Tag Archives: #pirates

Step Aboard Hōkūleʻa: How this Real-Life Voyaging Canoe Inspired Moana

 

Moana has been such an inspirational force for so many people around the world.  The film has touched not only Polynesians, but people from every walk of life.  So, what inspired Disney filmmakers to send a teenager on a wayfinding quest in a voyaging canoe?

In their research for Moana, Ron Clements, John Musker and Osnat Shurer gathered an “Oceanic Story Trust:” a collection of cultural elders and expert advisors.  One of these experts was Nainoa Thompson, Pwo (master) Navigator of Hōkūleʻa: Hawaii’s real-life voyaging canoe.

Nainoa consulted on wayfinding techniques, and must have also shared experiences from sailing Hōkūleʻa.  Here is a painting of Hōkūleʻa by artist and founder of the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS), Herb Kawainui Kāne.

Hōkūleʻa painting by Herb Kane

See any similarities with the bigger voyaging canoes in Moana?

Mālama Honua – a Voyage of Goodwill and Stewardship

Hōkūleʻa has just returned from an epic world-wide voyage: Mālama Honua (‘Caring for Island Earth’) from 2014-2017.  During that voyage, Hōkūleʻa sailed 40,300 nautical miles, visiting 23 countries and more than 150 ports of call.

245 crew members worked tirelessly as a team to accomplish this goal.  Overarching was a message of living sustainably on the earth and sharing the Polynesian culture.

Ko Olina Welcomes Hōkūleʻa

Hōkūleʻa was welcomed in Ko Olina Harbor – on the West side of Oahu – on January 3, 2018.  This was part of her mission to thank Hawaiians for their support (Mālama Hawaii), and for public education about their voyages.  Crew members were greeted with flower and Ti leaf lei in an official ceremony.

Guests even brought extra-long plumeria lei as gifts for Hōkūleʻa.

Nainoa was interviewed by television crew.

A Tour of Hōkūleʻa: Layout of the Canoe

Crew members of Hōkūleʻa were so gracious in hosting free impromptu tours for anyone who wanted to visit.  Just drive up to Ko Olina marina, climb aboard, and talk story.

First impression: she is not very big.  As someone who loves ocean cruising, I enjoy having my own cabin comforts.  But even more so, I’ve been on some rough seas. And even on a large ocean liner, you can occasionally feel the motion of the ocean.

This voyaging canoe is made of two floating hulls, with flat deck planks across them.  As I walk across the deck, I notice that there is little to no shade covering.  If I look carefully between the planks, I can see the open water below.

Steering is accomplished with a large rudder paddle at the aft. The rudder (hoe – pronounced ‘HOYee’) is so large, that four crew members at a time may be needed to move it.  (The Hawaiian word pahoehoe (‘pah-HOYee-hoyee’) describing swirled / rippled lava derives from the word hoe – since this type of lava resembles paddle ripples in the water).

Honoring kūpuna

It is said that you can feel the mana, or life energy, of Hōkūleʻa when you sail onboard.  On one of the hulls, there is a plaque acknowledging the kūpuna (elders / ancestors) that have come before.

First is Pele – goddess of fire and volcanoes.  According to legend, Pele sailed across the seas from Tahiti in a canoe, searching for a home.  After a long voyage, she discovered Hawaii, (and now resides in Kilauea volcano on the Big Island).  Next, the plaque honors artist and PVS founder Herb Kāne.

There is a special memorial for Eddie Aikau.  Eddie was a lifeguard and big wave surfer who was lost at sea in 1978, trying to save the crew of Hōkūleʻa after the canoe capsized off of Molokai.

Sailing and Navigating

Hōkūleʻa has two strong masts with sails.  One flies the Hawaiian flag.

There are two Navigator seats towards the aft of the ship.  If you look closely, this one has Nainoa’s name carved into the wood rail on the side.

Culinary Magic

How do you feed a crew of twelve – and keep them happy – for weeks at a time?  Here is the Galley on the open deck, with a propane-powered stove.  The ship’s chef is an expert at cooking everything from seafood to baking cakes on this stove.

Where does the food come from?  Fish are caught on fishing lines, as crew member Mariah is holding up for us.  These are long lines that are trailed behind Hōkūleʻa as she sails through the seas.  Crew members attend to these lines, and wind them back up when a fish is caught.

Mariah is also modeling a life vest used aboard Hōkūleʻa.  Behind her, you can see solar panels on the far aft of the ship.  These are to power satellite phones for emergency communications, and charge camera / video equipment to document their journey.  Nothing else is powered on the ship, as everything is completely manual.

