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Hokulea Sights the Hawaiian Islands

At 12:30 p.m. this afternoon, the crew of Hokulea sited the sacred mountain of Haleakala, signifying that the legendary canoe is officially back home after sailing for 37 months, 40,000 nautical miles and visiting more than 150 ports in 19 countries around the world. After spending 400 days at sea and 700 days on foreign soil, Hokulea will be bringing home wisdom, lessons and ideas as gifts to share with Hawaii’s children from this voyage of rich learning.

This tremendous voyaging accomplishment was a fitting way for the crew to celebrate World Oceans Day. One year ago today, Hokulea was in New York at the United Nations to participate in World Oceans Day dialogue about the importance of protecting Island Earth – especially the seas Hokulea has sailed throughout the world these past three years.

“We want thank this crew of Hokulea for sailing with such a high level of excellence and commitment to honoring the tradition of voyaging and ancestral navigation,” said Nainoa Thompson president the Polynesian Voyaging Society. “All of us in the voyaging community are extremely proud of them.”

“I also want to express our gratitude to the crews of the 30 other legs and the thousands of people in Hawaii, the Pacific and around the world for allowing this voyage to happen. We are grateful for all that they have given to the success of the voyage,” Thompson added.

Although Hokulea and Hikianalia are in home waters, the canoes are still under kapu until the arrival ceremony at Magic Island on June 17.

“We will be spending the next week slowly making our way towards Oahu,” said Thompson. “We appreciate the aloha and support of friends and families eager to greet our canoes and crew, and we ask for your patience and understanding as we direct all those interested in greeting Hokulea, Hikianalia and our crew to our June 17 arrival at Kalia (Magic Island), Oahu,” he added.

After returning to Oahu, Hokolea and Hikianalia will begin the most important leg of the voyage, which will be an eight-month sail to 30 ports throughout the Hawaiian islands.

“When we sail throughout the Hawaiian Islands, we will go to as many as 70 communities and 100 schools to thank Hawaii’s people and share what we have learned with their children. We are also looking forward to hearing Hawaii stories of Malama Honua,” said Thompson. “Kalia (Magic Island) is the first stop of a year-long homecoming,” he added.

Hokulea and Hikianalia Approach Hawaiian Waters, Nearing Home

Legendary voyaging canoes Hokulea and Hikianalia are approaching the Hawaiian Islands after three years at sea.

Given that Hokulea and Hikianalia are dependent on nature, a two week window was created to ensure the canoes arrive on time to meet the love, support and aloha of Hawaii. The two-week window also allows crewmembers to visit three very special sacred sites in Hawaii: Kahoolawe, Kalaupapa and Kualoa. There, the crew will pay respect to the culture, environment, history and heritage.

These sites will be the last ports of the Worldwide Voyage and act as the final permission that allows Hokulea to come home and finish the epic voyage.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet jokes with members of the Hokule’a Crew following the Earth Blessing and Consecration of the Hokule’a and the World Wide Voyage.

Hokulea was launched from Kualoa; on the return leg of her maiden voyage, from Tahiti to Hawaii, the first place she anchored back in Hawaii was at Kalaupapa. These are spiritual and deeply important places for all people in Hawaii and Hokulea crewmembers will be paying respect to them with a private ceremony.

Hokulea has not been in Hawaiian waters since the journey’s launch in May 2014. One of the many extraordinary aspects of the Worldwide Voyage is the opportunity it provided to train the next generation of navigators. “Succession is part of the mission and we are so proud,” says Nainoa Thompson, pwo navigator and president of Polynesian Voyaging Society. “We made a promise to the next generation that we would train them to be able to navigate these canoes in the future.”

Thousands of people have been working over a year to celebrate the completion of the worldwide voyage. Hokulea will be welcomed home to Oahu on June 17 at Magic Island, with a grand public celebration and ceremony followed by community Hoolaulea later in the day.  The Malama Honua Fair and Summit, held at the Hawaii Convention Center, will extend the celebration through June 20.

Hokulea Crew Celebrates Equator Crossing with Ceremonial Protocol

Hokulea crossed the equator yesterday, marking an important milestone in her journey north from Tahiti back to Hawaii. Now having been at sea for ten days during this final international leg of the Worldwide Voyage, Hokulea crew members  performed a deeply significant ceremony to mark the crossing.

