Traditional navigation for sailors to Easter Island

By Yvonne Tahana

he Te Aurere. Photo / File
he Te Aurere. Photo / File

Two traditonal waka hourua are getting ready to sail to Easter Island - on a beautiful day, one of their captains is praying for wind.

Te Aurere and Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti , both made from kauri will be guided out of the harbor by navy vessels and a women's waka later on this morning.

The water is glassy down at the viaduct but captain Jack Thatcher said he was hoping for wind. "I think she might be slightly quicker than Te Aurere - but you'll actually see a really slow race who makes it first out of the channel.

The voyage to Easter Island will take six to eight weeks and crew members using traditional sailing methods including navigation by the stars, and each day are expected to travel up to 100 nautical miles

The crew faces the prospect of battling 20 metre high ocean swells as it will be the start of the cyclone season when the waka reach Easter Island in October. For many of the experienced hands the destination is the only point on the Polynesian Triangle, including Hawaii and NZ, that they haven't sailed to.

Go to www.wakatapu.com or www.teaurere.org.nz for more.

- NZ Herald

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