Living Aboard Hōkūleʻa

If you’ve ever been on a boat, the marine head ‘toilet’ takes some getting used to.  Imagine not having a physical toilet on the ship.  How do you go to the bathroom?  This is a question that astronauts often encounter.  Crew members were kind enough to share.

The ‘toilet’ area is at the rear hull, behind the navigator’s seat, near the ship’s name.  There’s a procedure to follow before you can go.  You must alert at least one crew member.  You put on a lifejacket and harness yourself to the boat.  You close the curtain, climb up on the ledge, lean overboard, and aim your ‘okole downwind.

The ‘shower’ is also in this area, as crew members use buckets of sea water to rinse off.  Mariah explained that warm tropical rains allow for welcome fresh water ‘showers’ on deck.

After a long day, you may be looking forward to bedtime.  There are ten bunks placed on boards, each measuring six feet long. Five are arranged end-to-end atop each of the two hulls, covered only by canvas tent material.

If you are taller than 5’10”, things get uncomfortable trying to sleep in these quarters.  If it is raining, or when seas are rough, water soaks through the tent covering.  For a crew of twelve, there are only ten bunks, so people sleep in shifts.  Someone must continuously sail the canoe.

Bunks are laid on flat boards across access openings into the hull.  Mariah showed us an open access port below a bunk, with an artistically-decorated cover.  I peered down, and found it remarkably deep inside the hull.  This is where drinking water, shelf-stable food, and medical supplies go to stay dry.

Safety on the High Seas

What happens if someone falls overboard?  (It’s happened!)  Sailboats don’t exactly have brakes, and can’t turn very easily.  Crew members throw a floatation buoy towards the person and try to pull them in.

Hōkūleʻa always voyages with her sister support ship, the Hikianalia – a modern Polynesian voyaging canoe which has solar and wind energy, and satellite communications technology.  The crew of Hikianalia are there to observe, but do not interfere or assist with the navigation of Hōkūleʻa.

Satellite tracking from Hikianalia allowed the world to follow Hōkūleʻa’s GPS coordinates on the Mālama Honua worldwide voyage in real time.

Herb Kane painting of Hokule’a_2006

What did you think of this quick glimpse into life on a real voyaging canoe?  It’s remarkable that Hōkūleʻa’s voyages may have inspired some of Moana’s story!

 

Interested in more?  See How Far We’ll Go – Wayfinding Like Moana on Hawaii’s Hōkūleʻa, a revival of the lost Polynesian navigational culture.  Join us as we ‘Talk story’ with Women of Hōkūleʻa, as real-life Moanas share their adventures.  There are excellent resources and teaching guides on the Hōkūleʻa website.

 

This article was originally published on LaughingPlace.com .  See more articles on my Author Page here!

D23 Expo Celebrates Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean Films

 

From a deep-seated love of the original Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at Disneyland (now celebrating its 50th Anniversary) came the Pirates film empire that we know today.  For many younger guests, Captain Jack Sparrow was their first Disney pirate.  If you long for the open seas…and ye come seekin’ adventure: ye be in the right place.

Come with us as we explore the Pirates films through props and costumes straight out of the Disney Archives.

A Tribute to Disney Pirates at D23 Expo

Disney pirates have only grown in popularity, thanks in part to the incredibly successful film franchise.  D23 Expo celebrated all Disney pirates in a special exhibit, showcasing treasures from the Parks and films.  Here, we will highlight the film memorabilia from “A Pirates Life for Me: Disney’s Rascals, Scoundrels, and Really Bad Eggs.”

For more details of the D23 Expo exhibit featuring the history of Disney pirate lore, and Pirates attractions from around the world, see our other article here.

This article was originally published on LaughingPlace.com. 

Bruckheimer’s Pirates: Bigger Than Life

Jerry Bruckheimer is known for making blockbuster films.  When he signed on for the first Pirates film, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), he likely didn’t realize how big this franchise would become.

ANAHEIM, CA – AUGUST 15, 2015: (L-R) Actor Johnny Depp, dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow and producer Jerry Bruckheimer of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES with President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production Sean Bailey took part today in “Worlds, Galaxies, and Universes: Live Action at The Walt Disney Studios” presentation at Disney’s D23 EXPO 2015 in Anaheim, Calif. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney) *** Local Caption *** Johnny Depp; Sean Bailey; Jerry Bruckheimer

Fast forward fourteen years, and Bruckheimer has produced four more “Pirates” films:

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006) – Davy Jones and the Flying Dutchman
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007) – Pirates Lords of the Brethren Court
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) – Angelica, Blackbeard
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017) – Captain Salazar, Henry and Carina

Here, we celebrate the films, as we tour screen-used (‘hero’) props from Disney Archives. Continue reading D23 Expo Celebrates Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean Films

Yo Ho! Celebrating Over 50 Years of Disney Pirates at D23 Expo

How many of you love Pirates of the Caribbean?  Was your first memory of Pirates from Disneyland? Or perhaps Disney World?  For younger generations, their first Disney pirate may have been Captain Jack Sparrow from the blockbuster films.  Well, if ye come seekin’ adventure, keep a weather eye open.  There be pirates in these waters as we explore their history through Disney Archives.

