Photograph by Lynn Johnson
Perched on the navigator's platform of the Makali'i—a traditional double-hulled voyaging canoe—Captain Clay Bertelmann savors the moment when his green crew of high school science teachers finally comes together as a team. "The first tack didn't go very well," says Bertelmann, who introduces both teachers and students to the ancient art of Polynesian seamanship. "When we came to windward, the canoe actually started sailing backwards. On the second tack they got some lines tangled. The third was perfect. Everyone smiled and cheered." The revival of the nearly 60-foot-long (20-meter-long) voyaging canoes and traditional celestial navigation techniques have generated enormous pride among native Hawaiians—and helped launch a cultural renaissance that shows no sign of slowing.