Today I had the opportunity to check out the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Canoe the Hōkūle‘a as it has arrived in Hilo as it prepares to take off for its “Malama Hawaii” (statewide sails) before the Malama Honua (worldwide voyage).
The Worldwide Voyage will include stops at more than 60 ports in more than 20 countries, all connected by ocean, most with traditional systems of ocean voyaging.
Here is a map of the planned route that they plan on taking:
Crew member Kim Kuulei Birnie talked about the pending voyage and the route that the vessels will take and explained how this is the first time that the vessels have ever been out of the Pacific Ocean as part of their planned route will take them through the Panama Canal and into the Atlantic Ocean and beyond.
I was invited out to the vessel along with David Corrigan from Big Island Video News and Tiffany Edwards Hunt from Big Island Chronicle and we got to ask crew members about the pending trip.
Education Specialist Jenna Ishii was kind enough to explain how things worked aboard the ship and was honest enough to tell us that one of the most difficult tasks they have is actually going to the bathroom as they have to harness themselves to rope and then do their business over the side of the boat.
She explained in all the years that the vessels have been going on there has been only three incidents of a crew member falling over board however they are prepared for it when and if it were to happen.
“Since Hokulea’s launch in 1975, Hawaiians have reclaimed and refined the art of wayfinding, non-instrument navigation that synthesizes tradition principles of Pacific Navigation and modern scientific knowledge.”
Here is one of the press releases I received from them on Why Hokulea Voyages:
Here is the tentative Sail Plan and Port List, of course this could all change because of a lot of factors but this is what they are shooting for… note that this first year is what is termed the Malama Honua Hawaii Tour as it travels throughout the Hawaii Islands for the next year to make sure the vessels are prepared for the worldwide Voyage:
And the worldwide plan(s):
I spent about an hour aboard the Hokulea this afternoon and look forward to following them on their worldwide tour.
Here are some quick facts about the Hokule’a and the Hikanalia:
The public is invited to send off the vessels tomorrow, however, they technically won’t leave for a few more days however, this will be the main chance for the public to check things out. A community potluck is being provided by the folks of the Keaukaha Community and the Canoe Clubs that are in Hilo.
- Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage Public Celebration – Hōkūle’a in Hilo (damontucker.com)
- Hokule’a departs Honolulu set for Hilo (kitv.com)
- Renowned Voyaging Canoe Embarks on its Greatest Journey Yet (newswatch.nationalgeographic.com)
- Malama Honua: Hokulea, Hikianalia Embark On Worldwide Sailing Voyage (civilbeat.com)
- Renowned voyaging crew launches greatest journey yet in Hawaiian canoe: four-year, worldwide voyage (boingboing.net)