Canoes re-enact Pacific voyage - RePress


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Thursday, September 3

Canoes re-enact Pacific voyage

One of the world’s greatest migrations across the Pacific Ocean is to be re-enacted using ancient seafaring skills and a fleet of traditional canoes, currently being built in New Zealand.

The voyage from French Polynesia to Hawaii next year will not only recreate history but also regenerate Polynesia’s ancestral traditions and legendary voyaging skills that date back thousands of years.

Three of the six double-hulled canoes being built for the journey have already been completed in Auckland, and another three should be finished by November.

Traditional design
The Pacific Voyaging Canoes project rolled out the three completed double-hulled replicas at a boatyard on Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour this week.

The robust boats, built in a traditional design from the Taumotu Islands in French Polynesia, have twin hulls 22m long and are joined by a platform supporting a small deck house.

Because logs used to make original craft are no longer available, the replica canoes have been made of fibreglass and other modern materials.

Twin masts rise 13m above deck, and a carved 10m steering paddle extends back between the hulls, each of which contains eight bunks and storage for the journey.

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