You are here

Student's Questions & Answers for Hikianalia crew

Uncle Chadd Paishon, Pwo and Sr. Captain of Makaliʻi, has commited to working with and communicating with students while he sails Hikianalia home from Tahiti. Uncle Chadd has been diligently communicating with individuals here at home, as well as providing updates of the movement of Hikianalia every few days. You can also check out the crew's blog at

Students are welcome to submit questions to Uncle Chadd and the crew of Hikianalia to Here are some questions from local students.

Sacred Hearts Academy, Lahaina Maui 11/15/12

Message from Chadd for Maryanna and the students of Sacred Hearts, Lahaina.
To my friend Maryanna and the students of Sacred Hearts Lahaina, mahalo nui for following along on our voyage to bring home the newest member of the voyaging ohana, Hikianalia. Maryanna mahalo for beleiving in Na Kalai Wa`a and trusting us over these few years that we have been able to work together.  Stay well my friend and see you soon! Here are the answers to your questions;

Nicole: For any crew member. During the voyage so far, what has been the best sailing day you have experienced and why?
Uncle Chadd and the crew of Hikianalia's answers: Aloha Nicole! The best sailing day was the day we departed Papeete, Tahiti. It was the best day because it allowed us to finally get under way and start our journey home to Hawai`i. It was also great because we had time to gather with our ohana and friends in Tahiti in a ceremony before our departure.

James, 7th grade: If the crew could agree on one word about the voyage from Tahiti to crossing the equator that explained the troubles, the accomplishments, and those on board, what would the word be? Please explain why the crew chose this word and what this word means to them?
Uncle Chadd and the crew of Hikianalia's answers: Aloha James! The word is PERSEVERANCE. (I hope I spelled it correctly). The crew choose this word because the voyage brings challenges in many ways. Challenges comes in the form of weather, fatigue, hot days, cold nights...challenges that we need to over come to accomplish our goal of bringing Hikianalia home to Hawai`i. Once we see our islands it will all be worth it!

JP: When you crossed the equator, did the crossing, spark a memory from long ago?
Uncle Chadd and the crew of Hikianalia's answers: Aloha JP! Yes, it sparked ancestral memory of being on the equator before, like it was familiar,  was a common bond amongst the crew. For some it was their 1st crossing and for others we've crossed it multiple times but none the less, the spark of feeling like we were there before rang true for all of us.  It is our kuleana to recognize and acknowledge that ka Piko O wakea, the equator, was the spark that hold the memories of our kupuna who sailed before us on ancient voyaging canoes.

Hawaii Preparatory Academy 5th Graders 11/12/12

Below are the answers for Hawai'i Preparatory Academy's 5th grade students in Waimea. Mahalo nui uncle David Giff and Aunty Nicole Anakalea for sharing this voyage with the students of HPA.

HPA students track Hikianalia, Maiden Voyage: Tahiti to HawaiiMikela - Who is the youngest crew member on the Hikianalia?
Uncle Chadd and the crew of Hikianalia's answers: Aloha Mikela! Our youngest crew members are Saki Uchida, from Japan, and  Nikki Kamalu from Oahu who are both 23 years old and a month a part in birthdays

Who is the oldest?
Uncle Chadd and the crew of Hikianalia's answers: Our eldest crew member is 68 years old and his name is, Mike Taylor

Taylor - What is the largest wave you've seen so far?
Uncle Chadd and the crew of Hikianalia's answers: Aloha Taylor! So far we haven't had any real large waves the biggest being between 8 - 10 feet.

Jenna - Do you ever have to switch people/crew off for breaks?
Uncle Chadd and the crew of Hikianalia's answers: Aloha Jenna! Yes we do. Our crews run on a 3 watch rotation. They are on deck steering, setting sails basically running Hikianalia for 4 hours than they are off watch for 8 hours before being back on watch again. When they are off watch they catch up on their sleep or wash their clothes, write in their journals or spend their time talking story with one another.

Megan “ How much clothes do each person get to take?
Uncle Chadd and the crew of Hikianalia's answers: Hey Megan! CLOTHES...people bring enough clothes to last them the duration of the trip. Their clothes will need to range the weather that we will be in from very hot to rain and storms to cold. You want your clothing to be able to dry quickly and at the same time keep you warm and cool.

Uncle Chadds Question for students:  Do you know of any time type of clothing that can do this?