This article was originally published on Laughingplace.com after D23 Expo.

A Tribute to Disney Pirates at D23 Expo

Pirates have been such an integral part of Disney history, even before the landmark attraction at Disneyland (now commemorating its 50th year).  D23 Expo celebrated Disney pirates in a special exhibit, showcasing treasures from the Disney Archives.  These are highlights from the D23 Expo and “A Pirates Life for Me: Disney’s Rascals, Scoundrels, and Really Bad Eggs.”

The queues snaked on and on for this exhibit.  The mood was set with music of Disney’s pirates – from X Atencio’s classic ‘Yo Ho! Yo Ho!’ to the Hans Zimmer film soundtracks, to songs from Muppet Treasure Island and Hook’s solo “Revenge! Revenge!” from Once Upon a Time.

Jail Scene photo op

Before entering the exhibit, many guests stopped for a photo op in the classic ‘Jail Scene.’ Continue reading Yo Ho! Celebrating Over 50 Years of Disney Pirates at D23 Expo

Answers to 10 Essential Questions About Shanghai Disneyland

This article was first published on LaughingPlace.com on June 15, 2016.

Questions and rumors about Shanghai Disneyland abound.  As Disney’s newest theme park prepares for its debut June 16, 2016 there are so many questions still unanswered.

I was privileged to preview SH Disneyland in May during Trial Operations, and was truly impressed with the scope of this park (even after seeing all the other Disney castles).  Opening with five noteworthy E-ticket attractions and three stage shows, SH Disneyland is poised to be a key player among Disney parks.

Here, I answer 10 essential questions about Shanghai Disneyland.

1.      Why is there no Main Street USA?  When is the next Train?

Shanghai Disneyland is distinguished by many record “firsts.”  First Disneyland without Main Street USA.  First Disneyland without a train.  (Yes, in this spacious park, the train station was built only as a nod to tradition).  First to substitute Tron for Space Mountain. And that castle!

Carthay Circle Mickey Ave SHDL
Carthay Circle Mickey Ave SHDL

The local population in China has not had the same exposure to Disney characters that the Western world has.  Many Disney films were never released in China.

Chinese guests know Mickey and Minnie.  They adore Winnie the Pooh for being cute, cuddly, and red and gold (popular Chinese colors).  They love Anna and Elsa.  Other characters may all be new to the locals. Continue reading Answers to 10 Essential Questions About Shanghai Disneyland

Preview Shanghai Disneyland’s New Jaw-Dropping “Pirates” Attraction

We were privileged to preview Shanghai Disneyland in May 2016, before its official opening June 16, 2016.  With an impressive collection of opening attractions — many of them unique to Shanghai’s park — the top prize is claimed by “Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for Sunken Treasure” for its jaw-dropping cinematic beauty on an epic scale.

Having now seen all six Disney castles (Anaheim, Orlando, Tokyo, Paris, Hong Kong, and Shanghai), Shanghai Disneyland’s “Pirates” is one of the most impressive rides ever built.

The following is our first-hand perspective, taking you moment by moment through the attraction.

(This video is posted on our Chrysalis Travel YouTube channel.)

Winding through the queue, details in the rock work transport you to another time… Jack Sparrow’s “Wanted” posters are printed in multiple languages.

Reaching the launch area, you load onto boats with five seats across and a total of 30 guests on board.  A very small drop with a splash….and the adventure begins…

0:03  The Jolly Roger talking skull, a definite nod to Pirates’ tradition. Everything is in Mandarin Chinese, but the tone is clear. Warnings for those who dare ride.

0:23  The boat goes past a water-front restaurant with lights, very reminiscent of the Blue Bayou in Anaheim and Tokyo Disneyland. In Shanghai Disneyland, this is “Barbossa’s Bounty,” a quick service restaurant with several food bay choices, and a nest of pirate-themed rooms to enjoy your meal.

0:37  Pirate skeletons come into view.  The first one’s been run through.

0:56  The Brethren Lords sit at the Pirate Council — as skeletons — fighting over Pieces of Eight.  Scene from “Pirates of the Caribbean, at World’s End.”

