As Hōkūleʻa continues her journey throughout the paeʻāina ʻo Hawaiʻi, we mahalo the Makaliʻi ʻohana who have cared for our waʻa on Moku o Keawe.
“The idea of building Makaliʻi came out after sailing on Hōkūleʻa. We decided that maybe it was possible to build something for the Big Island. And so, my brother and I, Clay Bertelmann, along with other core people, family and community members got together and decided to build a canoe just to support the voyages of Hōkūleʻa,” said pwo navigator Shorty Bertelmann.
“And it was really Clay Bertelmann, who is Shorty’s older brother who really took that sense of what we were learning from Hōkūleʻa and he really tried to see what the community would do to build another waʻa. And it was really from that sense of really wanting to continue what Hōkūleʻa was started. It was just saying, let’s build another canoe so that we can continue what Hōkūleʻa started. So that we can have a united community and just continue Hōkūleʻas work,” remarked Makaliʻi captain Chadd Paishon. “It took about 9 months to build makaliʻi. and then she was put into the water in Kawaihae. So really it’s in that sense that we know, Makaliʻi, originally she was built for Moku o Keawe.”
“And so that’s how we started. Until today we do the same thing, we are in support of our mother. Our mother is Hōkūleʻa, and we are trying to do our best on the other islands,” said Bertelmann.
“Makaliʻi has been continuing with the education program over the last 18 years now. But now, what we’ve been doing with continuing the education programs that we have is real specific, more so to the West side of Moku o Keawe. Because now, we are fortunate, we have Hōkūalakaʻi, that’s on the Eastern side, Hilo side, and all that area. A lot of the crewmembers who sail on Makaliʻi are very familiar to Makaliʻi, and having Hōkūleʻa home, it’s a very short time, you know, even if it’s a month. It was real specific for us that we wanted all of our crewmembers to get onboard Hōkūleʻa because that will be the canoe that will be sailing if they are fortunate enough to be crewmembers chosen for the worldwide voyage. So it’s real specific, now it’s moreso focusing on getting our crewmembers ready for the worldwide voyage,” said Paishon.