Riley - How do you wash your clothes?
Uncle Chadd and the crew of Hikianalia's answers: Aloha Riley! ok here we go...
We put our clothes into a bucket and with another bucket pull ocean water to use to wash our clothes. We use an enviornmentally friendly liquid detergent and  with our hands or our feet scrub our clothes. If we go thru a rain squall we will try to catch all the fresh water that we can to wash our clothes with. After we are done washing we hang our clothes out on lines around the canoe to dry them.

What is the youngest you can be to sail?
Uncle Chadd and the crew of Hikianalia's answers: On one of our voyages our youngest crew member turned 14 on the sail home to Hawai`i from Tahiti. That being said we make sure that those that sail with us are very responsible and trustworthy as other people's lives are dependent upon each other on the canoe. Being responsible and trustworthy is not age dependent but determined by your character.

How many times to you get to have treats?
Uncle Chadd and the crew of Hikianalia's answers: We actually have little treats available all day and night long for the crew members to munch on. It's usually in the form of fresh fruits, as long as they last and little treats like mixed nuts or even sometimes a bag of Famous Amos cookies will appear and that brings a big smile to everyone on board.

Iosua   -How many hours do you get to sleep?
Uncle Chadd and the crew of Hikianalia's answers: Aloha Iosua! The crew will usually have at least 8 hours of sleep if they want to. It really depends upon the individual crew members. The navigator will usually sleep between 2 - 4 hours a day due to the fact that the navigator needs to be aware of what is happening at all times in the weather and where he is navigating the canoe too.

Thank you for following us on our voyage.  Have a good day!

Kanu O Ka Aina Elementary, Aunty DeeDee's Class 11/9/12

Aloha käkou to the crew of Hikianalia.  Our prayers and thoughts are with all of you on your journey. Mahalo Uncle Chadd for
your response to our class questions.  The following students would like to know:

Pakalana Ha`o-  How do you store your food on a vessel like Hikianalia?
Uncle Chadd and Crewʻs Answers: Aloha Pakalana! All of the food on Hikianalia is packed in plastic bins that hold 3 meals; breakfast, lunch and dinner. All of the meals are pre planned and weighed so we know how much each bin weighs. All the meals are also planned so that they will be nutritional.

Kaulike Kawamoto-  How do you prepare your meals on your vessel?
Uncle Chadd and Crewʻs Answers: Aloha Kaulike! All of our meals onboard Hikianalia are prepared in a kitchen called a , "galley." It is located in the port stern hull below deck. It is a tiny kitchen for one person to cook in and that person has a really big job on the wa`a.

Kamali`o Kaleleiki-  How are you able to stay on your course if unexpected winds pop up? 
Uncle Chadd and Crewʻs Answers: Aloha Kamali`o! Good question. As long as we know what direction the wind is coming from we are able to plan accordingly. Sometimes a change of course is needed given the wind which is why everyone especially the navigator  and captain of the vessel must constantly be alert and watching for any change that will come our way like the wind.

Jahsaiah Yoshizumi-  What kinds of material was used to construct Hikianalia?
Uncle Chadd and Crewʻs Answers: Aloha Jahsaiah! Hikianalia is a modern wa`a and is constructed all out of man made materials that our kupuna didn't have generations ago. With the exception of the hoe, deck, masts and booms and the railings and a few other pieces of the vessel which are made of wood, the majority of the vessel including the hulls are fiberglass and foam. Hope you get to see Hikianalia one day Jahsaiah!

Kanu O Ka ʻĀina Middle School 11/8/12
1. Laine Schutte:  How often do you fish on the canoe?  What do you use
for bait?
Uncle Chadd and Crewʻs Answers: Aloha Laine...we fish every day unless we have enough from the day before. We are using man made lures on hand lines.

2. Kahua Spencer & Kila Ferreira:  How do you cook your food?  Does the solar panel power a stove and ice box?
Uncle Chadd and Crewʻs Answers: Aloha Kahua & Kila...We cook our food with a propane stove that is onboard; the propane is also used for an oven. The solar panels are used to power our communications system, lights, computer and solar powered motors. We dont have an ice box onboard Hikianalia but one could be put on if needed and would be powered by the solar panels as well.

3.Hooipo Bertelmann:   Did you get the kalo that you eat with the fish from Hawaii or Tahiti?
Uncle Chadd and Crewʻs Answers: Aloha Ho`oipo...the kalo we ate was from was white in color after being cooked and it was ono...

Kanu O Ka ʻAina Middle School 11/7/12:

1. What do the solar panels power on the canoe?

Uncle Chadd and Crew's Answer: The solar panels charge all of our electronic equipment aboard Hikianalia like running lights, deck lights, chargers, radios, a satellite phone and the solar powered engines.

