Kumu Crew in Florida

April 8, 2016

In from Starr Johnson ‘98

Aloha kākou! As we leave Titusville, we reflect on an incredible two days.

Yesterday started at 6 a.m. to ready the canoe and say farewell to the many people who came out to aloha the crew, wa‘a and mission of Malama Honua. We took down the masts to prepare for many bridges on our way up the coast while seeing manatees popping up to see what we were about. While working on deck from about 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. we had a stream of visitors coming to give aloha. We had an ‘ohana who made their own Hokule‘a T-shirts just for the visit. We had people drive 2 hours just to see the wa‘a; some broke down in tears to see a piece of their one hānau near their new homes. We had have had tons of food and lei and sweet gifts of aloha given to our crew.

Kaniela and I even got to connect to our very own 4th grade, Mrs. Furuta's class, over a Google Hangout between taking down masts.

After an amazing feast provided by a Hawaiian family away from home, we went back to the canoe to ready our sleeping quarters and load our personal ukana. It was a late night getting to sleep around 3 a.m. and waking up at 6 a.m. for crew meeting, yet the excitement allows us to "get on the giddy up," with smiles and morning hugs to all those who came again to the canoe in the early hours to send us off with lei, spam musubi and donuts.

As we depart the marina under tow, our adventure on the water begins. We can only imagine what the next month will hold as just the first couple days have been incredibly powerful! Mahalo to the people of Titusville, the Veach ‘ohana, NASA and all of you back home following us!