PVS Newsletter / April 1974, Volume 1, Number 1
WA‘A KAULUA...DOUBLE CANOE
By Herb Kane
(Some members have been surprised to learn that the Society has a 40 ft. long double canoe, or wa'a kaulua. The canoe [christened “Nalehia”], which was built by Ben and Ruth Finney in 1966 for a series of paddling and sailing tests, has been loaned to the Society for use as a training and experimental vessel. After being on display at Sea Life Park from 1967 to 1972, and then in storage at Dan Won's property in Waianae, it was put back into the water at Maunalua Bay in early January. The canoe, which is a replica of a Hawaiian inter-island canoe, is moored out in front of Herb Kane's house, at the Diamond Head side of the bay, right before the entrance to Paiko Lagoon. Lucky Herb, who has only to peek over his drawing board to spy the canoe and gaze at the sea beyond, has been organizing sails on weekends, and has provided us with the following account, written on February 10, of those sails.)
“If you see porpoises right after you launch a newly built canoe, they are messengers from the sea god Kanaloa, signifying that he accepts the vessel into his domain.” My dad told me that this was the belief of the people of Waipio, his home valley. When we launched our training canoe, after its long sojourn on land, we ran up the sail, went booming through the surf, and a herd of porpoises crossed our bow!
Until this weekend, the winds have been light, sometimes making for dull sailing. But already quite a number of members and guests have had an opportunity to experience sailing the only double-hulled canoe, rigged with the distinctive Hawaiian sail, that has been on these waters in perhaps more than 100 years. Outside the reef there's been time to luff the sail and swim in water so clear that you can see the bottom fifty feet below. There's been time to become aquainted with a sail plan long forgotten; to learn lessons from the features of this Hawaiian sailing canoe that will help us in the design of our new voyaging vessel. Rudy Choy had his turn at the helm prior to leaving for his Newport Beach office where his ideas and their development by architect Kim, Thompson are being drafted into a final plan.
This weekend, with small-craft warnings and strong tradewinds with gusts to 35 miles per hour, there was no time for swimming. And no space for riders who couldn't paddle, steer, handle the sheets, or bail. Out past Koko Head, we discovered that the vessel porpoises gracefully over 8 -10 foot swells and shows bursts of about 15 knots or more on a broad reach. The stretch in rope stays enables the mast to incline away from the wind before a gust picks up the windward hull, and the destructive force of a gust is vented out over the slight "U-cut" of the top of the sail. This flexibility of rigging, combined with flexibility in the crossboom lashings may cost the vessel speed when compared to rigidly constructed catamarans, but it imparts a smoothness of "ride" in turbulent winds and waters which we have not previously experienced in modern craft.
The function of the raised endpieces (manu) at bow and stern also was dramatically revealed when the canoe struck a wave, splitting its surface inbursts of spray, and preventing the shallow hulls from "boneyarding" under water. Surprisingly little water came over the gunwales or through the lashing holes along the hulls which Kimo Hugo and Lloyd Yamasaki have plugged with carved chunks of hau. Clumsiness was not the fault of the vessel but our own inexperience with its unique requirements and the fact that each crew to date has been composed of a different group, with only Ben Finney, Tommy Holmes, Mel Kinney, and myself being relatively constant companions to it.
Hard sailing means fast learning. Billy Mitchell and Kahele Kukea brought a group from Hui Nalu canoe racing club yesterday, and today Wally and Moku Frosieth brought members of the Waikiki Surf Racing Club. All went away with admiration for the design capabilities and seamanship of their Hawaiian ancestors.
The Hawaiian sail, which presents its greatest surface at the top ... exactly the opposite of the modern sail ... reaches above the turbulent surface air to catch the true wind. Sail size to boat size ratio is proportionatly much smaller than in modern sailboats, yet we have noted that in a moderate breeze which gives the vessel 6 knots in 5' swells, a monohull with more sail but with half our length and much less crew weight just barely keeps up with us. Modern racing sails are designed with a high roach, battened to catch the upper air. This tendency to reach higher, marking an evolution away from the traditional broad-bottomed Western triangular sail, may well result in a sail similar in cut to the archaic Polynesian sail. Instead of stiffening battens, the high, flexible boom of hau (ours is a light, 30' slightly curved sapling cut in the mountains by Colin Perry and Tommy Holmes) serves to hold the sail to the wind.
