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HONOLULU, (Pacific Islands Report, Jan. 22) – The Hawaiian voyaging canoe Hokulea and its partner, the Alingano Maisu, were reportedly forced back by a broken steering sweep after launching from Hawaii’s Big Island on Friday.

According to The Associated Press, a crack on the handle of one of the canoes’ sweep was found after the launch.

[PIR editor’s note: Satawal is the easternmost island in the Yap island group, in the Caroline Islands of the Federated States of Micronesia. ]

The two traditional voyaging canoes were bound on a 7,000 mile voyage to Micronesia and Japan. The left the Big Island’s Kawaihae Harbor on Friday after several delays because of high winds.

According to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, the single-masted, double-hulled Maisu was on its maiden voyage, in contrast to Hokulea, which has a 30-year track record. The 54-foot Maisu was built by Big Island group Na Kalai Waa as a gift to famed Micronesian navigator Mau Piailug, the paper reports.

Pialug has been at the center of Hawaii’s revival of the lost art of traditional navigation, teaching them 30 years ago how to make their way across vast distances on the ocean without benefit of modern instruments.


Majuro in the Marshall Islands was to be the first landfall of the current voyage, followed by stops at Satawal – Piailug’s home – and then to Yap.

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