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Waka close to second stop-over

Sunday 28 Oct 2012 12:58 p.m.

The Waka leaves Waitemata Harbour in Auckland, New Zealand on Friday, August 17, 2012 (AAP)

The Waka leaves Waitemata Harbour in Auckland, New Zealand on Friday, August 17, 2012 (AAP)

Two traditional waka on an epic journey across the Pacific expect to reach their second stop-over in French Polynesia today.

The two double-hulled waka, Te Aurere and Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti, sailed out of Auckland in August without modern navigational aids in a bid to re-create a Maori ancestral journey to Rapanui (Easter Island).

The crews left their first stop-over at Tubuai for the island of Mangareva two weeks ago and have been frustrated by unfavourable winds, according to a navigator's update by Mauriora Kush.

"We're still not quite into Mangareva," he said today. "The wind hasn't been too favourable... We headed north overnight and have just tacked back south towards the island. We're hoping to make landfall either this afternoon or we'll sit out the evening and go on in tomorrow morning."

The crews had enjoyed the second leg, one day feasting on a 25kg yellowfin tuna caught by a crew member.

They are expected to rest for several days before heading out on their final leg to Rapanui.

NZN

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