Hokule’a Launch and Adaptive Paddling
Had a perfect day yesterday.. Got up at the crack of dawn at 4 AM to go see the Hokule’a, a Polynesian double hulled voyaging canoe, taken out of dry dock at the Marine Education Training Center (METC), and put back into the water in Honolulu Harbor. It will be prepared over the next several months to return to the sea in June. First, a few inter island runs to get the boat and crew all dialed in then on to Tahiti I believe. They will begin their first voyage around the world. The Hokule’a was launched in 1975 and to this day only relies on traditional Hawaiian methods of navigation and wayfinding, using only the stars at night and the wave and current patterns to navigate across the ocean. No modern navigational equipment like compasses are used. It was a very powerful and moving event to be a part of. Truly amazing to see the team work put forth to hand push this giant canoe across the parking lot and down into the water!
Afterwards, across the same parking lot, I pushed my wheelchair over to hook up with friends at Pure Light Racing canoe club for Recreational Adaptive Paddling Day. This is a Hawaiian canoe club for people with disabilities and meets every Saturday. It was so awesome! Such a great group of people having a great time at the beach. There was a nice picnic table under a shady tree overlooking the beautiful blue waters of Sand Island. There was a plastic mat rolled across the beach to transverse the sand down to the water. The canoes were parallel parked along the shore where we could easily wheel up along side to transfer into the canoes. Everyone there was so strong and made transfers look so easy, even wheelying across the sand effortlessly. Getting in the canoe was easier for me but getting out I had lots of help. Being in a canoe again for the first time in over ten years since my injury was wonderful! I’ve paddled all my life spending most of my days in the water and it felt so great to be back. We used adapted backrests with supportive torso belts for trunk support. It works really, really good. I had complete balance and didn’t feel awkward or out of balance at all. I had a hard time paddling with my limited hands. I wasn’t able to grip the paddle. But everyone had lots of different ideas on how we could adapt something to fix that. It was a great day meeting new people and reacquainting with old friends. All that sunshine felt great too!
Posted on February 24, 2013, in February, Paddling, Text and tagged Adaptive Paddling, damon boiser, hawaii, Hokulea, Polynesian Voyaging Society, Quadriplegic, sports, wheelchair, Wheelchair user. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.