Ho`okele (to sail or navigate)

1 February 2007

First of all, Ulukau is extremely cool. The only problem for me is that classic of dictionaries the world over–if you no can spell da word, no can look `em up. Anyway.

I saw my friend Rod the other day as he was taking a portable planetarium from Gemini off to teach some constellations to middle school kids. In about a week he is flying to Majuro to meet the two voyaging canoes that left Hawai`i a couple of weeks ago. Rod will crew on the Alingano Maisu from Majuro to either Palau or Satawal, I forget which, and then hopes to transfer to the Hokule`a to crew for the voyage to Japan.

The Polynesian Voyaging Society has an outstanding suite of websites for the voyage. There is a blog, which landlubbers can apparently post on, too. There are far more photos than I have had time to look at. There is a live course track, which is pretty neat, though somewhat featureless this early in the voyage. They link to a planetarium applet that I haven’t seen before, but seems very good. And, proceeding in order of obscurity, a web-based calculator for the distance and bearing between two Lat/Long points.

And, last where it should have been first, probably, is a good overview map. Here’s the same thing, sort of, on Google Maps. I’ll try to goof around with Google Earth later, but maybe Kalewa already has something on Science on a Sphere.

I’ll relay highlights from the voyage here, but by all means cruise around the PVS stuff. There is also an excellent summary of weather, climate, astronomy, and sea life in the ways they affect navigation. All in all, an astonishing undertaking, particularly in light of the history behind it.


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