Te Ara ki te Pito o te Whenua | Voyage to Rapanui:
Two maori waka hourua (double hulled sailing canoe) departed Mangareva on Nov. 7, bound for Rapanui. The two are Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti, captained by Jack Thatcher, senior navigator; and its elder sibling Te Aurere, captained by Stanley Conrad. The canoes left Auckland, New Zealand, on August 18.
Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti
The 10,000 mile voyage from Aotearoa to Rapanui has been the dream of Hekenukumai Busby, the master waka builder who built both vessels. At 80 he is won’t do the full trip but hopes to hop back on board as they get closer to the eastern tip of the Polynesian Triangle.
Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti is named after his late wife. Given the significance of this project, Te Aurere has been consecrated to recognise the cultural and spiritual significance of the voyage. The waka will be made tapu and a stringent set of cultural restrictions put in place for the journey to Rapanui. Te Aurere is crewed by men only, while its sister-ship has a mix of women and men.