Paying close attention to the canoe’s position relative to the elements surrounding them, the crew accurately tracked their latitude to recognize this moment entering the piko o wakea, or equatorial crossing point. “To be in this space, and to be able to confirm where we are based on what we’re seeing in the sky–and to then justify it, back it up one more time with our mileage and navigating process–has been very gratifying,” said Pua Lincoln Maielua, apprentice navigator aboard Hokulea.

The crew performed a traditional awa ceremony; one by one, each person then placed pohaku, or stones, in the water, representing the crew member’s home and family. The ceremony performed yesterday fulfilled a vision by pwo (master) navigator Bruce Blankenfeld, set in motion at the beginning of the Worldwide Voyage three years ago. Now the sail master on board for this final leg of the Malama Honua voyage, Bruce led the crew to begin this new tradition. As traditional Polynesian voyaging continues to grow and flourish and as crossings occur over years and generations, sailors will continue to drop pohaku into the ocean here in honor of this place.

Hokulea’s expected return to Hawaii on June 17 will be celebrated at Magic Island with a cultural welcoming ceremony  followed by a grand celebration open to the entire community. The week-long celebration will continue with the Malama Honua Fair and Summit, a three-day event at the Hawaii Convention Center, which will highlight the voyaging, cultural, environmental, educational, and health and well-being missions of the Worldwide Voyage by sharing malama honua “stories of hope” and voyage-inspired initiatives and activities with the public.

The event’s inspirational speaker series will feature local and global speakers who have engaged with the Voyage including: Megan Smith, 3rd chief technology officer of the United States; Dieter Paulmann, founder of Okeanos Foundation for the Sea; and Ocean Elders Sylvia Earle, Jean-Michel Cousteau, and Don Walsh. Registration for these events is now open at www.hokulea.com/summit.

Hokulea Sets Sail for Hawaii and Historic Worldwide Voyage Homecoming

After 5 days in the community of Tautira – a  second home of the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) and legendary canoe Hokulea – the crews of Hokulea and Hikianalia bid  a warm goodbye to their Tahitian voyaging ohana and departed on the final historic leg of the Worldwide Voyage: sailing home to Hawaii.

The people of Tautira have been the Tahitian caretakers of the canoes and crews of PVS since Hokulea’s maiden voyage in 1976. Upon arrival in Tautira, the crew payed homage to the family ties so important to the shared voyaging heritage of Hawaii and Tahiti, visiting the grave sites of leaders who helped build the connection more than forty years ago.

The crews were hosted at Mayor Papa Sane’s home and welcomed as family in this voyaging community so closely held to Hawaii’s own.

The morning of Wednesday, May 17, Hokulea, sister canoe Hikianalia, and escort vessel Gershon II began the final leg of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage departing from Tahiti to head back home to Hawaii. This last, historic stretch of the sail plan is expected to take 3-4 weeks (pending weather).

The canoes will make a celebratory return to Honolulu on Saturday, June 17 at Magic Island for a cultural welcoming ceremony followed by a grand celebration open to the entire community.

The week-long celebration will continue with the Malama Honua Fair and Summit, a three-day event at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center , which will highlight the voyaging, cultural, environmental, educational, and health and well-being missions of the Worldwide Voyage by sharing malama honua “stories of hope” and voyage-inspired initiatives and activities with the public.

The event’s inspirational speaker series will feature local and global speakers who have engaged with the Voyage including: Megan Smith, 3rd chief technology officer of the United States; Dieter Paulmann, founder of Okeanos Foundation for the Sea; and Ocean Elders Sylvia Earle, Jean-Michel Cousteau, and Don Walsh. Registration for these events is now open at www.hokulea.com/summit.

Hokulea Greeted by Mayor of Mataiea and Over 500 Community Members

As part of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage, Hawaii’s legendary Polynesian voyaging canoes Hokulea and Hikianalia visited Mataiea and were greeted by Alpha Tearii, mayor of Mataiea and minister of Marine and Land Resources, and with an overwhelming show of support by the community.

