Today was the first day I got to meet part of Kanehunamoku’s family. I got the opportunity to set foot on two significant canoes and see another. We visited Hawai’i Loa, Hikianalia and Hokule’a.
Our papa wa’a class got to go back into 1st quarter and relive dry dock but with Hawai’i Loa. This was a wonderful experience because we got to add in our own mana into a wa’a with a long history starting from it’s construction. Every wa’a is connected whether it be by genealogy or it’s type of built. So being able to work on her and help her crew with dry dock was a very important and special moment. The crew or builders that was there also played a big role in the building of Kane and we need to give back. The warehouse that we did dry dock in also was the warehouse Kane’s hulls were made in. This was all a connection between the two wa’as which made our whole environment full of mana.
Next we went to see Hikianalia. This part was really fun and cool because we could see her and compare Kane and Hiki. Compared to Kane she was much much bigger. She had certain things that was similar and other parts that I’ve never seen before. The unique thing about Hiki is that she had propellers. I’ve never seen a wa’a with propellers at the bottom but it was pretty cool. Hiki has a modern twist to her which make her unique in her own way.
Like they say save the best for last. Before we had to return to campus all of us got to go on the beginning of modern wa’as. Hokule’a was also bigger than Kane so it was much more spacious. When I stepped foot on top of her I felt like I was hit with something. I’ve heard so much stories of how powerful Hokule’a is and I actually got to feel some of her powerfulness. The cool thing about her is she has seats and names for nearly everything. Hokule’a is the start of all modern wa’a so being on top of her was very special.
This was one of the best PBI days ever. Today our class was apart of history but not just to have our names written into a textbook but actual history. We are now known to all three wa’as because we added in our mana for a bigger cause. What we did might have been small but everything counts. A wa’a can touch your heart in times of need and knowing that you had something to do with it’s journey is how you become apart of history.
This week, Papa Wa’a went to Aunty Kaha’s house. We got to do some sailing along with reviewing what we have learned from our previous project days. A couple of things we learned this week was the Beaufort wind scale, which allows two seamen to be able to communicate quickly and easily with each other about the sailing conditions. We also got to learn the parts of the Danforth sand anchor, and different points of sail.
Learning all these things will be helpful to me on the wa’a because it will make me prepared to carry out any task I am given, and to be able to do it safely and effectively. These skills can also help me in everyday life by training me to be more observant and aware of my surroundings, for myself, as well as my family's safety in the environment. For example, when I become better at the Beaufort wind scale, I might be able to tell when a hurricane or storm is coming before watching the news or listening to the radio , and that could be helpful in order to prepare myself and my family with supplies and a safe and secure shelter to stay in.
All these things we’ve learned today we could use as modern survival skills just as our kupuna used to do, instead of being informed by the media. It is all a part of the way to be self reliant and prepared.