoe is a symbol of peace and caring.
The Hawaiian word to convey “caring for” is “malama.” It’s a powerful
word. There are many ways to malama – the environment, each other,
ourselves. And it is important to do that each and every day. I am a member of Malama Hawai’i, a coalition of more than 70 groups and hundreds of
individuals who take care of Hawaii’s land, sea, and people.
Due to our isolation, Hawai’i is home to land and sea life found nowhere else on earth. While there are reefs in other parts of the world that are more abundant, Hawaii’s reefs have a high percentage of unique species. They provide food for people and marine life and allow us to have the surf we ride and the beaches we enjoy. They also protect our coastlines from powerful waves.
But our reefs are in trouble. Land- and ocean-based pollution, invasive species, overfishing, and recreational overuse are major threats. Scientists estimate that our fish populations are 75% less than what they were 100 years ago. Now with climate change and ocean acidification gaining speed, we wonder how much more abuse our reefs can take.
It’s not a time to give up, though. It’s time to act, to make changes in our everyday lifestyles so that we are part of the solution, not the problem. Roz is doing that in her own unique way. She is sending a powerful message across the globe, and more people must listen and take part.
In that spirit, I invite those of you who are in Hawai’i to come to Waikiki Beach on August 31 to enjoy “Sunset on the Beach” celebrating the International Year of the Reef. There will be wonderful Hawaiian music by Leokane Pryor and Friends, visits by paddling great and ocean educator Donna Kahiwaokawailani Kahakui and the crew of JUNK, educational booths, and a feature family film. Festivities start at 5:30 pm, and best of all, it’s FREE! Of course, we are all wishing for favorable winds and waves so that Roz will arrive on the 31st and join us.
For those of you who can’t make it, please go to our website: www.givethereefabreak.org to learn more about caring for coral reefs and how to get involved.
Mahalo and aloha,
Coordinator, Malama Hawai’i
Position at 2030 27th August HST, 0830 28th August UTC: 21 38.137’N, 155 56.101’W.
Fair progress today, despite a few passing squalls. There was an amazing cloudscape this afternoon – squalls all around, but also blue sky and fluffy cumulus. This is one of my favourite things about the ocean – the big skies.
ETA still uncertain. Touch and go whether it will be Monday or Tuesday next week. If I can finish before 2100 HST on Monday it would mean an
overall time of under 100 days, which would be nice. But I’m not going to bust a gut to do it. I shall remain zen and calm, and will get there when I get there!”
Click here to View Day 96 of the Atlantic Crossing 7 March 2006: A Place in Waiting – where Roz will tie up her boat on arrival.
My sincere apologies to anyone sending a message from the Contact form on this website. While I was preparing to travel to the USA and on to Hawaii, the messages were piling up in the SPAM box. Having just found them, I do not have the time now to answer each one personally. Questions have been sent to Leo, and messages will be sent to Roz. Rita Savage.