Last Cruise of the 'Fou-Po'
TOLD BY ERIC DE BISSCHOP TO CONSTANCE WITHINGTON
THE valiant little Chinese junk, the Fou-Po, having won a thousand battles against the sea and the elements, found her grave, alas, at Kalaupapa, after we imagined we had brought her to a safe anchorage. This curious little craft had carried my mate and me during a three years’ cruise in the Pacific in an effort to prove my theory that it was impossible for the Polynesian race to have migrated from Malaysia to Oceania — that is, from west to east.
This expedition of ours almost ended disastrously, for when we anchored at Kalaupapa, Molokai, in the Hawaiian Islands, we were carried ashore almost dead from starvation, and only the kind and skillful care of the attendants at the Settlement hospital restored us to our accustomed strength and vigor. Then, just as we were again beginning to take an interest in life, we were brought the sad news that our little ship, which had carried us safely in and out among treacherous reefs, following savage coasts, bucking high seas, and living through tropical storms, had been blown upon the rocks and pounded to pieces by the waves. Not a thing on her was saved. When I thought of all my papers, records, and photographs, — the result of three years’ scientific research, — the energy, privations, and sufferings spent to obtain them, and the monetary loss of the vessel, added to the natural affection a sailor has for his ship, the tears streamed from my eyes.
The Fou-Po was built in Amoy, China, and so named after the great Chinese hero, ‘The Pacifier of the Waves.’ My reasons for building a junk was that such a vessel embodies the knowledge of the ages, is extremely seaworthy, shipping practically no water, is roomy, easy to handle, and inexpensive to build. The length of the Fou-Po was forty feet, her beam seventeen feet, and her draft three feet, or five feet, with the rudder, which acts as a centreboard. Her ample breadth and high poop gave room for a large and comfortable cabin. Three huge bamboo poles were her masts and she carried lug sails with bamboo battens running entirely across. With her hull painted in red and gold Chinese designs from her bows to her overhanging stern, with two big eyes like Spanish onions on her square bow, pink bollards, and timbers of blue, she was reminiscent of the Middle Ages, of Chinese lanterns and firecrackers, and gave an appearance both picturesque and grotesque. In fact, she looked like a painted snail or some monster out of a fairy book.
Under the patronage of the Société Française de Géographie, my mate, Joseph Tatibouet, and I set sail in this strange ship to pursue an idea of mine which had almost become an obsession. For years as a practical sailor I had pondered over the accepted theory of the anthropologists that the Polynesians had migrated from the South of Asia. I believed that the early navigators, sailing from west to east in their frail boats, with nothing by which to navigate except the stars or that most primitive of instruments, the alleged calabash, with no objective to head for, always fighting against the prevailing winds and adverse currents, would have faced insurmountable difficulties.
The last migration of which one can speak with some degree of accuracy and without great speculation took place between the tenth and twelfth centuries, when the configuration of land and sea and the winds and currents were practically the same as now. I resolved to follow the same supposed routes, studying and recording as we traveled, hoping to help in the solution of this problem by a series of arguments, anthropologic, ethnographic, and oceanographic. Alas, the records by which I believe I could prove my contention lie at the bottom of the sea at Kalaupapa!
The course we sailed took us to the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies, the north and northwest coasts of Australia, the shores of Papua, and the Solomon, Santa Cruz, Gilbert, and Marshall Islands. Our voyage was strong in proof of my theory and rich in discovery and adventure. It is only of this last phase of our cruise, however, of which I would write.
Our experience at Jaluit in the Marshall Islands was a most unhappy one. I knew that at the close of the Great War the Marshall as well as the Caroline and Marianas Islands had been placed under a Japanese mandate, but I also knew that a nation charged with such a mandate had to observe certain international obligations and conventions. I had heard that the Japanese had not observed these duties and that foreigners were forbidden access to those islands, but I distrusted the gossip of the Pacific and the reports of the press, too often prejudiced and sensational. My ship was in serious need of repair, and in the twentieth century what nation would not receive with sympathy a boat in such a condition, even if she were only a Chinese junk? Surely I had nothing to fear in putting into Jaluit for overhauling and provisions.