In a grand welcoming ceremony, over 500 third graders and college students from Mairipehe Primary School, Nuutafaratea Primary School, Matairea Primary School, and Teva I Uta College celebrated the shared malama honua vision of caring for the oceans and land for future generations in Tahitian, French and English.

It has been over 40 years since Hokulea first arrived in Mataiea, which is known for its rich cultural heritage and abundant in natural beauty. “They are doing a lot of really good things here and we are witness to that,” said Bruce Blankenfeld, pwo navigator of the Hokulea. “I see us coming back with future generations to engage, because that is what the voyage is about. It’s about discovering.”

The next day, following a community breakfast and coconut tree planting ceremony with local children, Hokulea and Hikianalia departed for Tautira on Tahiti’s south-east coast.

The sister canoes will continue to travel throughout Tahiti and Raiatea to engage with the local communities in ceremony and education outreach as they celebrate the close of the nearly four-year long journey. Hokulea and Hikianalia are making their way back to Hawaii together for a homecoming ceremony at Magic Island in June 2017.

Hokulea and Hikianalia Return to Taputapuatea for Ancient Voyaging Ritual and Ceremony

Traditional Polynesian voyaging canoes Hokulea and Hikianalia were welcomed by local dignitaries, spiritual elders and community members at Taputapuatea. The marae, or the focal meeting ground, is located on the southeastern coast of Raiatea in French Polynesia. The purpose of the stop was to honor the ancient tradition of Hawaii’s Polynesian ancestors who would go to Taputapuatea, the spiritual center for voyagers of the Pacific, to ceremonially launch and close their voyages of discovery. After sailing about 100 miles from Papeete, Tahiti, the canoes arrived at Taputapuatea yesterday morning following the historic protocol of entering via the sacred pass of Teava Moa.

The ceremony began with pwo navigator Nainoa Thompson and captain Billy Richards returning two sacred stones to the marae that were given to the crew when the canoes last visited Taputapuatea in 2014 to launch the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage. The return of the two stones signified that the Hokulea and Hikianalia crews fulfilled their responsibility to sail around the world and deepened the connection between Hawaii and its navigational roots in Taputapuatea.

“These stones carried the spirits of all of our ancestors and the direct descendants of all of our families as we sailed around the world,” said Thompson. “Today we brought the stones home to Taputapuatea and were granted permission from by our ancestral family to return home. It’s the last permission based on the fulfillment of many promises we made,” he added.

In addition to the spiritual elders of Taputapuatea, the crew was greeted by French Polynesia president Edouard Fritch, the Taputapuatea mayor Thomas Moutame, and the country’s minister of culture Heremoana Maamaatuaiahutapu. The day-long ceremony featured the ancient rituals conducted to ceremonially complete a voyage, traditional chants and dance by the Taputapuatea community and students from Kamehameha Schools and Milolii Charter School.

In honor of this ceremonial milestone, crewmembers from Hokulea’s first voyage to French Polynesia in 1976 joined this leg from Tahiti to Raiatea, including Gordon Piianaia, Billy Richards, Snake Ah Hee, Kainoa Lee and John Kruse. Zane Aikau, nephew of 1978 crewmember Eddie Aikau, also participated on the leg on behalf of the Aikau family and 1976 crewmember Buffalo Keaulana who was unable to join the sail.  Special guests who also participated on the overnight sail included Hawaiian Airlines CEO Mark Dunkerley, University of Hawaii president David Lassner, and Hawaii State Department of Education superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.

Once considered the religious and cultural center of Polynesia, Taputapuatea is the location of an ancient marae that was once considered the central temple and religious center of Eastern Polynesia. Established around 1000 AD, the marae was a place of learning where priests and navigators from all over the Pacific would gather to offer sacrifices to the gods and share their knowledge of the genealogical origins of the universe, and of deep ocean navigation.

Most significantly, a truce known as the Faatau Aroha was established with the surrounding islands to form an alliance that lasted for many years and perpetuated the growth of voyaging and exploration leading to the discovery and colonization of all the islands of Eastern Polynesia, including Hawaii, Rapa Nui and Aotearoa (New Zealand).  New marae were established on each of these islands with a rock being taken from Taputapuatea so that Raiatea served as a spiritual link. However, the Faatau Aroha was broken due to a conflict between two leaders of the alliance that resulted to open warfare and an end to large-scale interisland voyaging.

