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Waka on track for December arrival

Sunday 18 Nov 2012 9:32 a.m.

The double-hulled waka sailed out of Auckland in August  (AAP)

The double-hulled waka sailed out of Auckland in August (AAP)

The two waka crossing the Pacific using traditional navigation methods are on target to reach their final destination early in December.

The 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).

They left their second stopover, Mangareva in French Polynesia, 10 days ago and chief navigator Jack Thatcher said in a blog yesterday they had nearly reached the 500-nautical-mile (930-kilometre) mark of their last leg to Rapanui and they should be there early next month with around 750 nautical miles to go.

The crew were all well and they passed the Pitcairn Islands four days ago, with islanders bringing them up to speed with local ocean and weather knowledge.

"Even way out here in the middle of nowhere the local people are doing all they can to help us get there."

In the meantime, with fickle winds and as navigation clues were not always clear, "we're doing the north then south thing again" and had briefly parked up to wait for more obvious signs.

"Had some heavy rain last night. Thank a god! Our quartermaster had just told us a couple days ago no more hot drinks to tighten up on our water supply. We made sure to fill our empties last night so hot drinks are back on the menu," he said.

NZN

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