The Fou-Po, with her fine French flag flying above her sails and shrouds, arrived at the pass off Jaluit at dawn on the morning of the twenty-second of July, 1935. About one hundred yards from the breakers we headed into the wind and wisely awaited the arrival of the inspector. Everything went marvelously. The affability, the extreme politeness, and the bowing and scraping of the Japanese officials, the calm of the vast lagoon, the friendly smiles and the shouted welcome of the natives, swept away our apprehension. But an hour after our arrival we had become suspects and, two hours later, practically prisoners. The little Chinese junk had suddenly, in the mind of the governor of the island, become a hydrographical boat disguised. The discovery of my papers with their graphs, the study of the currents, my anthropological notes, and an imposing pile of notebooks (I took six or seven observations a day) were immediately interpreted as undeniable proof of guilt. The governor did not appear to want to understand our reason for coming to Jaluit: our sails in shreds, our damaged rudder, a hull worn out by three months at sea; these seemed to him only a clever pretext under which to approach the Marshall Islands and outline the reefs and passes. He would almost have accused us of making the holes in the sails ourselves, and dismantling the rudder and planting barnacles and salads on the hull.
As a result of the governor’s suspicion I was put through hours of questioning, my boat was searched, and the whole reason for our making port, the reconditioning of the Fou-Po, was interfered with and impeded. We patched our sails as well as we could and had to be content with only reënforcing the rudder. There were slips at Jaluit, but these were too far removed for convenient inspection by the Japanese, so that in order to clean the hull and examine the copper plates we were obliged to beach the ship and work in shallow water with a jagged coral bottom. Even this we had to abandon when treacherous swells came over the reef and threatened to keep the Fou-Po in the lagoon forever in separate pieces.
Finally, owing to the intervention of a man for whom I have the most profound gratitude, the Fou-Po and its crew were able to put to sea again. That man was an officer in the Imperial Japanese Navy, commanding a war transport, then at Jaluit. Fortunately he had been requested to act as interpreter during those endless interrogations to which the governor seemed to take pleasure in submitting me. On several occasions this officer could not refrain from showing his indignation at the procedure used and one day he loyally took my side and pointed out the irregularity of such actions and the insult to the French flag. Shortly after this a supposed cable from Tokyo authorized our departure and our freedom.
Tati and I were indeed thankful to be able to put Jaluit behind us and take again to the open sea. The sun was just disappearing with brilliant red glory in the west as we weighed anchor, and the night which closed in on us was soft and light; the long swells of the Pacific, deep as velvet, appeared to take a languid delight in reflecting the whole luminous heaven, and the long row of coconut trees, low and black against the western sky, seemed to add the final line to the adventures we had just experienced. Alone in the silence, my mate and I looked with eagerness toward the open sea and to the dark horizon ahead, which, added to other horizons farther on, meant our refound freedom.
Suddenly Tati shook his fist at the disappearing atoll and angrily said, ‘That pig of a governor! He seemed to want to know the route we were going to follow. Did you give it to him?’
‘He was as curious as a monkey,’ I returned. ‘I told him we should steer a course toward the north, into the trade winds.’ And then, thinking of the hours of anguish we had spent at Jaluit, I shouted to Tati, ‘Come about! Let us go south instead.’ Gently the Fou-Po pivoted and we headed southward into the depth of the night. And as we sailed the breezes freshened from the northwest and smiled at our little boat, but it was many a long day before we could speak with any complacency about our treatment at Jaluit.
For twenty-five days we cruised about, battling winds and currents, while I continued my study of the counter equatorial currents, of which little is known in the West Pacific. When we reached 180 degrees longitude I felt my work was finished and we decided to make for Honolulu. This would mean two more months at sea, for although we were only 1900 miles from Honolulu in a straight line, which would take only a few days in a steamer or a motor yacht, in a sailing vessel, which must tack this way and that with the wind and make allowance for the equatorial current throwing a ship from fifteen to fifty miles a day toward the west, the straight line becomes a crooked one and the number of miles is trebled. And to think the good scientists make the Polynesians navigate from west to east! It looks so simple on the map, to one seated in a good armchair, and with the knowledge gathered only from books.
In reality, in order to sail to Honolulu from the 180 degrees at the equator, it was necessary for us to steer a north-northwest course until, between the latitudes 33 degrees and 37 degrees, we should reach a zone of variable winds dominating from the west; then it would be possible to sail east until we again met the northeast trade winds, when we should be in a position to sail southeast to Honolulu. How I envied those who sail across the Pacific from east to west!
After turning northward we averaged about 110 miles a day, which is not bad for a small ship like the Fou-Po. How we enjoyed sailing close-hauled into the trade winds and having once more a steady, fresh breeze and a clear horizon after almost a month in the equatorial zone, where calm alternated with squalls, storms, and heavy showers, the sun was leaden, and the breezes varying.
