Maitahi OCC was given a beautiful morning for the blessing of ‘Ohana, the newest addition to the club fleet. Obviously a lot of people were involved over a long period of time in bringing this project to fruition and, although tradition dictates not mentioning individuals, special mention should go to Jeff Neilson for driving the argument for a new carbon canoe and to Kiri Wahanui and Jenni Bancroft for leading and persevering with the funding application.
Aaron Hemi and Cliff Saxton led the ceremony for us. It was particularly great to have Cliff guiding us as, not only did he gift us the name ‘Ohana, he embodies the meaning of the word in everything he does.
The beautiful Spring morning saw a perfectly flat ocean and once the initial chill had disappeared as the sun came up everyone enjoyed the occasion. Unloading the new canoe was slightly nerve-racking even though it weighs far less than our other waka.
Once on the beach Cliff gathered the club members with the Pūtātara and they formed a loose semi-circle around the canoe. Aaron gave us a Karakia and invited us to lay our hands on the waka. We then moved to the back of the beach for some delicious kai and coffee. I’m not sure who provided the food but big thanks to you all. There are no pictures of the food as I had my hands full at the time.
The first crew to take to the water consisted of Sean, Greg, Jeff, Katie, Penny and Karen. Alongside them was a small flotilla of singles and doubles.
A second trip saw Greg, Jeff and Penny joined by Cliff, Carol and Lynette.
And apart from de-rigging & reloading ‘Ohana that was it for the morning. The people with real jobs headed to work while the slackers and ne’er-do-wells retired to Raglan Roast for caffeine.
Its never too early or too late to start paddling waka ama
We always welcome new members to the Maitahi Outrigger Canoe Club.
We have social and racing waka ama crews catering for a wide variety of ages and abilities.