The archaeological remains of Marae Taputapuatea were restored in 1994 and efforts to preserve the site continues. Association Na Papa E Vau Raiatea is working towards having Marae Taputapuatea designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site and continuing work to revive connections between communities of the Polynesian triangle and throughout the Pacific region.

Hokulea and Hikianalia are scheduled to depart Taputapuatea today and will return to Papeete, Tahiti where the crews will prepare the canoes for the voyage back to Hawaii. The canoes will depart French Polynesia in mid-May and will arrive at Magic Island on Oahu for a homecoming celebration on Saturday, June 17.

Hokulea and Hikianalia Arrive in Tahiti

Legendary Polynesian voyaging canoes Hokulea and Hikianalia have arrived in Tahiti.

This arrival marks the first time the sister canoes have reunited since the vessels embarked on separate Malama Honua sail plans in spring of 2015 – when Hikianalia sailed for the Hawaiian Islands to advance the education mission of the Worldwide Voyage while Hokulea continued on her unprecedented circumnavigation of the globe. The canoes’ arrival will be celebrated with the Tahiti community tomorrow, April 14, 2017.

Tahiti holds special historical significance for the Polynesian Voyaging Society as the destination of Hokulea’s first deep sea voyage in 1976, over 40 years ago. Tahiti is the largest island of French Polynesia and shares origins with the rest of the Polynesian Triangle. The mountain, Moua Orohena, tops the island and stands 7,352 feet tall, earning the distinction as the highest point in French Polynesia; its height has made Tahiti the home base of voyaging for generations.

Sister canoes Hokulea and Hikianalia will travel to Raiatea for a ceremony in Taputapuatea on April 25. Hokulea and Hikianalia will sail home in early May to begin the final deep-sea leg of the Worldwide Voyage.

Nainoa Thompson Receives Explorers Club Medal, the Most Prestigious Recognition in Exploration

Navigator and president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society Nainoa Thompson was honored this evening with the 2017 Explorers Club Medal, the most prestigious recognition in exploration. The award was presented to Thompson at the 113th Explorers Club Annual Dinner at Ellis Island in New York City.  The medal is awarded annually to select individuals for their extraordinary contributions directly in the field of exploration, scientific research, or to the welfare of humanity.

2017 Explorers Club Medal winner Nainoa Thompson with ocean explorer, Sylvia Earle.

Thompson was recognized for his historic work to revive and perpetuate Polynesian wayfinding and for leading the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage as captain and navigator of iconic sailing canoe Hokulea. Thompson has dedicated his life to teaching the art and values of wayfinding to generations of navigators throughout Polynesia and from across the globe. He was the first Native Hawaiian to practice long-distance wayfinding since the 14th century and consequently inspired a voyaging renaissance throughout the Pacific.

Today, Hokulea is completing the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage, a journey to inspire communities to care for themselves, each other, and their natural and cultural environments for a more sustainable future. To date, Hokulea has sailed over 31,000 nautical miles around the world.

Hokulea is currently on her way to the Marquesas Islands. The canoe’s last stop will be in Tahiti where she will meet up with her sister canoe, Hikianalia and sail back to Hawaii together on the final leg of the Worldwide Voyage.

The Explorers Club also honored Hokulea at a special Presidential Dinner in June 2016 on World Oceans Day.

In addition to Thompson, Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard, M.D. received the Explorers Club Medal for Solar Impulse, a solar powered airplane circumnavigation project that has raised public awareness and encouraged political actions in favor of clean technologies and energy efficiency around the world. The event was hosted by two-time Academy Award winning actor, Robert DeNiro, who introduced a congratulatory video from past Explorers Club Medal recipient, award-winning filmmaker, and fellow Ocean Elder, James Cameron. Cameron’s video discussed the importance of education, conservation, and oceans exploration, lauding the night’s awardees for their landmark endeavors and environmental stewardship.

Founded in 1904 in New York City, The Explorers Club is an international multidisciplinary professional society dedicated to the advancement of field research and the ideal that it is vital to preserve the instinct to explore. The Club serves as a meeting point and unifying force for explorers and scientists worldwide, promoting the scientific exploration of land, sea, air, and space by supporting research and education in the physical, natural and biological sciences. An illustrious series of first explorations are credited to members of the Club, including the first visit to the North Pole, first to the South Pole, first to the summit of Mount Everest, first to the deepest point in the ocean and first to the surface of the moon.

