Canoe voyage delayed to avoid storms
What ever happened to the voyaging canoe Maisu, intended to be sailed from the Big Island to Yap as a gift to Micronesia?
Answer: About six weeks behind schedule, the construction of the 57-foot, double-hulled canoe has been completed, but too late to sail now because of the summer typhoon season.
The 4,500-mile voyage is now projected for December or January, said Chadd Paishon, executive director of Na Kalai Wa'a Moku o Hawaii.
The Big Island group built the canoe at Kawaihae Harbor as a gift for Micronesian traditional navigator Mau Piailug, who reintroduced non-instrument navigation to Hawaii in the 1970s. His guidance enabled the sailing of the Hokule'a in 1976, the first Hawaiian voyaging canoe in more than 600 years.
As much as Mau, 74, wants to see the voyage completed, he told builders they would be crazy to sail in the summer, Paishon said.
The Maisu -- poetically meaning a wind that brings physical and mental nourishment -- needs only to have some modern electrical equipment installed in it, Paishon said.
In the last month of construction, builders received $80,000 in contributions, some in small amounts, some in donations up to $20,000, Paishon said.
When the Maisu sails, it will be accompanied by the escort vessel Kamahele, donated for the trip by navigator Nainoa Thompson.
Children in Waimea-area schools on the Big Island are donating canned food for the crews.
The biggest remaining cost will be the tickets of crew members who will fly back to Hawaii after leaving the Maisu in Yap, Paishon said.
Donations can be made to Na Kalai Wa'a, Box 748, Kamuela, HI 96743; or by calling 808-885-9500.
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