‘Hōkūleʻa’ Makes Historic First Sail into Pearl Harbor

For the first time in Hōkūleʻa’s 42-year history, the legendary canoe sailed into the waters of Pearl Harbor this morning, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, and was welcomed by the Puʻuloa community, elected officials and the US Navy at Rainbow Bay Marina.

Hōkūleʻa Courtesy Photo

Entering the mouth of Pearl Harbor at approximately 8 a.m., the arrival began with a greeting, or rendering honors, between Hōkūleʻa and three Navy ships: the USS Hopper, USS Chafee, and the USS Chung Hoon. Sailors saluted from the decks of the three ships and blew a ceremonial whistle to honor the canoe’s arrival and Hōkūleʻa’s crew responded by blowing a pū (conch shell).

Hōkūleʻa Courtesy Photo

The sail into Pearl Harbor continued with Hōkūleʻa sailing and paying respects by blowing the pu and scattering plumeria flowers at cultural and historical sites throughout the harbor including Halealoha Halemau (Fort Kamehameha Reburial Platform), USS Nevada, Arizona Memorial, Battleship Missouri, Ford Island, USS Utah and Loko Paʻaiau Fishpond.

Hōkūleʻa Courtesy Photo

During the brief stop at Loko Paʻaiau Fishpond, a hoʻokupu of fresh fish was handed to a canoe paddler who delivered the special offering to the sacred side. Loko Paʻaiau fishpond is located at McGrew Point Navy housing and is one of only three fishponds out of an original 22 in the Pu’uloa area which are still relatively intact. In September 2014, the Navy invited members of the local Hawaiian civic clubs and ʻAiea community members to begin work on restoring the historic fishpond.

Hōkūleʻa Courtesy Photo

As Hōkūleʻa approached and docked at Rainbow Bay Marina, the crew was welcomed with traditional Hawaiian protocol including chants and a hula performance by ʻAiea High School. Welcome remarks were made by Rear Adm. Brian Fort, commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific; Representative Aaron Johanson; Councilmember Brandon Elefante; and Winston Lum of the Aliʻi Pauahi Hawaiian Civic Club.

Hōkūleʻa Courtesy Photo

Hōkūleʻa’s visit to Puʻuloa fills our hearts with profound gratitude and love,” said Winston Kalina Lum, Sr., Aliʻi Pauahi Hawaiian Civic Club board member and genealogical descendant of the early inhabitants of ʻAiea, Kalauao and Keʻehi. “It has been hundreds of years since a voyaging canoe last landed on our shores. As our community works together to preserve our cultural sites and educate our children, the canoe’s presence reminds us that we, too, can bring peace and Aloha to the planet,” he added.

“You honor us by sharing your insights and your wisdom gained during your Mālama Honua Voyage,” said commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific Rear Adm. Brian Fort. “I am a firm believer that the values that unite us are far greater than any distractions that divide us. We are truly inspired by the brave but humble navigators of Hōkūleʻa and the values you cherish and represent. If you ask any of our Navy sailors here about our Navy core values, he or she will tell you honor, courage and commitment. I know that you share these values.”

Hōkūleʻa Courtesy Photo

“The statements made here today are very important: what happens next week, what happens next year, what happens a decade from now,” said president of PVS Nainoa Thompson. “I hope this is another day that we take one step at a time towards coming together as a community, and working towards renewal together.”

Hōkūleʻa Courtesy Photo

Hōkūleʻa is scheduled to be docked at Rainbow Bay Marina until Saturday, Feb. 17. The week-long engagement will include school visits, public dockside tours and a crew talk story event. As part of the Mahalo, Hawaiʻi Sail, the purpose of Hōkūleʻa’s visit is to bring the canoe to more of Hawaiʻi’s children, honor Pearl Harbor’s ancient culture and history, and to learn about the efforts to restore the area’s cultural sites including Loko Paʻaiau Fishpond. More than 1,000 school children are scheduled to visit Hōkūleʻa and participate in educational activities during her stop at Puʻuloa.

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