“Navigation is the perfect metaphor for coping with adversity and the storms of life. If you set your sails right, you can ride these storms, and arrive at these amazing places, and not get tossed around in the ocean if you don’t know how to navigate.” — Sonny Natanielu
I just finished a friggin’ exciting episode of the Ocean Sailing Podcast. Host David Hows had Sonny Natanielu on, talking about traditional Pacific Islander sailing ships, techniques, and history.
We’re talking 100-foot-long canoes bigger—and faster—than anything else on the water at the time, sailing thousands of miles across the Pacific using stars and stories to guide their way. And how people are using these traditional boat-building and navigational skills to rediscover their history and find their way into the future.
It was incredible to hear how their ancestors memorized hundreds of stars—and stories for each—building a multi-dimensional system of open ocean navigation. They knew the stars, the winds, the currents, the sea life, the birds.
Sonny even shares a recent story of personally sailing straight into the path of a massive storm and surfing 16-foot seas on the stormfront into Auckland Harbor—a 4-day trip completed in less than 48 hours.
We might not always be going the same direction as the current and wind, but if we navigate right, we can position ourselves to harness both. We were voyagers. We are voyagers.
Here’s that episode:
/ featured image: waka, full-sail, Murray Watson