Canoe Building


Canoe Life

Polynesian Migrations

Spring 1995: Na 'Ohana Holo Moana
Welcome Back to Hawai'i (May 3-14)

Photo right: Welcome Home Ceremony Crowd at Ke'ehi Lagoon, Honolulu

May 3, 1995

photo of Welcome Home Ceremony Crowd at Ke'ehi Lagoon, Honolulu Nono flies have been reported on three of the six canoes--Hawai'iloa, Makali'i and Te'Aurere. These nearly invisible flies sting; their bites itch, and when the resulting blister is scratched, it become infected and fester. Crew members have reported bite s.

The flies were introduced during the early 20th century to the Marquesas Islands by German trading ships stopping there on their way from New Guinea to Chile. Attempts to eradicate the fly have been unsuccessful.

Plans are being made to prevent the introduction of this fly to Hawai'i. The US Department of Agriculture is providing canisters of an insecticide derived from daisies; the US Coast Guard plans to airlift the canisters to all the canoes and escort boats T hursday morning, so the vessels can be sprayed. All vessels will stay outside a 100-mile boundary around Hawai'i until this spraying can take place. The three uninfested canoes will then proceed onto Hilo, arriving perhaps on Friday. The three infested ca noes will maintain a 24-hour quarantine outside the 100 mile boundary. If no signs of nono flies appear, the canoes will proceed onto Hilo, arriving Saturday.

Positions of the canoes reported by their escort boats or satellite transponders at 8-8:30 a.m.:

Te 'Au o Tonga: 19 degrees 22 minutes N; 151 degrees 08 minutes W
Hawai'iloa: 19 degrees 16 minutes N; 149 degrees 20 minutes W
Makali'i: 19 degrees 12 minutes N; 149 degrees 14 minutes W
Hokule'a: 17 degrees 19 minutes N; 149 degrees 54 minutes W
Takitumu: 16 degrees 37 minutes N; 147 degrees 47 minutes W
Te 'Aurere: 15 degrees 10 minutes N; 148 degrees 46 minutes W

May 4, 1995

The US Coast Guard began airdropping canisters of pesticides to the canoes this morning at 8 a.m. The first drop of six cans went to Hokule'a positioned at 18 degrees 35 minutes N;150 degrees 48 minutes W. The plane planned to fly a loop, first SE to Te ' Aurere, the farthest south of the six canoes; then north to Takitumu; then Northwest to Hawai'iloa and Makali'i, positioned together at 20 degrees N, 150 degrees 25 minutes W; then to Te 'Au o Tonga.

May 5, 1995

More on the biting fly on board the canoes, from Dr. Paul Martin:

Tahitian govenrment has spent $3 MM so far to try to eradicate the nono, without success. Impact of the flies on the Marquesas has been disastrous.

The flies breed in wet sand; a single fly is capable of inflicting 5000 bites per hour on a person. Their range is 1 km over water under their own power; 20 km if aided by the wind.

Crews have completed spraying of the canoes at sea and have been scrubbing down the canoes, emptying the holds and cleaning equipment, supplies, and personal gear. Sails have been dragged in seawater. All plant and organic materials have been dumped overb oard.

After the initial spraying of insecticide (pyrethrin) 100 miles from land, an inspection team from the Hawai'i department of agriculture will go and meet the canoes 5 miles out at sea, where it will inspect the canoes and spray insecticide over the surfac es again. Fans will be placed in the holds [to reduce the flight potential of the flies? to reduce the humidity in which the flies thrive?] Then the hulls will be sealed.

The canoes will then be escorted into Hilo Harbor, where the crews will disembark without opening the sealed hulls. The canoes will then be sprayed a third time, and the sealed hulls will be fumigated with Vikane for 24 hours. Twelve hours will be needed to aerate the hulls after they are unsealed

Te Au o Tonga entered Hilo Harbor this afternoon and has undergone treatment. Hokule'a, Hawai'iloa, and Makali'i may come in on Saturday or Sunday; Takitumu and Te 'Aurere on Sunday or Monday.

Satellite reports (7 a.m.)

Hawai'iloa: 20 degrees 14 minutes N; 152 degrees 22 minutes W
Hokule'a: 19 degrees 32 minutes N; 152 degrees 22 minutes W

May 7, 1995

All five remaining canoes (Hokule'a, Hawai'iloa, Makali'i, Takitumu, and Te 'Aurere) arrived safely in Hilo Harbor this afternoon to join Te 'Au o Tonga, which arrived Friday. No nono flies were detected on board any of the canoes. The weather was rainy, as a front passing over the Hawaiian Archipelago was over the Big Island today. The welcome was subdued, with mainly supporters of Makali'i, which was built on the Big Island, in the crowd. Pua Case Lapulapu and her halau (school) chanted. The Maori did a haka (dance) as they disembarked from their canoe. Chadd Paishon, assistant navigator on board Makali'i, summed up the feelings of the Hawaiians: "We're glad to be home."

May 8, 1995

Fumigation of the canoes that arrived Sunday has been completed. The tents placed over the canoes to seal them were removed this morning. After the canoes are aerated for 12 hours, the crews will be allowed back on to prepare for departure.