The Explorers Club Medal is the Club’s highest honor. Past recipients of the Explorers Club Medal include James Cameron, for his outstanding contributions to ocean science; Walter H. Munk, for his extraordinary oceanography achievements that span his 75-year career; and Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ph.D., for his significant contributions to the welfare of humanity through science and education.

For information on the Explorers Club Awards and other 2017 recipients, please click here.

Hikianalia Launches from Hawaii to Reunite with Hokulea

Polynesian sailing vessel Hikianalia launched from the Marine Education Training Center at Sand Island today to meet her sister canoe Hokulea in Tahiti. This will be the crew’s final stop to share the Malama Honua message before sailing back home to complete the Worldwide Voyage.

The journey to Tahiti marks the inaugural voyage as captain for apprentice navigator Kala Baybayan Tanaka. Tanaka is an educator and apprentice navigator with Maui’s voyaging society, Hui o Waa Kaulua, where she teaches about  Polynesian wayfinding techniques to children and other interested learners. Tanaka draws her inspiration and connection to voyaging from her father and pwo navigator, Kalepa Baybayan, who will also be aboard while Kala captains Hikianalia to Tahiti.

“As a captain for the first time I’m reminded of the amazing teachers like my dad who I’ve learned from over the years,” said Kala Babayan, captain of Hikianalia. “It’s truly an honor to lead this leg on an epic journey that aims to inspire the world and our home here in Hawaiʻi.”

Hikianalia is the Hawaiian name for the star also known as Spica, which rises together with Hokulea (Arcturus) in Hawaii. They are sister stars because they break the horizon together at the latitude of the Hawaiian Islands. The 72-foot canoe Hikianalia is a modern Polynesian voyaging canoe and sister canoe to the Hokulea, uses sustainable solar and wind energy to combine the latest ecological technology with the heritage of the voyaging tradition.

The crews anticipate arrival at Tahiti around mid-April. They will travel throughout Tahiti and Raiatea to engage with the local community in ceremony and education outreach as they celebrate the message of caring for Island Earth at the close of the nearly four-year long voyage. Together, Hokulea and Hikianalia will head home to a welcoming ceremony on Magic Island in June 2017.

Hokulea Departs from Rapa Nui for the Pitcairn Islands

The crew of Hawaii’s legendary Polynesian voyaging canoe Hokulea yesterday departed from Rapa Nui as they continue on their Malama Honua voyage and head to Pitcairn. Hokulea returns to the Pitcairn Islands for the first time since her voyage in 1999, when the canoe sailed around the Polynesian Triangle.

While in Rapa Nui, the crew worked alongside the Nahiku Student Delegation to help fulfill the mission of the Worldwide Voyage by connecting with the local community and representing Hawaii. The Nahiku Student Delegation and Hokulea crew activities included meetings with both the Governor and Mayor of Rapa Nui, a visit to the Kupuna (elders) of Hare Koa Tiare Care Home, and a tour of Museo Rapa Nui. Hokuleawas honored with a traditional landing ceremony on Anakena Beach, the site of historic seafaring welcomes for the small island community of Rapa Nui.

“Returning to Rapa Nui and reconnecting with our ohana and other community members is an important milestone for Hokulea and the Worldwide Voyage, marking our return to the Polynesian triangle and the deep history of Polynesian voyaging,” said pwo navigator Bruce Blankenfeld, captain of the Hokulea. “This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our shared commitment to preserving traditions, values, and environment, but also to discuss the challenges that we face in light of changes to our ocean and well-being as island people.”

The Pitcairn Islands are a cluster of volcanic islands and atolls in the southern Pacific Ocean forming the last British Overseas Territory in the Pacific. The area around Pitcairn Islands is one of the most pristine places on the Earth.

Following Pitcairn, Hokulea will head to the Marquesas Islands and to Tahiti, where she will be greeted by the local community in mid-April.  From Tahiti,  the crew will continue their journey home to Hawaii and will be welcomed at Magic Island, on June 17, 2017.

