Saturday, July 13, sometime after sunset. Nainoa Thompson (unclear) the
past three days of sailing. The weather has been good, the sea is green.
This will be Tape 1, Session 1.
P2: When you get to November it is not tied up. You see right now the
rotation is, the rotation is (unclear). It has be be faster than the normal
(unclear). It takes roughly 24 hours (unclear). It goes around the south
(unclear). That is so they all stay in relatively the same position with
each other. (unclear).
N. Yeah, it is actually (unclear) the earth spinning.
P1: Yeah, right, right.
P2: OTherwise they all move the same speed and that will be different.
N: Yeah. Yeah.
P1: This star coming now is about (unclear), I have never seen it for
about five years.
P2: Sixteen is real high, yeah. Sixteen is way high, yeah. How about the
other side? Way up, yeah.
P1: Which one is Atri?
P2: There's another one. Yeah, sixteen. Kakio the eye. You see stars now?
P1: The buggah high, real high.
N: You see, (unclear) the sixteen star along the other one. When there
is a straight line, that is due south. Now they both sitting this way,
sort of like the Southern Cross, the Southern Cross points (unclear).
When she goes down like that into the water, that is south (unclear, multiple
P1: (unclear). one big Waimea, all rolling hills, grassy farmland.
P2: You know, when I was working for a ranch I was doing some land management
grass symposiums and we held them up in Waimea. A lot of the guys were
from New Zealand.
P1: Oh yeah.
P2: So we all been waiting, just waiting. I don't know, I think a lot
of them are going to make it, but you know. I hope I can. You get a place
to stay, all that kind.
P1: Only thing about that I don't like, the weather is cold and rainy.
P2: So much runoff, it is like continental dirt. The streams (unclear).
P1: Sort of like South Point, its woven.
P2: Yeah. The stuff is like, there is so much runoff from the streams.
The streams are real wide they are like a half mile wide. (unclear) The
water is all dirty.
P1: (unclear) There is quite a bit here I can't make out They are talking
about water and runoff. There are quite a few different voices all talking
P2: I wonder if you see a lot of New Zealand mullet? (unclear) I can't
make out any of this. I think they are talking about the fish they will
be able to catch.
P1: When you press it down, and the buggah is upside down (unclear). Where
you know? January yeah.
N: I went December 31, so it would be upside down, but it is already coming
N: It is all messed up, it is so different, You know like (I don't know
what I saw) you know like (unclear) I can't make any of this out, there
is too much wave noise.
P1: So you have to kind of hang there and look upside down.
P2: Whoa that is the Mians.
P1: Yeah, Yeah.
P2: Actually what we are going to do is sail to, you know like in Hawaii
the top star and the bottom star is the same distance. Like this is the
same distance from there to the ocean is Maui. The top star and the bottom
star, whatever that distance is, you go down to the ocean and that is
like Maui. But, in New Zealand it is the same but upside down. It is from
the stars upside down to the horizon. (unclear) There is quite a time
here where I hear nothing but voices in the background and the sound of
the waves and wind.
P1: This is Wednesday and we left Miloli'i.
P2: Are you ready?
P1: Yeah, we're rolling.
N: We left Miloli'i, I'm not real sure what time. I took my watch off.
Sometime in the early afternoon and then motored to Na Pu'u O Pele we
picked up the wind line and we set sail. And we just rounded as the winds
swung around South Point about east southeast we started off south and
we swung around to northeast nohia. By about midnight we were in the regular
dominant trade direction.
I: What were
some of your personal feelings at that time? Like after waiting so long?
N: I don't know. I was pretty upset when I saw the stars because certain
stars I had really counted on right now, like Cochamps, you see right
on top of (unclear) And that is the star I would use, that is like my
main star that I was going to use for latitude south of the equator. Now
it is right on the north star now and we still have twilight. Two weeks
from now it is way past the equator. If we had left two weeks earlier
it still would have been available, also the Southern Cross, It hurts
I: What stars are you going to have instead of those two?
N: The one next to it, the 18 degree star, but that star is no good when
you have a moon.
N: It is too dim.
I: There is not that many stars.
N: True and the (unclear) gets worse, yeah? Anyway, it is too late already
so. I don't know the seas are real weird for the first three days. The
swells are big from the east (unclear) Not until today that the swells
kind of mellow out. This is the ending of our third day.
I: What color is the swells pattern like that? Is it (unclear) or something
N: Remember that day we went into that evening, not last night but the
night before, we went underneath that cloud cover.
N: We had those winds that were switching around, we got into a squall.
