With no refrigeration onboard the waʻa, majority of the crew’s meals consist of dried, packaged, or canned goods. But how do you supply a crew of thirty who will be out on the ocean for thirty days?

Thanks to Aunty Lita Blankenfeld and her gang, these goods are being carefully condensed into zip lock bags andseparated into different containers so that the crew and their chefs have a different menu every day!

“It’s sort of been a work in progress. So we’ve kind of “taste tested” along the way and asked crew members. And now we’re bringing in the cooks so that they can kind of create the menu that they want to cook, which is way better,” said PVS logistics coordinator Lita Blankenfeld.

“I’m updating the recipes to reflect the quantities that we purchased so that if someone or a chef takes ill or you know, if anyone wants to cook a meal, they can look at the recipe and make food for the crew,” said Ana Yarawamai, who will be the cook onboard Hōkūleʻa.

Although Ana has experience as an assistant chef aboard the waʻa, the Worldwide Voyage will be her first title as an official chef.

“There’s been some amazing people really helping me form Aunty Lita, whose been doing the food process for many years now to Kealoha, whose my other cook on Hikianalia,” said Ana.

Kealoha Hoe has helped to introduce and continues to encourage ʻAi Pono within the ʻohana waʻa, and this idea has extended into their choice of packaged products as well.

“We’re trying to move in a more healthier, if you would say, way. Still keeping in mind that people have to be kind of used to what they’re eating so we don’t give them stuff that they’re not used to while they’re out there,” said Lita.

However, all of this variety is marked with a price. Fortunately, the cost is now behind this food prep crew, thanks to outside assistance.

“The community has been awesome! I mean lots of people have donated, lots of people have given us discounts, lots of people just helped us to come in and do what we needed to do,” said Lita.

While repacking is only the first step, Aunty Lita and her gang have a long way to go.

“After we pack it all then we inventory, we have everybody check every package, then we weigh it, then we manifest it, and then the crew gets ready to load it on the canoes,” said Lita.

“The waʻa can actually carry a lot of weight. But it’s mainly also how it’s distributed throughout the waʻa. The food and the water are probably the heaviest items. So we talk to the quarter-master and the captain, and we see how they want the weight distributed. And then how we should bring the food out. So we’re not going to take three days of food all from the left side, we’ll alternate and things like that,” said Ana.

It’s a work in progress so we’ve got a great gang doing this and we’re just trying to be a little more sustainable, a little more healthy, and a little more helpful in what we do.” said Lita.

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