Hokulea tented for ants before worldwide voyage

Hokulea sported a new look Thursday as fumigators tented the voyaging canoe to get rid of an ant infestation.

Crewmembers discovered ants in the hulls earlier this week.

Experts identified the pests as Singapore ants, a species known for its painful sting that is commonly found in urban areas.

Kamaaina Termite and Pest Control put up the tent at 8 a.m. and removed it at 4 p.m. Crews even used an extra dose of gas to ensure the canoe would be pest-free.

“The crew has to aerate to dissipate the gas for six hours and, because that’ll be in the middle of the night, they’ll come back tomorrow morning,” said navigator Chad Baybayan. “They’ll take a monitor and test the compartments and read if there are any kind of residual gases. If not, they’ll give us the all-clear and start rigging up the canoe.”

If all goes well, Hokulea and Hikianalia will depart for Hilo at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

One week later, they’ll sail to Tahiti on the first leg of their world-wide voyage.

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