April 2rd, 2020
Our beloved sailing vessel the Kwai is on its second day underway from Kirimati in the Line Islands to Hawai’i. All equipment and sailing accoutrements have been sea stowed and preparations for the voyage have thus far proven to be shipshape. In this ever changing world facing the onset of the corona virus, we, safely tucked away, are more or less buffeted from the far reaching effects of this Earth crisis.
Yet, it goes without saying that we are not immune to the impacts of the global pandemic. Our ship was barred access to the Cook Islands with border closures being in vogue. Our Tabueran shipmates were not able to continue on to Hawai’i as repatriation would be forbidden under the Island Council’s decree. And our Kirimati crew members, on our day of departure, faced similar consequences if they sailed away.
What is the Kwai without the Kiribati crew? It’s life blood, the joyous, skilled pulse of the ship. The most naturally gifted and resourceful people I’ve known. In whom music and the maritime art seem a genetic disposition. The Kwai would be just a ship and not a home. So thank the stars for the courage of our crew to cross the seas into waters unknown.