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A Native Hawaiian Place of Learning for Voyagers of the World



The traditional hālau wa’a was a longhouse, a covered structure near the shoreline dedicated to all matters related to canoes, and whose linear measure could provide ample shelter for vessels of sizeable length. 

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March 2021

Knot Tutorial

Learn the basic knots for sailing and wayfinding! View the video, grab a rope and practice tying these knots.

Hīpuʻu walu - Figure Eight

Hīpuʻu walu – Figure Eight

How to tie:
1. Make underhand loop, bringing end around and over the standing part.
2. Pass end under, then up through the loop.
3. Draw up tight.

Use: This knot is ideal for keeping the end of a rope from running out of tackle or pulley.

Pahu - Square Knot

Pahu – Square Knot

How to tie:
1. Pass left end over and under right end.
2. Curve what is now the left end toward the right and cross what is now the right end over and under the left.
3. Draw up tight by pulling one end and line away from the other end and line.
Use: This knot is used at sea in reefing and furling sails. It is used in first aid to tie off a bandage or a sling because the knot lies flat.

Hoapaʻa – Clove Hitch

How to tie:
1. Make a turn with the rope around the object and over itself.
2. Take a second turn with the rope around the object.
3. Pull the end up under the second turn so it is between the rope and the object. Tighten by pulling on both ends.
Use: This knot is the “general utility” hitch for when you need a quick, simple method of fastening a rope around a post, spar or stake.
Kapolina - Bowline

Kapolina – Bowline

How to tie:
1. Make the overhand loop with the end held toward you, then pass end through loop.
2. Now pass end up behind the standing part, then down through the loop again.
3. Draw up tight.
Use: This knot doesn’t jam or slip when tied properly. It can be tied around a person’s waist and used to lift him, because the loop will not tighten under load.

Learning Activities

We got there a little before sunset and started on our task to build a star compass using just the sun as our reference point.
We have chosen to be a part of this voyaging family. We support each other. Watch as we swim together as one family from start to finish.