5 Jan 2007

Marshall Islanders looking foward to the arrival of Hawaiian canoes

4:40 pm on 5 January 2007

Two Hawaiian outrigger canoes are scheduled to leave their home this weekend for an epic voyage to Micronesia and Japan.

The double hull canoe "Maisu," launched late last month, and its more famous sister canoe, the "Hokule'a" which made the first modern day voyage from Hawaii to Tahiti in 1976, will make the trip using only traditional star and wave navigation techniques.

They will spend several days in Majuro and then continue on to Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia.

The Maisu will remain there while the Hokule'a travels on to Palau and then to Japan.

Our correspondent in the Marshall Islands Giff Johnson says people are looking foward to the canoes arrival.

"It is amazing enough to have a Hawaiian voyaging canoe coming into this part of the world, but we have two on this trip and the reason they are going is because they are recognising the very well known traditional navigator Mau, who is from the Federated States of Micronesia, who helped with the resurgence of the Hawaiian traditional navigation and canoe building programme, starting more than thirty years ago. And they are going to deliver one of these two large sailing canoes as a gift. 32"

Giff Johnson.