I looked at the map one day and remarked to Tati, ‘Another month and we shall be in Honolulu.’ I was happy to be alive and got out my oil paints to touch up the decorative frescoes which ornamented the cabin. ‘What a success our little ship will have in Honolulu,’ I thought, ‘with her fine sculptured woodwork in shades of Ningpo red and gold and with the Buddhas and Kuan Yins I had copied from the pagoda in Amoy.’ I also worked on my notes, classifying them affectionately and bringing up to date the scientific observations and the accounts of our cruise. I could not help congratulating myself that I should soon be able to send to the publishers from Honolulu some of my material, and perhaps the editors would advance me some money; in which case, I thought, my little Fou-Po, you shall see with what fine sails we shall cover you, with what shining copper we shall protect your hull, and with what strong Manila rope we shall trim your masts. Ah, you shall be the finest of all the ships sailing the blue Pacific!
There was only one speck to blight my happiness. Tati, my mate, seemed nervous, taciturn, unfriendly. Nothing appeared to interest him. Apparently for him days were only days and life was just a succession of hours, passing by without a trace. I attributed his attitude to the duration of the voyage and to his isolation, for he had nothing to engage his attention, since he had no hobby. As time wore on, the more his rancor seemed to gnaw him, and though it did not manifest itself openly, it gradually made a gulf between us. I had the impression it annoyed him to see me putting my notes in order and redecorating the ship. Several times I said to him, ‘If the voyage makes you unhappy, Tati, you will not want to go on with it.’ But always he replied doggedly, ‘I said that I would finish the trip and I shall go on to the end. Never will I leave the ship, never!’
I foresaw that it would be impossible to go on in a state of unspoken hostility. Still, as Tati had shared the expense of the junk with me, I could see but one outlook and that was to relinquish the ship to him in Honolulu, for he would never give up the boat. And while Tati slept at night I amused myself by making plans for the future. During our stay at Jaluit, I had been able to study — only from afar, unfortunately — the qualities of the native boats, the trim little outriggers. Why should n’t I build a boat of that type in Honolulu, modifying it to make it livable and capable of navigating the open sea? Every night I studied my project secretly, designing this future ship, figuring out the position of the masts and sails, calculating the placement of each thing; and then, before I awoke my companion to go on watch, I would hide the plans. But one day Tati discovered my papers. He realized what was germinating in my brain, and although he said nothing, he became more and more sombre.
One day the breeze suddenly lightened, the air became oppressive and heavy, ominous clouds weighed on the greenish-blue sea. The last rays of the setting sun threw on the still ocean sinister, coppery lines. Tati came up from below grumbling, ‘It stinks in the cabin.’ ‘Perhaps it is a dead rat,’ said I, but Tati reminded me that we had never seen a rat on board. We raised the floor boards to inspect the bottom, lifted up the mattresses, and emptied out the cupboards, but could find nothing. At last, upon releasing a partition, a sickening odor reached us from the forward hold.
‘It is doubtless a rotting flying fish which has fallen in when the panel has been opened for air,’ I said. Tati climbed into the hold and, displacing the coils of rope and tumbling over the paints, examined everything. Suddenly there was a fearful curse from below and he stuck his head up through the hatchway to say, ‘It is the two soddered boxes — our emergency supply of food!’
Mutely we looked at each other, realizing that we had expected to call upon these reserve provisions in a few days, since our supply in the cabin was nearly exhausted. Anguish wrung our hearts. We glanced anxiously at the map and saw the distance we had covered charted out and the still longer distance yet before us to reach Honolulu.
We always carried two big galvanized tins, hermetically sealed, containing a two months’ supply of rice, macaroni, and flour. Three times already these cases had served us well, and now, two thousand miles from Honolulu, we found ourselves face to face with a rotten mass of food. Suddenly the explanation came to us. ‘Those beastly officials at Jaluit, when they turned the boat upside down looking for evidence!’ exclaimed Tati; and we recalled the one and only time the governor had demanded that Tati accompany me for interrogation. To show our trust as much as our innocence we had obeyed his order, leaving portholes, cupboards, and the doors of the cabin wide open. The questioning had lasted from eight in the morning until five o’clock in the afternoon, the object being to make me confess where I had hidden my secret reports and especially where I had concealed the transmission radio set and an electric sounding machine, for the governor remained to the end convinced that I was a spy. The only thing of which he did not seem certain was for which nation I was working.
