Lahaina – As Tropical Storm Julio chases Tropical Storm Iselle into the Central Pacific, Hui o Wa’a Kaulua is taking no chances. Late Tuesday, Captain Timi Gilliom suspended sea trials for Mo’okiha o Pi’ilani traditional voyaging canoe and brought her back to Mala Wharf until this weekend’s hurricane watch ends.
“We are taking precautions to protect Mo’okiha based on UH Meteorology Synoptic Reports,” said Kapena Timi Gilliom. “We are just starting sea trials, and hurricane response duties are an important part of crew training. We have not really tested our moorings at Lahaina Roadstead and the Lahaina Restoration Foundation slip in marginal weather—but we know the canoe will be safe in the boat yard at Mala. We are really grateful to Rojas Trucking for pulling us in, and to Gunn Brothers, who hauled us up Front Street and launched us In July. ”
Last weekend, Mo’okiha crew sailed the 62-foot double-mast traditional canoe for the first time, began passing their swim and fitness tests, and practiced man-overboard drills.“This wa’a rides higher in the water than Hōkūleʻa,” explained Jack Breen, crewmember. “Therefore, paddling is not an option, so we have to be good with both traditional and modern sails.” Today a 35 HP outboard engine maneuvered her into Mala Boat Ramp.
Yesterday, after she was attached to the custom trailer built by Lahaina Welding, a trailer axle gave way. Mo’okiha crewmemberand engineer Charlie Noland was able to make a temporary fix so Rojas Trucking could resume retrievingthe 10-ton double hull canoe from the sea.
DLNR Acting Harbor Agent for Lahaina Harbor, Miles Lopes and his staff are preparing for increased activity as boat owners respond to evolving weather report on the storms advancing from the Southeast. A small craft advisory has not yet been issued.
Mo’okiha o Pi’ilani sea trials to prepare for USCG International Registry will resume again when after the hurricane watch is over.
For further information on Mo’okiha please visit www.huiowaa.org