Star navigation


I don't know how my ancestors, the vikings, were able to navigate: that is lost knowledge unfortunately. Of course they knew the stars well, and could manage on the sea in ways that I can only dream of.

So I have been fascinated by the story of the Polynesian Voyage to Micronasia and Japan. Hokule'a's and Kama Hele's arrival in Yokohama on June 9, 2007, culminated a five-month, 8,000 mile journey that expanded the boundaries of Hokule'a's world and created new stories from new experiences. I want to thank Pacific Islander for writing about this journey, and linking to the blog of the crew.

The journey began on January 11, 2007 with Hokule'a and Kama Hele departing from Honolulu.

"Sail On to the Western Sun"started as an opportunity to retell stories such as King David Kalakaua's 1881 visit to Yokohama, and the events that followed, including the study abroad program sending Hawaiian youth to Japan for the first time as part of a globalized education program; and the arrival of Japanese immigrants to Hawaii, the tremendous contributions they made, and the personal relationships and caring that took place between people of different ethnic backgrounds.
Photo Right: King David Kalakaua.

The most fascinating part of this journey is the navigation. The crew were able to sail using no electronic equipment. At one of the press conferences, asked what he thought about GPS in relationship to star navigation, Nainoa said emphatically, "I reject GPS. It diminishes our lives and disconnects us from nature. Nature provides us everything we need. GPS is a box with no connection to nature, only numbers."

Comments

Pandabonium said…
That's an interesting quote from Nainoa Thompson. Modern people are too disconnected from nature. Any wonder we have ecological disasters going on?

Back in the 70's my dad, brother and three other people sailed a 49 foot boat from California to Hawaii. Electronic navigation then was a system called LORAN. Good thing my dad studied celestial navigation, as they lost all electrical power a few days out of port. I've read that there are people sailing the oceans these days using only GPS who have no back up knowledge. Crazy.

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