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Leaky canoe undergoing repairs

By Heide E. Vinoya KOROR, Palau (Palau Horizon, June 1, 2010) – The Yapese outrigger canoe which drifted to Palau is still here and is now undergoing repairs before sailing back to Yap.

On Tuesday crewmembers of Simion Hokulea docked at the Koror- Babeldaob bridge in Airai State, pulled out the canoe to land and started to repair its leak.

Chief Capt. Bruno Tharngan said in order to determine the leak; the canoe has to be pulled on land to give it time to dry.

The canoe and its crewmembers will sail back to Yap once repair is completed.

He said depending on weather condition, it will only take them a few hours to sail to Yap from Palau.

Last week, Simion Hokulea drifted to Palau.

Master Navigator Ali Haleyalur said while they were below Yap sailing from Guam, waves were choppy and winds were strong. Their way was obscured by bad weather making it hard for them to continue sailing.

"The easiest way for us that I thought is to get to Palau, because we were taking on so much water. The canoe has a lot of leak." Haleyalur said in an interview.

He said it took them eight days to sail from Guam to Palau.

The two 33-foot canoes, named Mathow Maram and Simion Hokulea, set sail from Hagatna Boat Basin last week after staying on Guam for several days.

The two canoes were on the class navigation training. The vessels departed on May 13 at around 9:30 a.m.

Mathow Maram arrived in Yap at 10 p.m. Monday. While the Simion Hokulea which is expected to arrive in the afternoon the following day did not show up.

The crewmembers are staying at the Ngarachamayong Cultural Center.

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