Crew Profile

Mālama Waʻa in Aotearoa

As their mālama honua journey throughout the Pacific comes to a close the crews made time to mālama the waʻa that have sustained them – over 35 hundred miles thus far!

“The crews are working hard to look at all the fine details of both canoes. From the manu iho to the manu hope and everything in between. We have our captains, our watch captains, our sailmasters going over all of the details of the waʻa and itʻs their jobs as welll as ours. But theyʻre the leaders and the alakaʻi, so itʻs their kuleana to make sure that everything is runing smoothly. So our quartermasters and the crew do a major inventory, and update our manifest so that we know whatʻs on board…where everything is stored – especially when you need it,” says crewmember Pōmai Bertelmann.

“Part of organizing the waʻa is making sure we have all of our food organized which is our condiments, we’re going to go ahead and label our bucket and make sure everything we need for our meals is inside,” says crewmember, Kaʻohinani Kamalu.

“We have all of our carpenters all of our electricians making sure that all of their stations are, are neat and tidy and that they know where everything is in the event that we need anything when we’re on the way,” says Bertelmann.

“I am tasked with the kuleana of carpenter. I am changing the snaps that hold down our canvas thatʻs attached to the deck. So if we have broken loose ones, weʻre changing it out with brand new ones that we found at the store. So, simple fix but it needs to be done,” says crewmember, Moani Heimuli.

Other fixes are a bit higher- literally!

Crewmember Saki Uchida says, “Iʻm going go up on the mast and put the lubricant on the track to make the sail easier going up and down.”

All of these crew kuleana are a collective effort to mālama their honua, in this case the waʻa itself.

“So the canoe truly is a great metaphor but itʻs also a great tradition for ʻHe waʻa he moku, he moku he waʻa, Your canoe is your island, your island is your canoe.’ So our kuleana here is to mālama these islands and to take care of them and to ensure as kanaka that we do our earnest part to make sure that they’re ready to go,” says Bertelmann.

Both Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia are cleaned, manifested and awaiting a new year at the Maritime Museum in Auckland, Aotearoa


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