|Tokelau's Ulu and the Minister of Education rubbed shoulders with the United Nations General Secretary Ban-ki Moon and various other dignitaries, on the traditional Pacific canoe Hokule'a today. The lunchtime cruise on Apia Harbour provided a welcome brief change from their General Debate at the SIDS meeting. Media and others followed suit in its companion canoe, the Hikianalia.
Given the very busy programme of the would-be mariners, the trip was cut short by towing the boats out and back to shore again in a not-so-traditional way: the boards were not allowed to sail on Pacific time at his occasion! It was remarkable that a small rubber dinghy was all that was required to bring the large structures back to shore - a testament to the effectiveness of their light, wave-riding design.
Early in the morning the two vessels had arrived all the way from American Samoa. They received a rousing welcome by a large group of girls and boys in traditional Samoan taupo and manaia costumes. The same performers were impressing their top-level audience again at the departure of these lunch-time cruisers.
Below: Samoan cultural performance at the landing site in Apia Harbour.
The Hawaiian traditional canoe Hokule'a on Apia Harbour today.
Hard work at the rudder when turning the Hikianalia back to shore.
Offloading guests from the Hikianalia.