National Geographic : 1976 Apr
themselves at the cross booms connecting the two hulls. Ka'upena began the traditional launching shout, and the canoe moved for ward. Her bows came down over the crest of the beach, and with a thunderous rumble Hokule'a plunged into Kaneohe Bay. For two months we tested her in all types of weather, and her personality revealed it self. She did not seem to like the reef-studded bay. But when she headed for open water, she took surf and channel swells eagerly. New Mariners Try Old-time Diet Paige Barber (page 479) had organized a great feast for that launching ceremony. Now she headed the massive effort of provisioning a crew of 18 for their month-long Tahiti voyage plus their three-week stint on a train ing diet. Fish, taro, breadfruit, bananas, sweet potatoes, yams, coconuts, octopus, medicinal herbs, and the specially flavored Hawaiian red salt-all would be needed to give the crew a varied diet. Acquiring enough taro root-once the staple of Hawaii-was a problem; with changing tastes and rising costs, its popular ity even among tradition-minded Hawaiians has waned. First boiled, then pounded into a heavy paste, taro becomes hard poi, and that too is a voyaging food; its slowly fer menting sugar acts as a preservative. Our taro search focused new interest on the traditional plant. As a taro farmer on Maui pointed out: "It shows that the native farmer has much to offer the world. This may restore pride and dignity to an art of farming that is passing into antiquity." Dried bananas came from the Cook Is lands. They are still produced there, as a candy, but once they must have been an im portant high-energy food for voyagers. From Kona we received information on ancient techniques used to dry fish. But where, we wondered, could we obtain the great quantities of fish we would need to dry for the voyage? Contestants at the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament at Kona answered by donating more than two tons of marlin and tuna. Each night, after the fishing boats docked, Mauna Roy worked long hours clean ing the big fish. The 3,700 pounds of fillets were wrapped and frozen. Before the long voyage, Mauna and other volunteers will take A Canoe Helps Hawaii Recapture Her Past Oahu TROPIC OF CANCER ----- ----- - - -- :~- ~ -L Hawaiian - Maui Island Ha all ' PROPOSED\ - _ - cURREfs ( D OLD -US __ __ --. _.__^ EQUATOR 0 -- -- 1000 ---- - -- ~ STATUTEMILESAT EQUATOR RENTS NATIONALGEOGAPHIC ARTDIVISION N A j IslandsTa ot ratea- Tahit rchipelago Route of Hokule'a: To reach Tahiti, the crew first must sail to the southeast, or upwind of their goal, sight the island's zenith star, then follow it west, or down wind (above). The stars will also guide them home. The crew must be prepared to paddle (below) in the event of a calm.