Voyaging canoes pass Johnston
|•||Hokule'a 2007 voyages to Micronesia and Japan
Follow the Hokule'a as they sail to Micronesia and Japan in our special report.
By Jan TenBruggencate
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Jan TenBruggencate
Variable winds overnight turned to fresher breezes yesterday as the canoe Alingano Maisu led Hokule'a and the escort boat Kama Hele on a course west-southwest from Johnston Atoll toward Majuro in the Marshall Islands.
Maisu navigator Chadd Paishon took over as the lead navigator as the canoes passed Johnston, and from this point on, the other vessels will hold positions behind Maisu but within sight of it.
"The winds have been really light today. Its been switching all day from east-southeast to northwest. Really, its just been light and variable," Paishon said in a statement made Tuesday and released yesterday by the Polynesian Voyaging Society and Na Kalai Wa'a Moku o Hawai'i.
By yesterday morning, they were still light but had steadied at about 10 knots, from the northeast, said Kama Hele captain Mike Taylor.
Paishon was not complaining about the weather, since even contrary weather provides information, he said.
"We will take whatever we get. This trip is all about teaching those who have never been open-ocean before and it validates the responsibility that we carry for those of us who have. We are just really excited to be able to be part of making the delivery of Maisu to Papa," he said. "Papa" is Mau Piailug, the Micronesian master navigator who taught non-instrument navigation to Hawaiian sailors, and for whom Maisu was built as a gift.
"Just as the breadfruit nourishes one's appetites, Maisu will bring nourishment to the people of Micronesia. Maisu will enable Mau to help his people maintain their culture. She will inspire them to continue the use of their traditional skills," Paishon said.
The canoe Maisu was completed shortly before the voyage began, and its captain, Shorty Bertelmann, said in a released statement that it is sailing well.
"The canoe is doing awesome. She's holding her own and riding the swells really well. The crew has adjusted to life on the ocean, but there are still many more lessons to encounter before we reach Majuro," Bertelmann said.
Reach Jan TenBruggencate at firstname.lastname@example.org.