Hōkūleʻa, the Polynesian voyaging canoe that’s making its way around the world, has found a place in the latest issue of the New Yorker.

Author Nick Paumgarten wrote about how, in advance of the vessel’s upcoming arrival, some of its off-duty crew members recently visited Manhattan, where master navigator Nainoa Thompson and others paddled canoes on the Hudson River.

Here’s an excerpt:

“It’s very different here,” Thompson said, on the Hudson. “Different tidal range, different currents, colder water.” The harbor was a bedlam of gulls and boats. Brent Beck, a haole from Oahu and the head of New York Outrigger, the provider of these boats, steered from the stern and pointed out landmarks: garbage-transfer station, tunnel vent. “Where did that pilot crash-land the plane?” Thompson asked. Jon Miller, a Delta pilot who’d paddled over by kayak from Hoboken to join the group, pointed north. Unmenacing flotsam drifted past. Foam baseball bat, soccer ball, scrunchie.

“Navigation signs,” Thompson said.

“What do they tell us?” a fellow-paddler, a native of these islands, asked.

“That this is New York,” Miller said.

Read the full story here.

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