The canoe will be used to train crew candidates while the new 60' vessel is being built for the voyage, as well as to give our members and others a chance to see and exp erience a re-creation of part of the marine technology of ancient Hawaii.
(Members have a chance to take a special four-day sailing course, featuring the canoe, or a brief ride on it. See the notice of the course and sail in this issue.)
FUNDS NEAR THE $30,000 MARK... ENOUGH TO START CANOE CONSTRUCTION
The Society has nearly $30,000 in its treasury or pledged for donation in the near future. It has not been easy raising funds, and after an initial award of seed money from the Hawaii Bicentenial Commission the going was very slow until a month ago. Within the space of a week we received an offer of $10,000 cash advance for book rights from Dodd, Mead and Company (see story this newsletter), and a $5,000 pledge from Penny Gerbode, of San Francisco and Honolulu and a promiment member of the Oceanic Society, anew ocean-ecology organization.
We can't, however, rest at the $30,000 mark, for we need at least another $30,000 for canoe construction, and another $35,000 to mount the voyage. Anything and everything helps, no matter how small. Membership donations in the $2 to $50 range have brought in about $5,000, and the sale of T-Shirts and posters have also added to our treasury.
PRELIMINARY CONSTRUCTION STARTS ON THE VOYAGING CANOE...
The design of our voyaging canoe by Herb Kane, and detailed plans by Rudy Choy and Kim Thompson, has been completed, and the lines of the canoe have been "lofted" (transferred, fullscale onto paper and plywood templates) by Warren Seaman, Rudy Choy's partner in C/S/K Catamarans Inc. Actual fabrication of the hulls should start in April, providing all goes well in our negotiations for a building site. Warren Seaman will get construction of the hulls started, but will have to return to California after a month of work to resume his duties at C/S/K Catarmarans.
WANTED: MASTER BOAT BUILDER OR CANOE MAKER
We need an experienced boat builder, or canoe maker, to work with Warren Seaman on initial hull construction stages, and then to take overall responsibility in finishing the hulls, and then coordinating the building and fitting of side strakes (mo'o), bow and stern pieces (manu), crosspieces ('iako), and other parts of the canoe. We have some skilled craftsmen, like Wright Bowman of Kamehameha Schools, who will make parts of the canoe, but we need one man who will take on the job of master builder and overall supervisor of construction. Good wages will be paid. If you are interested in the job, or know someone who might be, call Herb Kane at 377-9621.
NEEDED: ONE TRUCK, ASSORTED TOOLS AND SUPPLIES
The Society urgently needs a truck ... a pick-up, small van, or a mini-bus ... for hauling materials and supplies to be used in construction of the voyaging canoe. If someone, or some firm, has a surplus vehicle that would be willing to contribute to the cause, please contact Ben Finney at 734-4910, or Herb Kane at 377-9621. Your gift would be tax deductable.
We also need all kinds of woodworking tools, from table saws to chisels. So, if you have some old tools out in the garage that you are not using, please consider giving them to the Society for canoe construction. Scrap lumber, canvas, nails, and other supplies and materials for use in building the canoe house, and construction sheds would also be welcome. Now is your chance to get rid of your surplus tools and materials for a worthy cause.
For descriptions of the building of Hokule‘a, see Herb Kane‘s “Founding the Polynesian Voyaging Society; Building and Naming Hōkūle‘a” and Ben Finney’s “Founding of Polynesian Voyaging Society; Building Hōkūle‘a.”
KANE AND FINNEY TO SPEAK AT HILO AND ON KAUAI...
Herb Kane and Ben Finney will present a slide talk about the Society and the projected voyage to Tahiti and return at the University of Hawaii , Hilo Campus, at 7:30 PM April 12. During the week of April 15 - 19, Kane and Finney will be giving separate talks on Kauai. Contact Nick Beck at Kapaa High School for exact times and places. If you have friends on Hawaii or Kaui please let them know about these talks.
TAHITI CHAPTER OF THE SOCIETY TO BE FORMED...