When we returned to the Fou-Po we found her in a state of indescribable disorder. The ship had been searched from bow to stern, my papers had been gone through, all the drawers were open, and all our effects were strewn about. The detectives had not even tried to hide the evidence of their conduct by putting the ship into some semblance of order. I immediately looked over my papers, not in the fear that any might have been deciphered, but to see if any were missing, for I knew these gentlemen were skillful in the art of imitation and I was afraid that they might copy my handwriting and place some paper among mine which during a new search might indeed furnish evidence that I was a spy. Undoubtedly during this search our tins had been opened, the air admitted, and the heat and humidity of the tropics had brought this disaster upon us. We spread the sickening, rotting mess upon the deck in the sun, but it was useless — it all had to be thrown overboard.
We made an inventory of the food we had left and I wished to ration our meagre store, but Tati could see no need for this. ‘We won’t starve,’ he said, ‘for you said we were only twenty days from Honolulu and if we run short of food we can surely catch some fish. We shall arrive in port a trifle thinner, perhaps, but otherwise well.’
I reminded him that at times we had gone months without seeing even the tail of a fish and that our arrival in Honolulu in twenty days depended upon favorable winds.
I placed what provisions we had left upon the bunk in plain sight and ate very sparingly, and tried to make Tati see the desirability of his doing the same, by example, hints, and tact — but all to no purpose. Tati ate as usual and seemed to think I had placed the food on the bunk to keep my eye upon it, to his great resentment.
On October 15 our food gave out. There was nothing left to eat upon the Fou-Po except a half bottle of curry powder and salt and pepper. That same day we had a bit of hard luck. We discovered that the rudder which had been temporarily mended at Jaluit, two months before, by means of solidly tied planks, would have to be repaired in some way or other, since the ropes had rotted in the sun and water. The rudder of the Fou-Po was an enormous wick, fourteen feet long, the size of a good tree, which reached down two feet under the keel. Deciding that the work must be done at once before our misfortune became complete and before our strength gave out entirely, we pulled the wick out of the water with great effort, hung it aft, and repaired it under a fiery sky. At four o’clock the work was finished and so, also, were we. But the wind was still good, and little did we imagine what fate had in store for us.
Then occurred a strange thing, a thing which all mariners inclined to superstition would not fail to interpret as a happy omen. The repaired rudder had been put in place, the junk was again on her course, and Tati and I were stretched out at length on the deck, weary and spent, when suddenly a huge flying fish jumped out of the water and landed on the deck at our feet. It was the largest which had ever come aboard. In certain parts of the Pacific, flying fish were caught almost nightly in the sails, but we had never had this happen in the broad daylight. We felt it was a reward of Heaven for having worked all that day in the broiling sun without a complaint, without blasphemy, and without directing any abusive epithets toward the gods of the sea. Men love to inflate themselves with importance and so easily and complacently imagine themselves to be the direct object of Heaven!
That flying fish, from wherever he may have come, was our last big meal. Tati cleaned him carefully, and, thanks to some fat remaining in the frying pan from our days of abundance, he fried him to a turn. Nothing was lost. With the fins, the entrails, and even the scales, I made a soup. I filtered it through a cloth and Tati thought it compared favorably with the best bouillabaisse. ‘Only it is too bad,’ said he, ‘that the golden slices of bread which are the pride of the dish of Marseille are lacking.’
From that day on we lived on a diet of curry powder mixed with water and tallow from a box given us two years previously by the United States Navy for the purpose of greasing the masts. We never lacked water, thank heavens, for we still had a supply on board and were able to catch more in the frequent showers. How many times, hoping for the impossible miracle, did we turn the boat upside down searching for food, open boxes we knew were empty, and turn out the contents of the cupboards! And for the fourth time, at least, Tati put water in an old rusty tin which had formerly held sugar and imagined the reddish water contained some flavor.
We tried our hand at fishing. Long before, our hooks had been dragged away by sharks, so that it was necessary for us to fashion a hook. I took a Chinese nail and pointed it with a file and, attaching it to a line, dropped it overboard, only to see it disappear along with a fine white net, five minutes later, in the mouth of a shark. The line floated for days in the white wake of the ship, and we had not the courage to pull it in.
The days passed.
The good northeast trade winds on which we had counted to bring us in style to Honolulu turned to the southeast. The sky was black, and torrential rains and heavy winds, alternating with calms, compelled us to keep a continuous watch and to use our waning strength to manoeuvre the sails. We were no longer able to find rest in sleep and would lie in a state of half consciousness when we were not on watch. My legs were lifeless, but my arms still contained some strength and enabled me to crawl about the boat. Each day I would pull myself out of the cabin, drag myself along the deck, make my observations, and take our position. My eyes seemed covered with a mist, a film which persisted in showing me food. Only with the greatest effort could I keep them open at all.
