Wildlife & Wild Places

What Do Voyagers Do While Waiting for Good Weather?

The eastern coastline of South Africa is widely known around the mariner community as being a particularly challenging one to sail. With the strong Agulhas Current flowing from north to south paired with the precarious wind patterns from all directions, this stretch of sea is notoriously named “the Wild Coast” for a good reason.

To minimize the likelihood of trouble at sea, our leaders aboard the traditional Polynesian voyaging canoe, Hōkūle‘a, on her round-the-world voyage pay extra close attention to the weather, ensuring that we only sail when the wind is favorable. As a result, there are often long stretches of time where we must wait patiently in port for the weather to shift. This, however, does not mean that we wait idly. Instead, the time spent on land always seems to be more busy than the time at sea. Here are several key aspects of a successful time spent in port during this voyage:

1) Community

Hōkūle'a crewmember, Archie Kālepa, works with street kids and troubled youth at a surf camp in Durban. Archie himself is a well-known big wave surfer from Hawai'i. (Courtesy of Polynesian Voyaging Society)
Hōkūle’a crewmember, Archie Kālepa, works with street kids and troubled youth at a surf camp in Durban. Archie himself is a well-known big wave surfer from Hawai’i. (Courtesy of Polynesian Voyaging Society)
Crewmembers posing with Ela Gandhi and other members of the interfaith peace community in Durban. The voyage was honored at the annual Gandhi Peace Lecture. (Photo by Daniel Lin)
Crewmembers posing with Ela Gandhi and other members of the interfaith peace community in Durban. The voyage was honored at the annual Gandhi Peace Lecture. (Photo by Daniel Lin)

 

2) Exercise

Crewmembers find creative ways to turn the canoe into a gym. (Photo by Daniel Lin)
Crewmembers find creative ways to turn the canoe into a gym. (Photo by Daniel Lin)
Hōkūle'a crewmember, Sam Kapoi, does a set of pullups on the shrouds. (Photo by Daniel Lin)
Hōkūle’a crewmember, Sam Kapoi, does a set of pullups on the shrouds. (Photo by Daniel Lin)

 

3) Laughter

No matter who you are, all crewmembers appreciate the chance to crack jokes and make each other laugh. (Photo by Daniel Lin)
No matter who you are, all crewmembers appreciate the chance to crack jokes and make each other laugh. (Photo by Daniel Lin)
Some crewmembers are better than others at making people laugh. (Photo by Daniel Lin)
Some crewmembers are better than others at making people laugh. (Photo by Daniel Lin)

Read All Worldwide Voyage Posts

Dan Lin Photography

Dan is on a life-long journey to discover what it truly means to be a citizen of the world. Along the way, he is seeking the advice of elders, the wisdom of children, and the stories of anyone willing to share. With a focus on photojournalism and travel, it is Dan’s firm belief that telling stories through photos is one of the most powerful ways to get people to care about the world and all of its inhabitants.

Dan first started taking photos while living in the outer islands of American Samoa as a way to share experiences. Over time, the more he traveled and listened to stories of place, the more he came to understand what his role as a photographer needed to be. Today, Dan travels extensively throughout the Pacific Islands and Asia working on issues pertaining to climate change, culture, and youth. He hopes to bring about awareness on these critical issues and, with any luck, help to raise the collective social consciousness of the general public.

Dan is a regular contributor to National Geographic and the Associated Press as well as a crewmember for the Polynesian Voyaging Society, a Fellow of The Explorers Club, and a member of the IUCN Specialist Group on Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Areas. He is also a brand ambassador for Maui Jim and Waiola Coconut Water.

Contact: danlinphotography@gmail.com

About the Blog

Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

Opinions are those of the blogger and/or the blogger’s organization, and not necessarily those of the National Geographic Society. Posters of blogs and comments are required to observe National Geographic’s community rules and other terms of service.

Voices director: David Braun (dbraun@ngs.org)

Social Media