Kaua‘i’s Namaho‘e voyaging canoe receives a gift

NAWILIWILI — “We believe in you guys,” said Gary Smith in a short statement as he handed a check for $1,000 to Dennis Chun and John Kruse of Na Kalai Wa‘a o Kaua‘i on behalf of Mokihana Pest Control, Inc.

Smith, who was on hand with Ted Kimura, the pest control’s lead service technician, said the contribution was made to celebrate the firm’s opening of their Puhi Industrial Park office, the firm’s second office, the first being in Kilauea.

“This is concrete,” Smith said. “It’s a legacy.” Those statements were echoed by Kruse who said the canoe will be here long after the builders, the crew who meets at the worksite each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, are no longer capable of sailing it.

Chun explained that Namaho‘e is the Hawaiian name for the constellation Gemini which serves as one of the navigation points between O‘ahu and Kaua‘i.

Gemini is also the twins, just like the twin hulls of Namaho‘e, said Kruse, pointing out that one is a male, the other a female.

As the contributors to the project prepared to climb the hulls, now inscribed with meaningful messages from builders who have passed through the worksite, Chun said Namaho‘e “is the baby of Hokule‘a,” the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s legendary sailing canoe that first sailed to Tahiti in 1976 and always attracts community attention on its visits here.

Chun said the builders are helping with the birthing process by turning out on the designated workdays.

“It’s very positive,” Smith said. “This contribution is meant to help pull the community together just like the Hokule‘a pulls people together when it visits.”

Marshall Mock, one of the builders who have been regularly working on the craft from its inception, lamented that the “water date,” or when the boat would be launched, has had to be moved back to “probably around the end of November” because of the work that still needs to be done on the developing canoe.

Volunteers are welcome to visit the worksite and help with whatever skills they have to help the canoe on its realization of getting to the water.

Chun said they just need to show up on Tuesdays and Thursdays around 4:30, and Saturday mornings.

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