Skeleton Jail Scene
Pirates Skeleton Jail Scene

1:04  The jail scene, a definite tribute to all preceding “Pirates” rides. Only this time, all have joined the skeleton realm, including the dog.

1:40  Impressive transformation scene (not caught on this shot)…   A talking skeleton re-animates to become Jack Sparrow, a full Audio Animatronic.  He wishes you good luck…

2:10  …As you descend into the realm of Davy Jones.  The onboard audio soundtrack is as moving as the imagery in this segment.  Vast projection screens transport your boat deep into the depths of the ocean following the path of a large shark.  Your boat glides through the ship graveyard and past other members of Davy Jones’ crew.  It is beautiful, almost peaceful as you catch your breath under the water.  Until…

Descent to Davy Jones' Locker
Descent to Davy Jones’ Locker

2:34  The Kraken awakens.  It is a giant octopus-like creature, ‘with an aura of foreboding.’

2:49  You follow the Kraken through the ribs of a shipwreck in the graveyard.  How many ships have met their doom here?

3:20  Large crabs battle over something shiny (remember the crabs from “Finding Nemo”?)

3:23  The sweet siren call of mermaid’s song… and here are the mermaids themselves.  The ship gathers speed and turns.

3:42  Talking heads — two members of Davy Jones’ crew are in the stocks having a lively conversation.  It would be interesting to have this interpreted into English.

3:54  Mounds of sunken treasure…

Pirate Treasure Skeleton Figurehead
Pirates Treasure Skeleton Figurehead

4:01  You pass a twisted pirate ship with skeleton figurehead.  The impressive movie projections extend all the way to the ceiling.  You truly feel under water, deep in the ocean, watching the light and waves ripple far above your head.

4:15  Maccus, (the hammerhead First Mate of Davy Jones), has something funny to say (ha ha ha…).

4:23  The caverns echo with passionate organ music leading into the Flying Dutchman.  This can only mean one thing….

4:33  Davy Jones is revealed as the mad musician.  Sitting at his organ, he talks about explosions (the only Mandarin words I can make out).  The Kraken slips away in the window beyond.

4:41  Jones pivots around, tentacles twitching, uttering more warnings about the treasure.

4:53  You sail down an underwater hall as the ship turns…

5:00  Watery images shimmer on the wall, as if an optical illusion.

5:01  The screens pull open to reveal…

Fiery Sunset Battle
Pirates: Fiery Sunset Battle

5:04  A scene of epic proportions.  A graveyard of ships that dwarf your own are resurrected — and you with them.  Being pushed up from the depths of the ocean floor, you catch your breath…

5:16  And gasp at the reality of what just happened.  Back from Davy Jones’ locker, bathed in a flaming sunset.  You realize you have just made it past World’s End to the land of the living.

5:22  Your relief is brief, as Davy Jones surfaces in the Flying Dutchman with a giant splash, and nearly rams your tiny vessel.

5:32  You realize his battle is with Jack Sparrow, aboard the Black Pearl… and you are now caught in the middle.

5:39  With fierce cannon fire between Davy Jones and Jack Sparrow in their massive ships, you maneuver between them, immersed in one of the most cinematic scenes in ride history.  The ships sinking before you are real on these vast projection screens.

5:48  You see a blast hole in the Black Pearl

5:58  Davy Jones disappears in a puff of putrid green smoke to battle Jack Sparrow

6:05  (sounds of sword fighting follow Jones and Sparrow as they battle on the upper deck, not quite visible on this video)

6:16  You sail backwards, spinning to witness Davy Jones and Jack Sparrow sword fighting in the hold.

6:22  Jack swings, rocking a net in the foreground.

6:30  The battle continues in typical Jack Sparrow style with swords and chickens flying, ensuing cannon fire, and massive flooding.  Your ship is backing away, but not fast enough…

6:44  The explosion propels you up a small lift and waterfall drop through pitch darkness. You recover your thoughts.  What did you just witness?

7:11  You drift slowly past a small sailboat, and hear the voice of Jack Sparrow… interrupted by Davy Jones.

7:23  A wall of pirate treasure glitters with gold and jewels…

7:28 …and turns to dust before your eyes, cursed by Davy Jones.  Jack Sparrow is devastated.

“Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for Sunken Treasure” is an A+ attraction.  A completely immersive experience, you will feel like you stepped into a Jerry Bruckheimer “Pirates” film.

The genius ride vehicle design, stunning visuals, moving musical score, and the brilliant cinematic presentation of this “Pirates” attraction exceeds all others to date.  (And we include Spiderman, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Escape from Gringotts, and Fast and Furious Supercharged).

Add this to your Bucket List.

Special thanks to our Disney friends for this exclusive access!!  We are so blessed by you for this special opportunity!