Fishing Aboard Hokule`a
The only way to supplement food supplies on an ancient voyaging
canoe at sea was to catch fish, and possibly birds. Fishing was a
matter of survival. In the same tradition, fishing is more than just
a pastime on Hokule'a. A good-sized fish provides a day or two of
food for the crew and allows the crew to stretch its supply of food
and lengthen the time the crew can survive at sea.
One crew member on
board the canoe serves as a designated fisherman, responsible for
putting out the lines at sunrise, bringing in the catch with the
assistance of other crew members, and pulling in the lines at
Hokule'a trails up to
four 400 pound-test fishing lines, with lures attached. Two of the
lines extend out from each side of the canoe on bamboo poles to
prevent the lines from tangling. The canoe needs to travel at 6-7
knots for good results. The crew catches a range of open ocean fish,
aku (bluefin tuna),
'ahi (yellowfin tuna),
ono (wahoo), and
a'u (billfish). On the 29-day
voyage to Tahiti in 1992, 35 fish were caught; on the 35-day voyage
from Rarotonga to Hawai'i in 1992, 27 fish were caught, including a
150-pound and a 200-pound marlin.
Holds up a
Cutting Up an
Fish is appreciated by
the crew because it is the only fresh food eaten during the voyage
after the fruits and vegetables have been consumed, usually within
the first few days. The fish is eaten raw, marinated for po-ke, or
fried. The leftover fish parts and bones are used to make soup.
Leftover strips of meat are dried from the rigging, then put into
buckets as snacks for the crew.