17 Aug 2012

Waka to make journey to Easter Island

6:33 am on 17 August 2012

Waka builder and traditional navigator, Hector Busby, will be a step closer on Friday, to a goal he set more than two decades ago.

Two waka he built depart Auckland on Friday morning for Rapanui (Easter Island).

It's the final stage of Mr Busby's quest to sail to all the major islands in the Pacific triangle, to retrace his ancestors' journeys.

Health problems are preventing him from travelling on this journey, but he will be with the crews in spirit.

Like the previous journeys, Mr Busby, 80, says traditional Maori methods of navigation will be used to guide the 17 metre waka.

Skipper and head navigator Jack Thatcher says the 17-metre waka will be steered using large paddles and powered by the wind.

The 10,000 nautical mile return journey will take about five months.