The crew of Hokulea is preparing to sail Hawaii’s iconic voyaging canoe and deliver her Malama Honua message to Canada. Currently moored in Mt. Desert, Maine, the canoe is scheduled to depart for Yarmouth in Nova Scotia, Canada on Sunday, July 31. The sail to Canada will be the farthest point north that the legendary voyaging canoe has ventured.
“We want to touch a new country – we want to welcome (Canada) into the circle of places that the canoe has visited,” said Kalepa Baybayan, pwo (master) navigator. “We want to capture their stories, and then we’ll turn around, start hitting south and back into more tropical climates – back into the Pacific,” he added.
On their northbound sail to Canada, Hokulea crew members hope to learn more about cultural and environmental sustainability practices from the Bay of Fundy and the Southwest Nova Biosphere-a UNESCO-designated area that serves as a model for demonstrating a balanced relationship between humans and the biosphere.
The Bay of Fundy is known for the greatest tidal shifts on the planet. Within a 12-hour period, more water flows in and out of the bay than a 24-hour flow of all the rivers around the world. More importantly, it is a marine zone where a wide variety of marine species and endangered whales congregate each year. Conservation efforts and protection of the Bay of Fundy and the Southwest Nova Biosphere are vital to the Earth’s ecosystem. The Hokulea crew’s goal is to document and share what they learn from the visit with students in classrooms throughout Hawaii.
Hokulea is scheduled to arrive in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia on July 31, and will stay for about six days to engage with the area’s First Nations, learn about Nova Scotia’s natural resources and conservation efforts and offer canoe tours to the community.