Weather forecast 'looking good' for canoes' possible departure
KAWAIHAE, Hawaii » After several days of delayed departure of the voyaging canoes Hokule'a and Alingano Maisu, the weather forecast for today was "looking pretty good," spokeswoman Kathy Thompson said last night.
But the captains of the two vessels will not decide until sometime after 5 a.m. today whether to begin the 4,400-mile voyage across the Pacific, she said.
High winds at sea forced the postponement of the departure yesterday, but winds are expected to begin dying down today, Thompson said.
All cultural protocols were observed earlier in the week.
"We're free to go when it's time to go," said Maisu Capt. Shorty Bertelmann.
But some crew members were feeling yesterday that not enough respect had been paid to Shorty's brother Clay, who died in 2004.
Clay Bertelmann is credited as the person who inspired the building of the Big Island canoe Makalii in the 1990s and, more recently, the building of the Maisu as a gift to Micronesian navigator Mau Piailug, who taught Hawaii noninstrument navigation skills that had been lost for centuries in Hawaii.
With an extra day available because of yesterday's delay, many crew members used the time to visit Clay Bertelmann's grave and pay respects to him, Thompson said.
FOLLOW ALONG» Follow the voyage of Hokule'a at the Polynesian Voyaging Society web site at: www.pvs.hawaii.org