Tahitians Gaston Flosse, President of the Territorial Assembly of French Polynesia and Mayor of Pirae, Tahiti, and Jacques Drollet, President of the Tahiti Tourist Board together with Michel Paoletti, Assistant Secretary General. for Economic Affairs in French Polynesia, and R. Guiraud, Director General of S.E.T.I.L. , recently visited Hawaii and met with members of the Society to discuss Hawaiian - Tahitian cooperation on the canoe project. They left with the firm resolve to found a Tahiti chapter of the Society, and a load of Society T-Shirts and posters to sell in Tahiti to start building up their treasury. Tasks discussed for the Tahiti chapter include selecting and training Tahitian crew tane or vahine for the voyage, preparing a welcome for the canoe, and perhaps even building a Tahitian counterpart voyaging vessel. Members going down to Tahiti are urged to call Ben Finney or Herb Kane to see if any messages or materials may be carried to Tahiti. Thanks to the initial negotiations of Ed Dodd, of Dodd, Mead and Company, and Dr. Kenneth Emory and Dr. Yoshi Sinoto of the Bishop Museum, we have been able to make this essential liaison with our counterparts in Tahiti.
SPEAKERS BUREAU FORMED
Mike Trens, recently retired from the Navy, has volunteered to start a speakers bureau. He will act as a clearinghouse for groups that want speakers from the Society, and will help train speakers and provide materials for talks. So, if you want a speaker to present a slide talk about the Society and its voyaging project, call Mike Trens. Or, if you are a Society member and would be interested in giving talks contact him also. His telephone numbers are: 947-3722 (work); 923-5679 (home).
POLYNESIAN VOYAGING SOCIETYRULED TAX EXEMPT
The Society has received final determination from the Internal Revenue Service that we are exempt from Federal income tax under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. This means that doners may deduct contributions, including membership contributions, as provided in section 170 of the Code. If you have any questions regarding tax deductions please call our accountant, Les Warren, at 531-0768 (address: 900-B Amfac Building, 700 Bishop Street, Honolulu 96813).
BOOK CONTRACT SIGNED WITH DODD, MEAD & COMPANY...
Edward Dodd, President of the New York Publishing firm of Dodd, Mead and Company, visited Honolulu in January on his wa to Tahiti. While here Dodd, who is the author of a beautiful book on canoes and voyaging,Polynsian Seafaring, became interested in our project, took a sail on the 40 ft. double-canoe, and came up with an offer of a book contract. As Dodd explained to us, just after World War II he turned away a young Norwegian named Thor Heyerdahl who wanted an advance on a book he was going to write about a raft yoyage from South America to Polynesia that he was promoting. “But I am not going to miss this one,” he told us as we sat down to negotiate a contract. At a meeting of the Board of Directors a resolution to accept the contract was unanimously passed. The Society has signed and therefore agreed to furnish Dodd, Mead and Company with a book manuscript on the voyage to Tahiti and return (or two books, one on the voyage to Tahiti, the other on the return) as soon as possible after the completion of the project. In return the Society, not the designated authors Herb Kane and Ben Finney, will receive standard royalties, and has already received an advance of $10,000 against those royalties. The advance is most welcome (it will go right into buying materials for canoe construction) and we are glad that such a man as Ed Dodd and a firm like Dodd, Mead and Company are now behind our project.
NAVIGATOR RESEARCHER LEWIS: SAFE IN CAPETOWN...
David Lewis, Director at Large of the Society, reached Capetown, South Africa, safely after a harrowing voyage from Palmer Peninsula Antartica. Lewis, who was on the second leg of a solo circumnavigation of Antartica, had to battle pack ice and 100 mile an hour winds which dismasted his 30 foot craft and left him badly battered. According to preliminary reports received by Herb Kane, Lewis may abandon his attempt to sail around Antartica, and ship his craft back to Australia, his starting point.
Lewis is the leading researcher on indigenous systems of navigation in the Pacific, and has recently published a book, We The Navigators (University Press of Hawaii, 1972) which gives the most detailed analysis of these systems available. For the Tahiti - Hawaii voyage Lewis will be in charge of forming the navigation team of island navigatorsfrom those parts of Polynesia and Micronesia where indigenous navigation skills still survive.