2. Does Hikianalia have a desalinization system to make its own water?

Uncle Chadd and Crew's Answer: No, Hikianalia does not have a desalinization unit at this time but it has been talked about for the World Wide voyage. Hikianalia carries all of the water it needs in 5 gal. containers for this trip from Hawai'i to Tahiti.

Waimea Middle School 11/7/12:

1. "How will you know when you are getting closer to our island specifically when you haven't seen it yet?"
Uncle Chadd and Crew's Answer: By a couple of techniques in wayfinding. Onbe of them is called, "dead reckoning." In dead reckoning, because we have a sail plan, we keep track of our total miles and the speed at which we are traveling across the ocean. We also keep track of the direction we are headed utilizing the sun, moon, stars and ocean swells. When we start to close in on our sail plan, have an accurate account or our estimated mileage and have steered as straight a course as possible we know we are within the area of the island. Another technique we utilize is looking for land birds like the noio and watching their flight path along with certain ocean swells that give us indication of the island.

2. What are a few of the differences between Hikianalia and Makali'i?
Uncle Chadd and Crew's Answer:

A few of the differences between Hikianalia and Makali'i are:
Canoe length: Hikianalia 72' - Makali'i 54'
Sails: Hikianalia has 2 Masts - Makali'i has 1
Bunks: Hikianalia has actual foam bunks for crew to sleep in Makali'i does not
Engines: Hikianalia has a solar powered engine in each hull Makali'i has no engine

Kanu O Ka ʻĀina Elementary, aunty Deedee's Class 11/7/12:

1-What is your estimated time of arrival to Hilo? (Kina'u Grace)

Uncle Chadd and Crew's Answer: Aloha e Kina' depends on our crossing thru an area called the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone or ITCZ also known as the an estimate if weather is on our side....November 17

2-How old is Hikianalia? (Loea Amina)
Uncle Chadd and Crew's Answer: Aloha e Loea...Hikianalia was launched in Aotearoa on September 14, 2012. In Hawai'i that would have been September 13, 2012.

3-What constellation/s are you using to navigate back to Hawai'i?(Mauloa Thompson)
Uncle Chadd and Crew's Answer: Aloha e Mauloa...we are utilizing several starlines that maybe Aunty Deedee can share with you. The 3 starlines that we are using are Ka Lupe o Kawelo, Ke Ka o Makali'i and Iwi kuamo'o

4-How many kane and wahine are on your vessel? (Kupono Sarsona)
Uncle Chadd and Crew's Answer: Aloha e Kupono... there are 8 kane and 7 wahine 

Hawaiʻi Preparatory Academy, Waimea 11/1/12:

1. How many days will it take to sail back to Hawaiʻi? 

Uncle Chadd and Crew's Answers: All dependent upon the weather it could take us any where from 15 to 21
days...the weather determines the speed and the direction of the wind that allows
us to sail...

2. How many miles do you cover in a day?
Uncle Chadd and Crew's Answers: So as in previous answer dependent upon weather and the wind speed generated
will detrmine the speed and how far we can travel each day. That being said,
Hikianalia can travel any where from 150 mile - 250  a day, dependent upon the
3. Will you see any other ships (in general) as you sail back to Hawaiʻi?
Uncle Chadd and Crew's Answers: Once we are underway we usually do not see any other ships EXCEPT for the
equator where we sometimes come across "long line" fishing vessels...other than
that we do not normally see any other vessels..
4. What kinds of food are you eating on board?
Uncle Chadd and Crew's Answers: The food we are eating onboard Hikianalia varies from canned to fresh...we have
just stocked Hikianalia for the trip home with eggs, butter, flour, carrots...our
ohana here in Tahiti has provided us with fresh fruits like papaya, banana, limes,
mango, watermelons also potatoes, kumara and kalo.

mahalo nui for your questions and keep them coming...mahalo nui for doing "Malana
mai" and for your pule and thoughts...

HPA Hawaiian Language III haumāna 11/1/12:

1.  What is your greatest fear on the Hikianalia?
 My greatest fear is not doing my part to insure that everyone is safe while at sea. There are conditions at times that could cause a crew member to be in a potential dangerous situation due to weather or because we need things to be done in handling sails on the bow or front of Hikianalia. Handling these sails requires us to be over the ocean and off the deck of the wa`a. In these conditions there could be a "Man Over Board" situation.  This is one of the the worst things that could happen for all of us. One of our 'ohana falling off the wa`a into the ocean is a fear because we could possibly loose them. To prevent this from happening there are very strict safety procedures that we practice and adhere to so that this "fear" is minimized. We take these practice procedures seriously and make sure to go through actual over board drills so that we are prepared for the worst case.