One day I thought I saw in the deep blue of the ocean the clear and metallic reflection of fishes against the hull. Vividly I recalled the time when we would troll at night in the phosphorescent Southern waters and pull on board in the morning all the kingfish we could eat, and how we had become so surfeited we had wished never to see one again. But then I had been able to stand up straight; I had legs then; my hand was sure and my eyes could see. Now with misty eyes I peered at the sea for a long, long time. I called Tati and bade him look. Surely those were fish jumping in the sea about the boat, just too far to reach or to attempt to reach with a harpoon!
We had on board a large, old-fashioned pistol, for which I now saw an immediate use. With feverish haste I contrived to make a tiny harpoon out of a piece of wire, and this I tied to a long line and fastened to the pistol, manufacturing a contraption not unlike the harpoon cannon of the whale fishermen. Tati had little confidence in my invention. ‘It will blow up in your hands,’ he said. To avoid accident we decided to make a trial, so we tied the apparatus to the rail, pointed the barrel into the open, tied a string to the hammer, and took shelter behind the cabin. I gave the string a short pull, and to my great astonishment and admiration the little steel wire shot off straight into the water, dragging sixty feet of rope behind it.
In the face of such a success, if we had had legs, we should have jumped for joy. I said, ‘Courage, Tati. At last we are going to have some beautiful fish to eat.’ Our stomachs, so long tired of complaining, seemed to tremble at the sweet prospect. I stretched myself out on deck, the heavy pistol in my hand, and waited for the sight of a fish. I waited for hours. The water seemed to grow blacker and blacker, and there was no trace of the metallic silvery lights I had seen before. Either I had seen a mirage or the fish had disappeared.
I have often observed that, given a thin nervous type of man and a strong phlegmatic one, the latter succumbs more quickly than the former. So it was with Tati and me. In two days after our food gave out, he was weaker than I after my many days of self-denial and fasting. My mate had probably never known such weakness before, and in this state a dreadful remorse came over him, both for his lack of restraint in the matter of eating and because of his rancor toward me. He seemed to feel that our plight was entirely due to him because he had been unwilling to ration the provisions, but above all he reproached himself for his former smouldering hostility. In his weakness he poured out his heart to me. It is a terrible thing to see a strong man prostrate. But something infinitely precious descended upon us; the horizon was swept clear; the subtle poison was removed, and once more there were trust and mutual frankness between us.
October 21 was my birthday, and Tati took out from the bottom of the cupboard a little piece of paper. In it, carefully wrapped, was half a cracker. ‘I had it in reserve for your birthday,’said Tati. Oh, that half cracker! With what sensations of delight we nibbled those last few crumbs of food, our very last. We made of it almost a religious rite. We were not discouraged, however. Land was now only three hundred miles away in the south-southwest. Two days of good wind, not more, and then we should have steak and French fried potatoes.
Slowly our strength had been ebbing away. An atrocious gnawing tortured my carcass during the first week of starvation and then suddenly ceased. It seemed as if my stomach had finally tired of its useless revolt and had at last decided to accept the inevitable. Then a sensation of calm and peace stole over me and I had the feeling that my body was slowly shedding its material form and was purifying itself, elevating itself, in order to release itself and go down into nothingness. It was a delicious feeling. I seemed to live on another plane. I had no fear of death. How could I when I felt mounting in me a new life, unknown, mysterious, intense, spiritual, and my mind seemed to grasp at something beyond life, something universal and infinite? I knew now the blessing of suffering and the benediction of the test. I saw clearly that it was the road which led to the perfection of the inner life. Going thus to encounter death, though not an orthodox believer, I pleased myself with the thought that one never dies, and I thanked Heaven I was allowed to tread the strange road with eyes wide open and to see and feel the sweetness of entering through death into eternal life.
