Launch of Mo’okiha o Pi’ilani Planned on Akua Moon in July
By Maui Now Staff
The long-awaited launch of Maui’s own Polynesian voyaging canoe, the Moʻokiha o Piʻilani, has been set for Friday, July 11, 2014, at Māla Wharf Boat Ramp in West Maui, according to a Hui o Waʻa Kaulua announcement.
“Moʻokiha o Piʻilani and her crew are ready to start sea trials,” said the canoe’s captain and builder, Timi Gilliom in a press release. “Mahalo to all who put their mana and energy into this waʻa kaulua,” he said.
The canoe has been under construction for the past 18 years at Kamehameha Iki Park in West Maui, but work to build the vessel actually began in the mid 1990s.
Supporters credited all the hands who brought the canoe where it is today.
“Those here now and those of past years – all bring us to this moment. The canoe is born of early inspirations: Auntie Poepoe, Kupuna Ned Lindsey and Herb Kane at the Polynesian Voyaging Society… Moʻokiha and Hui o Waʻa Kaulua represent the work of many hands and the ʻike (knowledge) of many hālau,” said Hui o Waʻa Kaulua Boad of Directors President, Leonard Kimokeo Kapahulehua.
The festivities are scheduled to begin at noon on Friday, July 11, 2014, with protocols and festivities leading up to the launch, scheduled to take place between 3:30 and 4 p.m.
The schedule also calls for an address by Governor Neil Abercrombie and the Office of the Mayor, with the exact launch time dependent upon tide, currents, winds and swell conditions at the new Māla Boat Ramp.
“The waʻa (canoe) is in control. No matter what the challenge, this canoe is destined to sail– and we will float her out on the July Akua Moon (14th night of the full moon) high tide,” said Gilliom.
“After launch, Moʻolele and a flotilla of Maui outriggers and racing canoe clubs will escort Moʻokiha o Piʻilani to Lahaina Roads near Kamehameha Iki Park and Hui o Waʻa Kaulua Dry Dock,” the announcement stated.
Additional festivities will follow to commemorate the milestone occasion.