Waka trip to Easter Island with no mod cons
Sat, 19 May 2012 6:11p.m.
By Brook Sabin
A group of intrepid Maori explorers are about to embark on an epic journey – a waka trip to Easter Island, using the stars to guide them.
The two waka that will make the voyage don't have any modern-day navigation equipment, or even cabins.
Built by hand, sailed by hand, seven tonnes of kauri will soon be heading for Easter Island.
There are no pulleys, no big winches; everything is done by hand.
The voyage will retrace the path of Polynesian ancestors, using two waka.
They'll set off in August up through French Polynesia, before reaching Easter Island 10 weeks later.
The return journey will see them heading back via Tahiti and Rarotonga.
“We can't sit around and say ‘it's going to be a trip of calm waters and easy sailing’,” says waka captain Stanley Conrad. “It is a daunting trip.”
That's because swells will reach 5m, and winds at times will be gale force.
What makes this journey even more remarkable is that out on the ocean not one piece of modern day navigational equipment will be used. It will be up to Mother Nature, just like their ancestors.
“We'll be basically using the sun in the morning and afternoon, when he's no good to us wind and wave,” says navigator Jack Thatcher. “In the evening we'll use the stars.”
The waka has no mod cons. It will be 10 weeks of hard graft.
But where is there to sleep?
“The bunks are, if I kick this open, down there,” says Mr Conrad. “It’s a bit wet, but that will be sorted out.”
With little shelter, the crew will be exposed to the elements.
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11/09/2012 7:30:09 p.m.
H Otto wrote:
More about the Easteriland trip of Te Aurere ,please
18/06/2012 7:55:35 p.m.
Funny how they will retrace the path of Polynesian ancestors so why are they using kauri? they dont have any in Easter Island the only thing they had was palm trees that are long gone now. and are these guys going to be wearing grass skirts to? the ocean is not a playground it doesnt care who you are or where you're from what a stupid idea.
20/05/2012 10:54:33 p.m.
I get that they're celebrating culture here, but people could very easily lose their lives. Coastal waters can be a playground but the open ocean is ruthless. They will be out of range of rescue services, so at the very least the should have a support vessel in convoy. And why August??
20/05/2012 3:41:17 p.m.
yeah right...watch the GPS and Sat phones appear shortly after the storm arrives.
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