SOCIETY MEMBERSHIP GROWS TO 318
The Society would like to take this opportunity to welcome all present members and urge you to ask your friends to join us. You will be receiving membership ceriificates shortly.
Dr. Elizabeth Adanes, Joan Aidem, Harold H. Ajirogi, Farden Akui, Bill Allen Jr., Ray Arnold, R.W. August, Nancy Bannick, Charles Barrett, Dr. Terence Barrow, Michael Bean, Rebekah Benson, Raymond S. Bieber, Ann Kai Binney, Janyce K. Blair, Dr. Richard Blaisdell, Kai Blakenfield, Larry Bortles, Janet/ Lau ry/Joan Boyd, Gladys Aihoa Brandt, Larry Burckhalter, James R. Bunker, Charles M. Busby, Mr. & Mrs. O.A. Bushnell, Edna Cable, Ellen Lellani Caitano, Dennis Callan, Peter W. Cannon, Willie & Mrs. Chang wo, Prof. William Clarke, Michael R. Coad, Kalani Coito , John Colburn, James Colon, Fred B. Conant 111, Benjamin H. Conklin Maribelle Cormack, Charles A. Crabb, L.J. Crampton, Charles Crispin, David W. Curtis, Eric Curtis, Barbara D. Dauer, Dr. & Mrs. Bill Davis, Grove & Mrs. Day, Raymond Demott, Harriet Devault, Edward Doernberger, Dr. & Mrs. C.T. Druecker, Irene Dupont, Alan Egusa, Paul Englebrecht, Deborah Ann Evers, Janice Ebisuya, Roger J. Eggers, Victor Fagerroos, Peggy Ferris, Ben R. Finney, Leon & Melba Finney, Marie Folk, Nancy Foos, Roland Force, Julius J. Frahm, Barbara Frierson, Luana Froiseth, Teene' Froiseth, Wallace & Alice Froiseth, Rick Gaffney, Elizabeth T. Garden, Mrs. Wayne F. Gardener, Wayne F, Gardener, Anna Garner, Steven Gendel, Guido Gialometti, Leonard & Florence Gliatto, Harold Goldman, Ruth P. Goldman, R.D. Golly, Beatrice Gomes, Robert Goodman, Janet L. Gorden, Richard A. Gould, Merrie Carol Grain, J. Brysson Greenwell Jr., Bob Griffith, Robert Tim Guard, June Gutmanis, Connie Hamner, Michael P. Hamnet, lvo Hanza, Christian L. Harkness, Alice D. Harris, Debbie Harris, Tom Harris, Frank 0. Hay Jr., Leinaala Heine, Sam Heine, Arlene Hellinger, Renee Heyum, Herman S.L. Hu, Ken Jackson, Oliver Jahn, Carol A. Jenkins, Dallas Jensen, Robert Joerger Don Johnston, Mrs. Hal Johnson, Kawena Johnson, Ruth Johnson, W.J. Joy, Mrs. Crawley Joyner Jr., C.S. Judd Jr., Mrs. Ernest Kai, Yasuto Kaihara, PualaniKanahele, Dreena Kane, Milton & Mrs. Kanehe, Edward Kaohelaulii, Vincent Kapolis, Regina K. Kawamoto, Dr. Alison Kay, Alexander Kea, H.K. Bruss Keppeler, C.H. & Class Kikukawa, Mr. & Mrs. T.F. Kimball, Mele Kimura, M.L. Kinyon, Francis Koki, Edwin & Mrs. Kong, Joan Krakowiak, Peter Krakowiak, Thomas Krakowiak, James Kroefsky Marcia Kroefsky, Kala Kukea, Joseph & Mrs. Kukea, Henk L. Kuiper, Harriet Kusuhara, Steve Kux, Roger Lau, Sheila McCarthy Lau, Robert Lawder, Francis Kainow Lee, Toni Lee, James J. Lennon, Tony Lenzer, Sidney Leong, Kay Lewis, Dr. & Mrs. Richard Lieban, J. Lindberg Hansen, Olivia Ling, Marcia L. Linville, Harold G. Loomis, A. Makanani Eleanor