The twin-hulled voyaging canoe Hokule'a sails near the South Shore of Oahu during sea trails before its trip to Micronesia.
Canoe crews stand and wait together
One voyaging canoe cracks its steering sweep, forcing all to return
KEALAKEKUA, Hawaii » The crews of the voyaging canoes Alingano Maisu and Hokule'a, plus the escort sloop Kama Hele, waited in Kealakekua Bay yesterday for word on when repairs on a cracked steering sweep would allow their voyage to Micronesia to continue.
FOLLOW ALONG» Follow the voyage of Hokule'a at the Polynesian Voyaging Society web site at: www.pvs.hawaii.org
The canoes left Kawaihae on Friday for Micronesia, where the Maisu will be presented to Satawal Island navigator Mau Piailug in thanks for his teaching of navigation to Hawaiians in the 1970s. The Hokule'a will continue on to Japan.
Kealakekua Bay is a place where "our patience is tamed and our souls rejuvenated," wrote Pomai Bertelmann, wife of Maisu navigator Chadd Paishon, in a Polynesian Voyaging Society Web log.
Bertelmann, who is not making the voyage, had a chance to rejoin her husband when the canoes, having neared the southern tip of the Big Island, turned north to Kealakekua Bay Saturday night.
A crack formed on the handle of a steering sweep, a device like a giant oar that serves as a rudder, the voyaging society said. The society has declined to say from which canoe the sweep came.
"The cracked sweep is a voyaging family issue, and we are dealing with it internally, together, out of respect to the totality of the voyaging community," said society spokesman Nainoa Thompson.
"The beauty and the power of this voyage is that we are taking every step that we need to make," he said "It's two canoes but one voyage, two crews but one family."
"This decision to keep the cracked sweep inside the family, completely falls within the principal and philosophy of our need to be unified and together," he said.
The society has said that the sweep is vital in keeping canoes on course when pushed by winds at their back, the conditions they will encounter when they get out of the lee of the Big Island.