Te 'Au o Tonga, which arrived last Friday left today for Kaunakakai, on the south coast of Moloka'i, for a welcome ceremony tomorrow, keeping a commitment made by navigators Tua Pittman and Pe'ia Tua'ati to the schoolchildren of Moloka'i to bring the Cook Island canoe to them. Pittman and Tua'ati came to Hawai'i for navigation training with Nainoa Thompson and the Hawaiian navigators last year, and visited Moloka'i on one of the training sails.

The other five canoes plan to leave Hilo tomorrow and arrive on Wednesday at Kalaupapa, on the north shore of Moloka'i. The canoes plan to sail to Kualoa on O'ahu on Thursday morning, May 11, for the dedication of an ahu (altar) to voyaging. The crews wil l be hosted by the people of Hakipu'u. They will be joined by the student crew of the double-hulled canoe E'ala, which has been sailing the coastlines of Hawai'i for the last three months; and by Mo'olele, a double-hulled canoe from the island of Maui.

May 10, 1995

High surf advisory for the the north and west shores of all Hawaiian islands caused a change in plans for the canoes. Instead of going to Kalaupapa on the north shore of Moloka'i, the five canoes which left Hilo yesterday are sailing for Kaunakakai on the south shore of Moloka'i, where they will join Te 'Au o Tonga. From Kaunakakai, the canoes will depart late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning for Kualoa in Kane'ohe on the island of O'ahu. Each canoe is carrying a stone from its home island; these stones will be placed on an ahu (altar) dedicated to voyaging at Kualoa. The canoes will start arriving at 9 a.m., and will be anchored offshore by 12 noon. Ceremonies for the crews and their families will be held from 12 - 3 p.m. The canoes will depart for Maunalua Bay on the south shore of O'ahu on Friday morning, then sail into Ke'ehi lagoon on Saturday morning.

Nono Update: Department of Agriculture inspection teams examined the canoes after the fumigation on Sunday and found no dead nono flies among the specimins collected on board, which included ants and flies that are already present in Hawai'i. Nainoa Thomp son, project director, said that the Polynesian Voyaging Society plans to develop guidelines and procedures for preventing the introduction of pests to Hawai'i from any future ports of call.

May 14, 1995

The Hawaiian canoes are finally home, completing their 6000 miles, 3 month long journey to the South Pacific and back. The canoes returned with mana (power) that only a successful voyage can bring to a canoe. It was Hokule'a's fifth voyage, Hawai'iloa's a nd Makali'i's first.

On May 11, Hokule'a and Hawai'iloa sailed in 20-30 knots easterly tradewinds and 6-8 foot seas across the Kaiwi Channel between Moloka'i and O'ahu into Kane'ohe Bay for a welcoming ceremony by the people of Hakipu'u, the ahupua'a (land division) from whic h Hokule'a was launched twenty years ago in 1975. These two canoes were joined by the 47 foot double-hulled canoe Mo'olele, of Maui, which also sailed the channel.

Representatives of the other canoes which sailed to Hawai'i from Nukuhiva were on board Hokule'a and Hawai'iloa and were also welcomed to Hakupu'u. Te 'Au o Tonga, Takitumu, Te 'Aurere, and Makali'i sailed directly to Honolulu Harbor from Moloka'i instead of coming into Kane'ohe Bay to avoid the risk of being pinned down there by the strong and gusty tradewinds that have been blowing for the last week or so in Hawai'i.

On Friday, Hokule'a and Hawai'iloa sailed/towed around Makapu'u Point and into Honolulu Harbor. The smaller Mo'olele was unable to make the trip due to the strong winds and high seas.

Friday night: Takitumu, which had broken its mast sailing in the strong tradewinds out of Hilo, was re-rigged with a new mast.

Saturday Morning: 3 a.m. crew call. The six voyaging canoes, joined by the 47-foot double-hulled canoe E'ala, towed out of Honolulu Harbor and went sailing off of Waikiki. On this protected leeward side of the island, the winds were lighter, 10-15 knots. The morning was clear and bright, with clouds piled high over the Koolau mountains, which shelter Honolulu Harbor from the tradewinds. Just after sunrise, all seven canoes unfurled their sails and went south, then turned back toward Ke'ehi Lagoon for the public welcome ceremony. It was a magnificent sight to see seven voyaging canoes under sail off Waikiki--perhaps a once in a lifetime event. At 8:30 a.m., the canoes were towed into Ke'ehi and lined up along the beach. Cook Island, Maori, and Marquesan de legations performed song and dances, along with Hawaiian groups chanting, dancing, and singing. The crews of the various canoes were ceremoniously questioned, then greeted. By 4 p.m., the canoes were tied up safely at Pier 36, where Hawai'iloa was complet ed and launched.

Sunday Morning: 7 a.m. Hokule'a and Hawai'iloa were towed across Honolulu Harbor by tugboat, to be loaded onto a Matson container ship which would depart for Seattle on Monday. The two canoes will be unloaded in Seattle and will visit various sites in the Puget Sounds Area, and up to Vancouver, BC, before splitting up; Hawai'iloa will travel north to Juneau, Hokule'a south to Portland, SF, Long Beach, and San Diego this summer.