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Sailing Canoe Chapter 9: Dipaakak

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Step 1: The Story of Jebro

Picture of The Story of Jebro
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This captain lost the Dipakaak from one end of his canoe during the RMI National Race in 2000. After that he could only sail one direction. We picked him up and towed him with the chase boat.
I was amazed. It was just like Timur's boat problem in "The Story of Jebro".

The Story of Jebro is the legend of how the sail came to the outrigger. It's a story all Marshallese people know. They will tell you the story when they explain about sailing. The story is deep. The names of people in it are the same as the navigation stars. The story chant repeats the star names in the same order as their appearance. So when you lull a child to sleep with this chant, you are teaching stellar navigation.

The following excerpt is from
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1998). Marshallese Legends and Traditions Second edition. Albury:

"At last, they were ahead of all except Timur. Then they came to him. He was surprised to see the sailing canoe. "Give me that boat! Exchange with me at once!" he shouted.

"I'll have to give Timur my canoe" said Jabro. [3]

"Very well" said Liktanur. "We'll get into his canoe and let him have this one. But take along with you the repakak and jurikli (boom socket) from one end of the canoe. Leave him only those at the other end."

So Timur got the sailing canoe. Jabro and his mother paddled ahead in Timur's canoe and were soon hidden from him by high wave. Timur sailed very fast, but when he tried to tack, he had trouble, because of the missing gear. The canoe would go only one way. Jabro reached the shore of Jeh Island long before the others. "

There is much more to this story. Read the whole thing. Learn Marshallese and memorize the chant.
Wade Tarzia5 years ago
Tim, do the racing proas usually have the totally decked over hulls/vakas like the one in your photo?
TimAnderson (author)  Wade Tarzia5 years ago
That was the trend when I was there in 2000. It's continued, based on photos I've seen. Usually there are big hatches in the main hull on either side of the central platform. You'd put your legs down there if you were paddling, and that's where you'd bail water from.
Very interesting, Tim. Maybe you should write a book about your experiences with canoes around the world. It sounds like you have some good stories. By the way, have y'all gotten my internship application? Merry Christmas!
I love your boat instructables Tim! your instructables are always of the highest quality and most interesting content. it's 'ables like this one that keep me coming back to this site day after day after day. please don't ever stop.
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