At last my observations showed me that we were about one hundred miles from Molokai, and also that we were in the steamship lane. Since this was the case, was it not possible that we should sight a steamer and that then all our troubles would be over? I lay on the deck and continually scanned the horizon. My eyes became so tired with watching that again and again I imagined I saw a ship. But finally a liner, ablaze with lights, steamed down upon us. This was no Fata Morgana. There was no mistaking the full lights of the steamer, and I called feebly to Tati, ‘We are saved at last.‘
The battery of our flashlight was dead, but we lighted a kerosene lantern and this we waved, mustering what strength we could into our arms. I was so weak I could not raise my arm sufficiently to make signals, but we called frantically for help and were so near we could distinctly hear voices on the ship helloing to us. Imagine our despair when we saw that our signals of distress were not understood and that the steamer was sailing gayly by. Exhausted by our exertions, Tati and I collapsed upon the deck. Following in the wake of the ship were the most delicious odors of cooking. The association of ideas was terrible. ‘Oh,’ thought I, ‘if only I might have the food left between the teeth of one of the passengers! ’
Later we heard that the captain of this steamer reported on arriving at Honolulu that he had passed a pleasure yacht one hundred miles northeast of Molokai and that we had waved our greetings!
The next day we sighted the island of Molokai and our courage somewhat returned. I had read in the nautical directory that the prevailing winds of the Hawaiian Islands were the northeast trades, and that a south or west wind only blew for a few days at a time. But for days already we had encountered only southwest winds. These continued. That night we saw first the light at Kalaupapa and later on the lights of the city of Honolulu reflected in the sky. If the trades would only blow, we should be in Honolulu the next day. We tacked all the following day, but at eventide the wind dropped and the currents pulled us back, so that the next day found us just where we had been on the previous morning. The wind persisted from the southwest, and for three days we tacked by day and drifted by night to where we had started.
I had heard that there was much life in the waters around Honolulu, — sampans, yachts, steamers, and planes, — but we did not see a thing. When we were in sight of Kalaupapa, we flew the tricolor at half mast, hoping someone there would recognize it as a signal of distress, but we learned afterward that, as the light is a mechanical one, there is no keeper, and no one to watch.
It was tantalizing to be able to see the Island of Oahu, on which Honolulu is situated, so clearly and yet not be able to make that port. On the fourth day I was determined to make one more attempt, but Tati said no, that in another day I should be dead and that we must make for Kalaupapa, which was within our reach.
I had no charts of Molokai, and as we approached the reef-guarded island, about sunset, I saw a boat apparently riding at anchor. Believing this to be the anchorage, I steered in her direction, only to find the ship, a wreck, perched upon the reef. I veered off, and although I do not know how I had the strength to handle the rudder, I instinctively guided the junk to a spot which I learned afterward was the proper anchorage. When I heard the anchor fall, I dropped to the deck as if dead.
We were quite near the shore, and Tati, though also in a state of total exhaustion, called for help and swung the lantern, but as it was raining very hard no one saw us or heard us. Regaining my senses after some two hours of unconsciousness, and finding that Tati had had no success in summoning aid, I concluded that we might better have tried again for Honolulu, as evidently either the inhabitants of Kalaupapa were all lepers and unable to come to our assistance or else they had no boats. About ten o’clock, however, Tati thought he heard the sound of oars. A canoe manned by four finelooking Hawaiians came alongside, and so noiselessly did they come aboard that when they appeared before me I thought they were objects of my delirium. We asked if there were any French at the Settlement and were informed that there was a French priest. We told the young Hawaiians that we did not wish to leave our ship, but that we should be grateful if they would ask the priest to send us some food, as we were starving, having been without food for fifteen days.
The next thing I remember is awaking and finding myself in a nice white bed, surrounded by white walls, and attended by a blonde nurse. The superintendent of the Settlement himself had carried Tati and me off the Fou-Po to the hospital, and, thanks to the kindly ministrations of the staff, we soon regained our strength.
I have already told of the sad fate of our little Fou-Po. Now, in Honolulu, Tati and I are building the double outrigger canoe which I amused myself by planning while Tati slept, on our last cruise. This new ship will have two deep hulls, each a little over thirty feet long, with a draft of three feet. Each has a main cabin nearly the length of the hull, with ample headroom. The one on the starboard side will be used as a chartroom, while the port cabin will contain the galley and sleeping quarters.
The two hulls will be joined by four heavy beams upon which two masts will be mounted, with a mainmast nearly thirty-five feet high. They will be rigged with the Chinese junk type of sail, which I believe is the fastest to be found. The hulls will be launched separately and joined in the water three feet apart. We have named our double canoe the Kaimiloa, which in Hawaiian means ‘The Quest Overseas,’ and was the name of the ship that Kalakaua, the last king of Hawaii, sent to Samoa during his reign.
Soon we shall start out again for the South Pacific, in the quest of gathering again the data lost on the Fou-Po, by which I hope to present to the world of science my arguments in refutation of the now accepted theory of the Polynesian migrations.