Canoe and Crew
“The canoe is the mother. And the navigator is the father. And the crew members, that pretty much makes us all brothers and sisters. What makes Makali’i special is this relationship we have with each other.”
This strong bond between canoe and crew has been a key reason for Makali’iʻs success, beginning with the original builder Clay Bertlemann.
“He wanted to build a canoe for his younger brother, Shorty that was becoming a navigator because at that time Hōkūleʻa was the only canoe, she couldn’t be on every island, at every community that wanted to experience her. But in building Makaliʻi, that we would just continue what Hōkūleʻa had started but being able to do it here within our community,” said master navigator Chadd ʻŌnohi Paishon.
After serving as a classroom for numerous community programs. Makaliʻi recently returned to the sea after completing changes to her hull in preparation for future voyages.
“This past drydock we focused on reopening the bows, the manus, on the bow of Makaliʻi to really look at them and reinforce them because we want to add a spreader across the front. And that allows us a little more opportunity as far as setting sails and everything else,” said ʻŌnohi.
“You know, we’re not a huge group. We have a pretty solid crew and a lot of our young guys who are coming through, they’ve been with us a long time. There’s a strong backing by the community from the years its involvement with the community. And that’s what kept us really strong.” said Nicholas Kaipara Marr.
“You know, one of the biggest things is when you help on the canoe, your energy or your mana stays with the canoe. So even when we’re voyaging, part of them is with us and helps us to sail safely from their hard work too,” said Mike Manu, a crew member on Makaliʻi.
“Preparation is, maybe it’s, you never get to do enough. But once you’re out there, you’re in the hands of the ocean and the elements. And that’s a place we love to be. And that’s where everything comes together. I think it’s just creating that base of that next generation coming through. And we learn consistently, you know, we learn the same way so that one thing I do like about our crew is once we get on, we’re all on the same page,” said Nicholas.
“And even as Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia will be gone from us, we can utilize Makaliʻi as one of the training canoes for the rest of ʻohana waʻa. The upcoming dry docks that we have ahead of us will be really focused towards getting Makaliʻi ready within the fourth year of the Worldwide Voyage to meet up with Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia… Hopefully that we can join them there and return with them to Hawaiʻi,” said ʻŌnohi.