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More ‘Stone Age’ Than Manu Rere

Hans Klaar’s 73-ft Ontong Java was a welcome sight to many Polynesians.

© 2009 Glenn Tieman

The name Glenn Tieman should ring a bell with regular visitors to this site and readers of Latitude 38 magazine. He’s the Southern California traditionalist who hand-built a primative Wharram catamaran, and recently sailed from Mexico to the South Pacific. In the excerpted report below, we catch up with Tieman in Moorea, a few days after his crossing from the Tuamotus:

"At Moorea I met Hans Klaar on his one-of-a-kind 73-ft voyaging double-canoe. On his previous boat, also a Wharram cat, Hans was one of the first westerners to use crab claw sails — like the ones I have on Manu Rere. His current boat is likely the only yacht even more radically stone-age than my own. Although he does use a 5-hp outboard engine, he had the Ontong Java built, along Polynesian lines, from big planks cut from two trees in West Africa. The gaps between the planks are sealed with strips of rubber tacked over.

"Before leaving Papeete I got an email from him saying he was at Moorea with one too many girls aboard and hoping I could take one. They were beauties too. Several people at Moorea appreciate Polynesian vessels like Manu Rere and they kept me entertained with diving, touring and dining.

Renowned as one of the most majestically beautiful islands on Earth, Bora Bora is typically the last stop before leaving the Societies.

Manu Rere
©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

"I moved on to Huahine, then to Bora Bora, which, despite its drawbacks, looked like the Matterhorn heaving out of the sea and mist. Again at Bora Bora I anchored next to Ontong Java, and I’ve come across a few other Wharram catamarans and their crews as well during  these last couple stops. From here it’s a thousand miles to Wallis Island, possibly first stopping at Samoa, then north through Tuvalu before the southern hurricane season begins." Look for more on Tieman’s travels in an upcoming issue of Latitude.

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