M. Marquez, William K. Marr, Gwen Kailikai Matsui, M. McArthur, Ian McDonald, Malcolm S. McLeod Jr., Moses Mock, Dr. A.V. Molyneux, Dr. & Mrs. W.F. Moore, Harold & Mrs. Morowitz, Richard J. Morriss, Ronald Mortimore, Bill Mowat, Cybele Mullins, Joseph Mullins, Patrick Mullins, Anne Musser, Laurie Myers, Virginia Mtlar, Maurice Nakama, Lawrence Makasawa, Frank & Mrs. Needham, Thomas Nicker-, son, D.B. Nurcombe, V. Nurcombe, Winifred Oje, Faye Okouchi, Setsu Okubo, Haunani C. Olds, Carmen E. Oliveira, Elizabeth Oliver, Douglas Oliver, Calvin W. Ontai, Mr. Clifford Orr, Jill Paea, Lisa Paea, Colin Perry, George A. Perry, Tay W. Perry, John H. R. Plews, E. Grosvenor Plowman, Laurence C. Plowman, Eno 0. Plumey, Howard A. Powers, Dora B. Pratt, Joan C. Pratt, Mr. Gail Prejean, Dr. James H. Pulford, Ed Rael, Claire Rayburn, Robbin Reed, Harper Richards, Gerry L. Robinson, Keattonui Rosehill, Kathleen M. Ryan, Mr. & Mrs. Carl E. Saake, Dr. Patsy Saiki, Mary C, Sanford, Colleen A. Sasaki, Norma Saturnine, Don Sceisa, Earl Schenck Jr., E.W. Schooley, Herb Schriner, Dr. & Mrs. W.G. Schroffner, Susan Scott, Sharon Serene, Eric Kim,-,eu, Susan Shaner, John E. Sharkey, Michael Shay, Chuck Shipman, Dr. Yoshiko Sinoto Sisters of St. Francis, Mr. & Mrs. John Slayter, Mark Slayter, Kenneth R. Smith, Melissa Tres Smith, Antonette Snellback, Robert Sparks, Charlottespringer, Dr. Jack Stark, Dr. Manley St. Denis, Eric Steele, George Stepp Jr., Bob Stevens, George Sukedka, John Stone, Hiroshi Suyedka, J. Patricia Swenson, William Tagupa, Sean Tamashiro, Kris Tamashiro, Eddie Tangen, David Tauares, Rhude Thompson, Julia Toomey, Ray & Mrs. Trefzger, Mike Trans, Thurston Twigg-Smith, John Valentine, Kathy B. Valier Mrs. Livingston Valier, Malcolm Varde, Carl & Mrs. Vetter, Carl Vetter Jr., Theone Vrenburg, Mr. Blair Walliser, Michael A. Warren, R. Les Warren, Frank R. White Jr., William & Iris Wiley, Leslie & Mrs. Wilkins, Leslie Wilkins, Eleanor Williamson, Elmer W. Williamson, Dr. Nancy M. Williams, Dalwyn Wong, Wood Products of Hawaii, Donald Yap , August Yee, Sharon Yokota, Aaron Kale! Young, Henry & Mrs. Young, J. Young, Jack K. Yuen, Gertrude Zelko, Bruce Ziegler, Marilyn Ziegler, Mr. & Mrs. John Zapotocky, Captain Allyn Cole Jr., Helen H. Cole, RichardCosgrove, James E. Costenborder, RichardTai Crouch, Gavan Daws, Edward Dodd, Penny Gerbode, Louis J. Goodman, M.M. St. 0. Grainger, Amy Greenwell, Mr. & Mrs. Earl Gunther, Hawaiian Civic Club of Kau, Honolulu Community College Library, Carol M. lngelson, Michael Kaschko, Charles W. Kolb, Connie Lashbrook, Mike and Patti Len, Malie Letuli, Ruth M. Nishiyami, John Princetich, Nathaniel Reed, Dorothey Jane Ruse, Patricia Schattenburg, Gunnar Scheiderup, George C. Stees, F. Warshauer, C.E. Watts, Virginia Wirtz, John Cotton Wright, Gayle S. Yoshida, Grace R. Hara.