Friends Wave and Whistles Salute as Voyagers Sail

Dublin Core


Friends Wave and Whistles Salute as Voyagers Sail


This article describes the scene as Captain Weisbarth and his crew set sail for Tapiteauea, where his wife and several of the other passengers were born. This article is especially unique, because of its photograph showing Mrs. Weisbarth, who is mentioned in several of our other articles on Captain Weisbarth.



Honolulu Advertiser




Public Domain



Text Item Type Metadata


Two of the three women who sailed for the South Seas yesterday on the yawl Teoti. The one at right is Mrs. William J. Weisbarth, the other is Kapipi, grandmother of a member of the crew. From photograph taken for the Advertiser as they sat on the deck of the Teoti shortly before it sailed.

Amid the waving of hats and handkerchiefs and the shouting of farewells and benisons of good luck, the twenty eight foot yawl Teoti, with Capt. William J. Weisbarth at the wheel, cast off from Pier Ten yesterday afternoon and sailed away on its 2500-miles voyage to the little island of Tapiteauea in the South Sea. seldom has the departure of a liner been attended by a more sincere demonstration than that which marked the leave-taking of the party of six on board the Teoti, three of whom, after years of longing, are returning to the land of their birth.

Family Pet Tied to Mast

There was a touch of pathos in the scene which preceded the sailing of the expedition. One the deck of the yawl, weeping because they were about to say farewell to their Honolulu friends, yet withal happy in anticipation of their home-going, sat Mrs. Weisbarth, wife of the captain; Kapipi, aged grandmother of a member of the crew, and Kamali, a relative of Mrs. Weisbarth. Nearby, tied to the mainmast, was the family’s pet dog, while across the deck was lashed a small boat in which the women had stowed pots containing their favorite plants. Captain Weisbarth said he knew these would wither and die from exposure to the salt air, but to humor his wife and her women companions he had put them aboard. In the cabin of the little craft are stowed provisions to last the voyagers three months, and their personal belongings, including treasured keepsakes.

Skipper is Not Worried

By the time the Teoti was ready to sail about a hundred persons had gathered to witness its departure. While all admired the courage of the captain and other members of the party doubt was expressed by some as to whether they would live to realize their dream of happiness on the faraway island. However, Captain Weisbarth, who is a skillful navigator, seemed to have no fear as to the safety of the expedition.

The Teoti, he said, was a sturdy craft and, from experience as a sailor in southern waters he was confident that it would prove equal to the trip. The only danger, he thought, would be from hurricanes, and this is not the season for these much-feared outbreaks of the elements. He expects to reach Palmyra Island in about twelve days and there the party will rest and replenish the water supply on the boat. From Palmyra to the Tapiteauea is about fifteen hundred miles and the captain hopes to cover the distance in fifteen days.

Tropical Products Abundant

The island of Tapiteauea is only about a mile in width and forty miles in length and its average height above sea level is about six feet. It is covered with tropical vegetation and produces an abundance of bananas and cocoanuts.

Mrs. Weisbarth was born on the island, as were also her women companions on the Teoti, which is named for her. Ever since coming to Honolulu twenty-four years ago she has been homesick, Captain Weisbarth said, and to gratify her wishes he decided to return with her and her relative and friend to their birth place.

Seven Aboard Vessel

Aside form the skipper and the women there are three other persons on the little craft, a six year old son of Kamali, George Mantera, a Tahitian, and Henry August Federhen, a Gilbert Islander, grandson of Kapipi.

As the Teoti passed out of the harbor it was saluted with three blasts of the dredger whistle and a few minutes later, as Captain Weisbarth dipped an American flag which flew at the peak of the aftermast, Capt. Thomas C. Evarts of the government mine planter Col. George Armistead, which was entering port, responded to the salute from the craft with its party of daring voyagers.


“Friends Wave and Whistles Salute as Voyagers Sail,” Palmyra Archive, accessed May 27, 2020,