Kanu O Ka ʻĀina, Middle School Students 11/1/12:

Aloha Uncle Chadd and the 'ohana of Hikianalia,

We are students of Kanu o ka 'Aina's middle school and we have three questions for you.

1. Who is the captain of the canoe Hikianalia? What are some of his/her jobs on the canoe?
2. Who is the navigator of the canoe Hikianalia? What are some of his/her jobs on the canoe?
3. Does Papaete Tahiti look like Hawaii? If yes, how.  If no, can you describe the difference?

Thank you for answering our questions.

Hopefully we get to see you when you come into Hilo.
Have a good sail to Hawaii.

Kanu o ka 'Aina, Middle School Students

Uncle Chadd's Answers to Kanu O Ka ʻĀina, Middle School Students

Mahalo nui for your interest in our voyage.  We love getting questions like these because it shows you are interested and paying attention.  Here are the answers to your first questions.  Please also follow us on on the internet.  There is a cool map that will show you where we are every day.

Who is the captain of the canoe Hikianalia?  Captain Bob Perkins is the captain of Hikianalia for this leg of the worldwide voyage.  You can find some details about Bob under “Crew Profiles” on the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s website  The captain of the leg from Aotearoa to Tahiti was Bruce Blankenfeld, whose information is on the same website.  A number of different qualified captains will take part in the worldwide voyage on both Hokule’a and
Hikianalia, rotating leg by leg.

What are some of his/her jobs on the canoe?  The captain’s responsibilities include everything that does or does not occur to cause the canoe and the crew to carry out the voyage.  In other words, the captain is responsible for every last detail of the voyage.  Of course, no single person can accomplish everything that must be done, so the captain can delegate authority within his team to carry out tasks.  But he can never delegate the responsibility.

The captain ensures everything is ready prior to departure and all operations are conducted properly until the destination is reached, goals and objectives are achieved and the canoe is made perfectly ready for the next voyage and captain.  His first priority during all actions is safety of the vessel and crew.

2. Who is the navigator of the canoe Hikianalia?    The primary objective of this leg of the worldwide voyage is the safe delivery of Hikianalia from Aotearoa to Hawai’i and the training of PVS leadership and crews on this particular canoe.  Traditional noninstrument wayfinding and navigation is not a primary goal on this leg.  We do have four young navigators-in-training aboard to practice and expand their skills on this leg.  But, we will also rely on modern techniques such as Global Positioning System (GPS), charts, etc. so as to make our return speedy so we can get Hikianalia ready for the worldwide
voyage.  We are fortunate to have Pwo navigator ‘Onohi Paishon, aboard on this leg to mentor and train the four apprentices (and the rest of us) in noninstrument traditional wayfinding.

What are some of his/her jobs on the canoe?
The navigator’s main job is to keep the canoe moving in the right direction to achieve the purposes of the voyage.  If the winds and weather won’t let us go in the direction we would prefer, the navigator tells us which direction to travel to make the best of what we can do.  The navigator must keep in his mind at all times the actual direction we have traveled, how fast we traveled for what length of time and other data that lets him keep track of where we are in reference to the course he drew up before our departure.  If he loses track, we are lost.  He cannot
know what we do in his sleep, so he only gets short naps at a time for the whole month-long voyage.

3. Does Papeete, Tahiti, look like Hawai’i? Yes.  

How?  Lots of Kanaka maohi, cars, traffic, shops and tourists – like Waikiki.  Tautira, in the
countryside, looks like Waialua, Oahu, or the east end of Molokai or Hana, Maui or Keaukaha, Big Island – beaches and farms.  Here, like at home, there is everything in between.  The buildings in downtown Papeete are a little shorter than in Honolulu, but still a city is a city; and villages and towns are similar communities in both Tahiti and Hawai’i.  Running rivers look the same.  We share many fruits and flowers, such as bananas, papayas, pineapples, coconut, mango, plumeria, bougainvillea, ginger and many more.  So, the plants and trees here also remind us of Hawai’i.

Aloha pumehana, Captain Bob Perkins, 'Onohi Paishon and Mike Taylor

Nā Kālai Wa`a Contact Information

address: P.O. Box 748, Kamuela, HI 96743

office: Waimea Office Center, 65-1206 Mamalahoa Hwy, Suite 1-101, Kamuela, HI 96743

phone: 808-885-9500     fax: 808-887-1144     facebook:

Copyright (c) 2010 All rights reserved.