One passage in the book describes a double-hulled canoe on Mauke.
We were strolling up the path between the canoe houses when Riley stopped me. “Come and have a look,” he said; “this is the only island I know of where
you can see an old-fashioned double canoe.”
There were two of them in the shed we entered under a roof of battered galvanized iron – long, graceful hulls fashioned from the trunks of trees, joined in pairs by timbers of ironwood laid across the gunwales and lashed down with sinnet. They were beautifully finished – scraped smooth and decorated with carving. In these craft, my companion told me, the men of Mauke still voyage to Atiu and Mitiaro, as they had done for generations before Cook sailed through the group.
The Mauke canoe, Maire Nui, is pictured above under sail in an atmospheric photograph by Ewan Smith.
On its 240km journey from Mauke it broke a boom, which halved the speed of travel to about 4 knots, but the boat arrived safely with a happy though exhausted crew.
After the festival the Maire Nui languished in a tin shed at the old Kia Orana food factory until the government property corporation decided it needed the shed for other purposes. The vaka, by now somewhat dilapidated, was moved outside.
The tin shed is still standing although the Kia Orana factory has now been demolished.