Crew Blog | Kimo Lyman: Hōkūleʻa Haiku | Pacific Voyagers


Crew Blog | Kimo Lyman: Hōkūleʻa Haiku

Creating Haiku
A new passion on Hoku
Mahalo Gary

And so begins another chapter, another voyage, another experience aboard Hōkūleʻa. Typically for me, I’m a week plus getting started on my journal –  enjoying the surroundings, reflecting on the port of departure, getting my sea legs always seem to trump writing. But once the routine gets routine, it’s easy to carve out time for a few words. The benefits of the discipline are well worth it when relived years later – memories rekindled causing stories to be retold resulting in lessons learned from going to sea.


An early teaching on this leg has been provided by a frequent and favorite shipmate – Gary Yuen has worked us all into haiku hysteria! Learning the 5-7-5 syllable and specific time mention rules has the crew staring off into space while counting on their fingers creating some sublime poetry and lots of laughs. Gary’s real forte, though is in “Hop Sings Kitchen,” where on a two burner camp stove he churns out masterpieces on a daily basis – sweet chili sauce mahi mahi served with a fish soup filled with wakame, tofu and fish, rice, sashimi and fresh tomatoes; fresh andagi (malasadas) made from pancake mix and coconut milk: the occasional cake baked in a frying pan and tonight, roast pork with carrots and potatoes! Always the hardest working man on the vessel, we are truly blessed to have Gary aboard.


Blessings abound on this leg of Mālama Honua. Our weather has been incredible with the classic ʻfair winds and following seas,ʻ 10-15 knots on our port quarter after we steered away from the coast of Namibia. Leaving Cape Town, South Africa and paralleling the west coast to Walvis Bay was interesting with lots of sea life in all forms from tiny krill to seals to birds, dolphins and whales. After making the “left turn” away from Africa we did encounter a strange weather phenomenon – three or so days of cold, thick sea fog with just enough wind to ghost along at 3-4 knots. Navigation was challenging with occasional glimpses of the sun and moon but the wind was a reliable direction indicator. It seemed as if we were passing through a time portal into the Atlantic, the sailing became fast and easy and Kanaloa was very generous with some tasty fish – a big eye tuna, rainbow runners, mahi and ahi.

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Written by Kimo Lyman for, February 4, 2016

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