That area was disturbing the ocean, it was like a whole band of, its kind
of like a conversion zone. This is unusual weather to misrecognize. The
farther we get from it that more shorter (unclear) We sailed the first
night uneventful, fairly strong winds out next to the ocean. I'm not going
to give navigational directions at all in the log. The next day right
after we sailed, that day the ocean was, we were heading real high, the
wind was real north. I think that (unclear) the wind to that evening,
was blocking the regular trades, the trades were getting smaller around
the clock on the northern side, coming down more northerly. We were at
some point in time exactly due east. I'd love to have the wind to the
east, the (unclear) is strange there. The seas are pretty wacko. (unclear)
the fighting winds, how you can't sail when the winds are (unclear) The
winds are the ruler of the clouds (unclear) Like how the squalls block
the wind, it is either a squall (unclear) make it more strong. (unclear)
the squall goes away one it is clear.
N: Not last night, but the night before when it had 100 percent clouds?
N: The one squall came and the wind shifted back. I didn't know where
we were. I didn't have a ghost of an idea. I knew we were east of (unclear)
but I wasn't sure if it was east or southeast. I asked him, I said, "Mau
what direction now?" He told me south and I asked, how? "By
the feel of the swell." And that (unclear) So I asked him how many
people know (unclear) He says in Satawal, only four. So that was really
interesting. I don't know, just his ability to persevere when you need
to. No jacket, no nothing, keeping his eyes focused in the rain. He is
a real navigator.
I: He seems relaxed, too.
N: Yea. (unclear) That's Pops bible, you can't go running to Kansas when
you got to (unclear) His ability to concentrate, and his ability to focus
is (unclear) Nobody perceives the things that he does, I don't know of
anybody who does. The ability to look at clouds and tell what the winds
are going to do way ahead of time, really fascinating.
N: Anyway, when that cleared up the next day, we had fairly (unclear)
winds, easterly and falling off a little bit. We were losing some heading,
but it was still okay. You know, not real bad and it sure wasn't going
to (unclear) My (unclear) is so conservative. I don't want to go westerly
(unclear) I decided not to tack because we would have to go back into
that lousy system again. The winds continued and now the (unclear) We
are going same as last night, southeast, a little bit south or southeast.
Close to the manu, but. Keep heading towards Nalani. Steady winds, easy
navigating because all you got to do is remember the distance you traveled
(unclear) times the speed. The skies have been, except for that one rainy
night, really very clear. Look at it, it is really nice.
I: It looks nice.
N: I hate to say it, but these sails are definitely better than 1980.
They are fuller, there is more area.
I: Do you happen to know how much more area?
N: I got it at home, but not here.
I: Okay. No problem.
N: Maybe about a third more.
I: A third more? That is quite a bit.
N: (unclear) is what, northeast right? So northeast is perpendicular to
our course, right. (unclear)
I: So what you are saying to me is that it is not going to be as difficult
N: We will have to wait to know.
N: If the segment in Hilo and the doldrums and Hawai'i and South Point
(unclear) no need worry. Absolutely no worry. Right now we have broken
booms, we already tack, stuck in a gale. In 1980 we were totally in screwed
up weather. It was wet, it never dried up one day. Right now it is really
mellow. Mellows out fast. You know like, to get to where we are right
I: That is fast.
N: (unclear) would make it a lot of easting. When you go east, you don't
I: (unclear) easting and distance?
N: I think it looks as if (unclear) close to where we (unclear) in 1980.
I: So (unclear)
N: I feel pretty run down today. Thinking is not clear and I feel kind
I: Miloli'i sickness?
N: No, heavy headed. I guess that is about all for now.
I: Yeah, okay. Thanks.
ENDED HERE AND A NEEW CONVERSATION PICKED UP
I: So what happened last night?
N: Around 4 p.m. on the horizon the swell line with powering, real high
powering (unclear) Not like (unclear) but like heavy rain clouds. And
when we got in there the wind was from the north, northeast so we steered
southeast. First time we steered in the whole trip. The winds just got
lighter and lighter and just died out, exactly like the doldrums. Rain
and full on vertical and all we steered by was the feel of the wind from
the north northeast and the swell from northeast, how it rocked the boat.
We were trying to hold the course southeast until the wind stopped and
then I went to sleep for a little while. When I got up, the wind started
again and it took a little while to move out (unclear other voices in
background) a long way for, it would be about (unclear) and then we tacked,
roughly steered a course. I'm not sure, but probably close to between
southeast, like due south and eventually it swung up to southeast aina.
I thought it would be more southeast manu, but we went southeast aina.
Then it cleared and the wind stayed strictly south, southwest. Really
strange for this geographical area. El nino condition wouldn't be good.
