Monday, 7 June 2010

Winter at Waima

Toroa has come out of the water and is now resting on his trailer at home.

Julie and have not yet resolved our house sale. This problem occupies much of our time and energy. There is also a 4 m3 pile of firewood to split, I've just now come inside from a session with my axe and after a hot bath it's time to relate a little of what's been happening.

Toroa sat at anchor in the tidal stream of the Waima River mouth near the tip of the Rawene peninsula for the better part of 4 months. Without anti fouling paint of any kind he needed regular bottom scrubs. As a result there are now several large oysters that have glued themselves very firmly to the bottom in the few places that missed the regular scrub. Before Toroa goes back in the water some kind of antifouling paint will need to be applied. My new summer mooring location will dry out for part of the tide cycle so a hard type antifouling paint suits that situation best. Then there are the graphics that I have designed which must also be applied before his next outing. The next time Toroa goes in the water it will be his official launch. There will be a proper Maori ceremony attended by a local Kaumatua.

Overall I'm pretty happy with Toroa. I only wish that I did not suffer such a physically disabling disease.
Rheumatoid arthritis is very debilitating when all the major joints swell up. This inflammation makes doing anything strenuous unbelievably painful. The problem is worst in my shoulders, hands, fingers and wrists.

The doctors and specialists are not very positive about my prognosis and are trying to convince me to take strong medication in the form of Predisone and Methotrexate. The contraindications for these drugs on the face of it look worse than my symptoms.

I need to do much more research before I make a choice to go down that path.

When I look inwardly I can't help but feel that the R.A. that I suffer from may be a disease that manifests itself in a mindset of resentment, there are thousands of theories around what causes the disease but no one knows for sure!

This is somewhat off topic I know but I want to share with you just what is going on.

I really appreciate the interest that you are showing in my Canoes of Oceania blog. I'm surprised by the number of people that are following my irregular postings.

It's interesting to read about your various blogs and activities, I want to encourage some of you to share more of yourselves in your profiles.

Just recently Julie and I attended a student showing of short films on the subject of Kaimanakitanga.
Roughly translated this means our treasures of knowledge.

Janine McVeigh a local writer and educator chose my work with Toroa as the subject for her 3 minute film. We felt honoured to be the subject of this kind of documentation and we enjoyed the showing of 9 very different short films at the local campus of Northtech, our Northland Polytechnic. These films covered diverse material such as genealogy, Water, conservation, Native forest, etc. The little film titled "Following my Heart"will be loaded on to Youtube and will be linked here on my blog as well.

Janine wants to dedicate more time to this project and plans to feature Toroa in a documentary in which we hope to include some video footage of Toroa sailing.

It's time to get some more real proa footage out there for more of you to view.

Whilst writing this I received a phone call from Gary Dierking who just got back from a month long canoe sailing trip in Fiji with his wife Rose.  It's good to be in touch with you again Gary, we've missed you.

Well It's time for me to help get an evening meal together. The weather has closed in and the wind has turned to the south which means cold and wet for us.

Bye for now


Toroa by Harmen Hielkema & Mike Toy.

Header Photo: Toroa at Rawene by Julie Holton.

This blog is dedicated to the memory of my father Roelof Hielkema who instilled in me the willingness to learn.
These pages are intended to inform and add to the growing body of knowledge concerning the Canoe Culture of the Pacific, past, present & future, from the Tupuna, the Ancestors of the Pacific cultures to the people of the world.

These pages contain Images and text relating to our two proas, Toroa & Takapu, some history relating to our experiments & experiences.

The dissertation that I posted on this blog in April 2008 "Takapu The Proa" was written by me in 1997 in response to an assignment that I was set whilst studying for my design degree. The dissertation covers many issues that a proa enthusiast may benefit from reading about.

Waka define culture as culture defines waka

Waka reflect the individuality and uniqueness of a society which in turn is governed by the geography, geology, topography, climate, location, resources, isolation, origin, flora, fauna, flotsam, jetsam, etc.

Waka are our link to the past, they have shaped our present and define our future.

Waka are the vessels of knowledge, physical and mental development, freedom of bondage to the land, key to our inquisitiveness, expressions of our ingenuity and courage, our love of shape and form, the seat of our power.

Waka are the source of our material culture, from which all processes are derived.

Waka are who and what we are.