Update on the sailing canoe Iosepa: 


The Iosepa launches from Hukilau Beach on June 15, 2016. Photo by Mark Holladay Lee

The BYU–Hawaii/Polynesian Cultural Center 57-foot, single-masted wa’a kaulua or twin-hulled traditional Hawaiian sailing canoe Iosepa — which is normally berthed in the PCC’s Hawaiian Village — launched from Hukilau Beach in Laie on June 15.

Early plans called for Hawaiian Studies students and others to gain experience sailing along Windward Oahu, maybe circumnavigating the island, and possibly even sailing to the Big Island; but unfortunately, this year’s sail was plagued with logistical problems:

For example, the motorized escort vessel ITF swamped and overturned at its mooring off Hukilau Beach in the early morning hours on June 20. Though it was salvaged two days later and while no one was hurt, that vessel has already returned to its home port in Nanakuli, Oahu.

Iosepa co-captain (and PCC alumnus) Kamoa’e Walk said the BYUH Hawaiian Studies program tried to arrange for another escort vessel, but as originally scheduled, the sailing canoe was pulled from the water on June 29 and soon after returned to its permanent “home” at the Cultural Center.

• Watch Laie photographer Mark Holladay Lee’s brief video of the Iosepa’s latest launch on June 15 at: https://www.facebook.com/Holladayphoto/videos/10208347309333242/

• Watch a BYUH Ke Alaka’i video interviews with one of its captains, PCC artisan Kawika Eskaran, on the history of the Iosepa and the feelings it engenders among its student crewmembers at: https://www.facebook.com/kealakainews/videos/1687945398124642/

Other PCC and related news

PCC sets 4th of July family event: The Polynesian Cultural Center will host a July 4th celebration at the Hukilau Marketplace featuring:

  • A water walk from 8-11 a.m. that includes water stations, a slip and slide, water balloons, sprinklers and more.
  • A Hukilau Marketplace sidewalk sale from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., with 25-50% off retail merchandise. 
  • A plate lunch cook-off contest at 12 noon: Registration begins at 8 a.m. There is a $15 competitor-only fee, or a $50 competitor and vendor fee.
  • Hot dog and watermelon eating contests at 12 noon, the events to be conducted separately. There is a $5 entry fee for each contest.

For more information, visit www.HukilauMarketplace.com/events, or call 808-293-3142.

Story and images by Mike Foley


Mike Foley, who has worked off-and-on

at the Polynesian Cultural Center since

1968,  has been a full-time freelance

writer and digital media specialist since

2002, and had a long career in marketing

communications and PR before that. He

learned to speak fluent Samoan as a

Mormon missionary before moving to Laie

in 1967 — still does, and he has traveled

extensively over the years throughout

Polynesia and other Pacific islands. Foley

is mostly retired now, but continues to

contribute to various PCC and other media.