The more stranger the situation, is it looks exactly like straight winds.
Like regular, when we have clear skies, nice weather, but the wind has
come a long way. I have no idea why, I'm not sure about this whole trip
N: So much fore the strategy. That's all. No problem for easting. If we
wanted to go to the Marquesas, we'd be in top shape.
N: That's all.
JULY 15 SESSIONS WITH
NAINOA. 8 O'CLOCK AM
N: The strange things
about the condition is that its not like it is a squall condition, not
like if you are having your own localized intensified storm where the
winds are switching around. It's like it's the dominant wind of the area.
Clean skies, clean wind not (unclear) straight wind but its from the south
southwest. I just don't have any idea why its doing that.
I: You don't have any idea or clue or anything?
N: It 's hard to tell. Even though the swell has developed from that wind
you know, from the southeast from the south, from the west. It's bigger
than the regular trade swells so, I don't know.
I: So we are pursuing the wrong direction almost?
N: Yeah, unless the sun still comes up.
N: The sun is now rising in the south. I don't know, we go straight (unclear)
SECOND SESSION WITH
(unclear) JULY 16, MONDAY AT 8:30 BY NAINOA
P1: Last night we
called order, we spent a short period of time being orientated until Jupiter
presented itself. While we were (unclear) swells changed direction. Wind
changed direction from northeast to winds coming out of the southwest.
We sailed until close to 10 o'clock towards the southeast and then switching
over tracking around and coming up on a due south course. Swells are now
apparently coming from the southeast. Nainoa feels that there is a (unclear)
known blocking the normal trades and causing them to retract around. The
day has been very pleasant, the sun is now setting. (End of tape for July
MONDAY NIGHT, JULY
16 JUST AFTER SUNSET
I: Nainoa is taking
a polaris reading
N: So we taped last night right and the morning. Okay.
I: The rain and everything.
N: Early morning the winds were coming form the west, from the southwest.
It moved to south southwest so we sent on a starboard tack. And on that
starboard tack, we, first we were going like southeast aina then, in the
early morning. Then we went to southeast la and then by the middle of
the day we were going hikina. Then later on around 2 o'clock we were going
northeast la. The winds are backing to from southeast back to south and
then to east. So we tacked at about 2 p.m. and we were heading southwest
noio. The day just gradually backed, the wind is back to east now and
we are going northeast maleo. So, I think what we have is a rain system,
squall system, some kind of conversion zone to the east of us that is
blocking the trades. It makes a lot of sense because as we were approaching
that conversion zone last night the winds dramatically switched to north
northeast. What they were doing was they were coming off the top of that
storm system and wrapping around the backside of it. And then when we
came out of it this morning, we came from the southwest cause the winds
were coming around the bottom of the storm system. So it was just like
at the lee of the Big Island, just like you hit a system and then you
hit an object that the true wind had to be bent around. Just like the
lee, like going to South Point, you get the winds from the southeast.
That is what I think will happen today. Now that we are getting south
of the system, the farther south we get the more we put the storm to the
north, the more easterly the winds are coming. I think the winds should
get straight and they should get strong because the swells are big today.
That is basically what I think, what is important is that during the day
we had a south swell and a southwest swell which is really highly developed.
But by now it is already dissipated, at least the southwest swell. The
south swell is generated from far away but the east swell, southeast swell
and northeast swell are big, good thing the wind is close. So all the
indications show that the wind is going to come back to the east by looking
at how the swells go. The southeast swell has gone down. The northerly
swell that we had yesterday that was developed by that north north wind
is, I can't even see it anymore. So a couple of points to make is that
the swells get developed quickly and they dissipate quickly. Just the
major steering swells remain so they are always really there but they
are not all that detectable. It takes a lot of experience to read the.
I think every thing is okay cause we are still pretty high. Today is the
only day that we really lost. We're in a direction that is really losing
easting, but we are going so slow that it doesn't even matter. I think
our strategy to get through the doldrums in seven and a half days may
be accomplished so that we therefore won't have to ad on any more current
deviations. Today had just, maybe 25 animal head thunderstorms all to
the east, to the south and to the east. That puts the storm on a western
side, it was all clearish. All the horizons were clear of any animal heads.
Now the sun is set and there is no heat in the atmosphere any more. All
the thunder heads are gone, there isn't any of them. I think we have fair
weather with strengthening winds and winds veering more to the east northeast.
I think when the winds eventually get back to east northeast we'll have
the true wind speed that we're going to get at least to the doldrums We
may encounter 10 north and 9 north.
I: Concludes July 16 session.
