The Searcher Bound for Kure

The Searcher Bound for Kure

Expedition Log #1

Reported for: 6 July 2003

Dateline: Past the island of Kauai

The Ocean Futures Society film expedition is finally on its way to Kure, a 1,200 mile ocean voyage of discovery!

After a year of planning, many long hours of hard work, rigorous dive and camera training, and recent late nights preparing the Searcher for this 40-day expedition, our colleagues are now past Kauai, heading towards a great adventure!

Before leaving Honolulu Harbor on Sunday July 7, Jean-Michel and the team were honored with a traditional blessing and "Awa Ceremony" led by Kumu John Lake. Under clear blue skies amid an audience that included local and federal government dignitaries and national media, the team was presented with leis and escorted to woven mats. Heartfelt speeches filled with the spirit of "aloha" were made. During the ceremony, Jean-Michel was presented with kava, an ancient Hawaiian drink. Halau dancers performed special dances specific to the time-honored cultural traditions of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Just off the harbor, the Hokule’a, a traditional Hawaiian double-hulled canoe, waited to escort the Searcher out to the open sea.

Jean-Michel acknowledged his appreciation for the crew and staff by saying "This is a very different expedition that we are embarking on. Unlike past Cousteau specials where we would show many devastated marine environments, we are about to explore one of the few places left in the world where there have been very few human disturbances. So instead of focusing on the need for restoration, our expedition is going to emphasize the importance of protecting these remote atolls and islands of the NWHI for future generations. We are in a position where we do not have to cure the marine environment, but instead, can help prevent these coral reefs from becoming the marine deserts that we now see all around other Hawaiian islands."

In fair seas, Hokule’a escorted Searcher out of the harbor and toward the far horizon, the infinite vista that stretches before all great ocean adventures and the beginning of this mission, this Voyage to Kure.

All of us at Ocean Futures Society look forward to sharing with you our findings and adventures during the expedition. New dispatches from the field will be posted here several times a week. Until then, aloha!