Hokulea to Visit Cuba

The Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) announced today that legendary traditional sailing canoe Hokulea will be making an historic visit to Cuba during the Caribbean leg of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage. Hokulea is expected to arrive at Havana, Cuba on March 17, 2016, for an approximate four-day visit after stopping in the US Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands.Hokule’a Crew Members before they left Hilo, Hawaii.

Hokulea equator

PVS has been working with the Cubanakoa Foundation and Altruvistas on an itinerary for the Hokulea crew that includes a meeting with the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples about US-Cuba relations; briefings on Cuba’s marine conservation, urban sustainability and environmental efforts; and discussions about cultural connections between Cuba, Hawai’i and other island nations.

“Visiting Cuba supports the mission of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage. Because of the country’s political situation over the last few decades, Cuba has developed sustainability practices that are now considered a model for the rest of the world,” said Nainoa Thompson, President of PVS. “We look forward to learning more about Cuba’s cultural and environmental preservation efforts, and we hope to share the commonalities between Hawaii and this island nation,” he added.

Hokulea arrived in St. John, US Virgin Islands on Sunday, February 28, 2016, and is expected to depart for the British Virgin Islands on March 4, 2016, weather permitting. After the Cuba visit, Hokulea will sail to Florida and then up the East Coast, reaching New York City by June 8, 2016, for World Oceans Day.

Since departing Hawaiian waters in May 2014, Hokulea has sailed more than 21,000 nautical miles and made stops in 12 countries and 55 ports, weaving a “Lei of Hope” around the world. Along the way, more than 180 volunteer crewmembers have helped to sail Hokulea accompanied by escort vessel Gershon II to spread the message of mālama honua (or taking care of Island Earth) by promoting sustainability and environmental consciousness, as well as exchanging ideas with the countries she has visited.

So far, crew members have connected with over 45,000 people in communities across the South Pacific, Tasman Sea and Indian Ocean including Samoa, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Australia, Indonesia, Mauritius, South Africa and Brazil. For a midway recap of the Worldwide Voyage, please view http://www.hokulea.com/2015-worldwide-voyage-recap/.

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