N : The way I see the north star now, it is a little bit higher than 12
degrees. But because right now it is at its lowest point in its arc, so
I would say it is 45 minutes lower than our destination. So therefore,
what I'm getting now is that we're 13 north. As of 7:45 p.m. whatever
today is, the 15th, the north star is showing thirteen. Thirteen is a
hard degree to measure.
I: That concludes July 15, erase 16. Today is Monday the 15, 7:45 p.m.
I: Today is Wednesday, July 17. It is about 9 a.m. Caught two ono, three
ono and two mahi, total about 30 pounds apiece. getting ready to send
about a third of it over to the Dorcas along with fishing lures. There
is a bucket to drag behind and Dorcas will come from behind to pick up
bucket. Hopefully, (unclear)
N: So that was Monday night that we had the real starry night and last
night we had a few thunder heads, yeah. I guess to recap the trip if anything
from (unclear) twenty convergence zones, the wind shift always to the
west and (unclear) around the east, but it was predictable in terms of
its movement and that's what should happen right/ From west to back southwest,
south ten southeast and we passed it about (unclear) When's the full moon?
N: Swung up to east northeast then it swung back to northeast when we
came into a convergent zone which would have been placing us last night,
I'm thinking about ten degrees north, about let's say early evening last
night. Conceivable that conversion zone is probably something to do with
an inter-tropical conversion zone between southeast trades and northeast
trades. You see, I mean it is possible, it's not out of the ball park
even though it is somewhat north. We had good trades yesterday (unclear)
out of the northeast and we steered the whole day (unclear) we've been
going so much east that we haven't been making much south so (unclear)
In a minute we will recap the events
P1: This gets transcribed by who?
P2: I don't know, somebody in Dixon's office.
N: Yesterday we had winds from the northeast, we sailed southeast (unclear)
and then we started beginning to get it to some moderately developed,
poorly developed squall lines this morning and came more moderate in the
afternoon. By evening (unclear) Good winds (unclear) winds (unclear) confused
the winds are still changing around. Then last night we were into some
pretty heavy storms (unclear) The wind the next day (unclear) to northeast
and we steered all night (unclear) squalls to the south or tightening
up on the sails and trying to go (unclear) Then the skies were intermittent
and the squall line to the stars (unclear) steady course, steering real
good (unclear) The waves are like, in the early morning we had to (unclear)
a giant squall
N (unclear)quite a bit of wind and it was real big. Actually we went into
that squall and didn't come out until after sunrise. So, we were in there
for a number of hours, a couple of hours and when we came out we had much
more clearning skies with the winds out of north northeast. Right now
its all pretty much nohia, we're in much fairer weather. But (unclear)
switch to the southeast and we're traveling southwest naleo then (unclear)
southwest nalani (unclear) We have no choice, there is another direction
I wanted to go in but (unclear) swell. So I'm thinking 10 degrees north
as of this morning (unclear) we're sailing west and south right now and
probably stay (unclear) wind shield (unclear) My strategy is 6000 east
but if we (unclear) in this direction for (unclear) that will take us
one, two, three, four, five hours west of our (unclear) which is We would
lose two and a half hours of (unclear) if this wind stays (unclear) we
need to make up eight because (unclear) At this point we have no choice
(unclear) Starting at nine degrees north I would (unclear) Then if we
continue on this course we will be losing four hours a day, we'd be losing
3-1/2 a day actually which we really don't want to do
I: Per (unclear)
N: (unclear) per 120 miles. So conceivably in two days we'd loose all
that we made, staying on this course. But we don't have a choice. I guess
the point is this trip has not been how the seas are how they should be,
they're much different. The best thing to do, the only thing you can do
is just to play each (unclear) sunrise and sunset as you see it. And then,
it seems to me that every sunrise and sunset dramatically changes the
weather. We've yet to have one 24-hour period of the same kind of weather,
where the wind didn't change. Because wind shift happens everyday and
every night. Dramatic wind field change (unclear). The first day out we
were sailing southeast naleo, the second day (unclear).
N: Yeah, I know because (unclear) I know we are in a conversion zone (unclear)
I think the crucial time is between now and (unclear) That should be what,
300 miles. (unclear)
I: Which direction are we (unclear)
N: We're going back (unclear) It should be good to make easting, but I
know if the wind goes (unclear) but I don't want to go back north now
because of the waves (unclear)
I: If the wind course holds (unclear)
N: You mean like this?
N: It would take about four days. At least four days to get (unclear)
I: Any comment on the fishing?
N: It really has been good (unclear) We were going to slow and the lures
would get in the water (unclear)
I: Okay, thank you.
US if you are interested in other transcripts or audio recordings.