Hōkūleʻa Arrives at Rapa Nui (AKA Easter Island)

Crewmembers aboard Hōkūleʻa have arrived to Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, a journey that’s expected to take about two and a half weeks.

“Rapa Nui signifies a major cultural return for Polynesian navigation and our Worldwide Voyage as we re-enter the Polynesian triangle, the birthplace of our wayfinding heritage,” said master navigator Nainoa Thompson.

The crew will stay on the island for approximately a week before sailing on to French Polynesia.

After voyaging approximately 1,900 nautical miles over six days, Leg 28 crewmembers landed in Rapa Nui and we were greeted by long time friends and family that have been close to Hōkūleʻa for decades. Because Captain Archie Kalepa needed to depart the evening crewmembers arrived, the group expedited a visit to Tongariki, where 15 Moai stand guard to the east.

The arrival to Rapa Nui was suddenly made real as the crew stood in the shadow of these wonders that have been witnesses to the incredible changes that this place has seen. Crewmembers are using this time for quiet reflection after finishing the epic voyage from the Galapagos.

Hokulea Crew Overcomes Major Navigational Challenge and Finds Rapa Nui

The crew of Hokulea arrived safely at Rapa Nui today after sailing for about 16 days across approximately 1,900 nautical miles of deep ocean. A team of four apprentice navigators successfully lead the Hokulea and the major navigational challenge of spotting the tiny remote island of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) yesterday at sunset. The crew spotted the island about 43 nautical miles out.

“Finding Rapa Nui was by far one of the biggest challenges our crew has faced,” said Hokulea captain, Archie Kalepa. “With a few more months left in this journey, we’re glad to be back in Polynesian waters and for the opportunity to reconnect with the Rapa Nui community.”

This is the first time Hokulea has visited the UNESCO World Heritage Site since her last voyage to the island 18 years ago. The Rapa Nui arrival also marks the voyaging canoe’s return to the Polynesian triangle since departing these waters three years ago on the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage.

The team of apprentice navigators have been working together on navigating and turning studies into practice since departing the Galapagos Islands on February 12, 2017. They have been guiding the way by using their knowledge of the stars and taking directional cues derived from their observations of nature. Because of its tiny size and remote location, Rapa Nui is considered one of the most difficult islands to find using traditional wayfinding.

After making landfall in Rapa Nui, the crew will be joined by a teacher and student delegation from Hawaii and the group will spend the week participating in cultural and educational engagements with Rapa Nui leaders and the community.  Activities will include meeting both the Governor and Mayor of Rapa Nui, a visit to the kupuna (elders) of Hare Koa Tiare Care Home, and a tour of Museo Rapa Nui. The crew and delegation will also connect with the Toki School of Music for a day of community service and voyaging outreach.

With famed archaeological sites including nearly 900 monumental statues called moai and an isolated environment rich with unique diversity, the small volcanic island of Rapa Nui represents an opportunity for the crew to learn more about the island’s status as a World Heritage Site as well as the strong cultural history of its Polynesian ancestors.

Following Rapa Nui, Hokulea will sail to French Polynesia before her return home to Magic Island on June 17, 2017.

Hokulea Sets Sail for Rapa Nui and the Navigational Return to the Pacific

The crew of Hawaii’s legendary Polynesian voyaging canoe Hokulea set sail today for Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, continuing the Worldwide Voyage’s Malama Honua global movement to care for our earth and marking Hokulea’s return to the navigational ocean currents that will lead her home.

During their visit to the islands of Galapagos, the crew of Hokulea invited teachers and students from James B. Castle High School, Kamehameha Schools and Halau Ku Mana Public Charter School to join them at the UNESCO World Heritage Marine Site in learning more about the islands’ fragile ecosystem and discussing best practices for how to conserve the earth’s most critical resources.

“Heading to Rapa Nui, Hokulea carries the invaluable lessons of global sustainability that were learned and shared at other UNESCO World Heritage sites such as the Galapagos Islands,” said Nainoa Thompson, president of Polynesian Voyaging Society. “In addition to being a recognized global resource by organizations such as UNESCO, Rapa Nui signifies a major cultural return for Polynesian navigation and our Worldwide Voyage as we re-enter the Polynesian triangle, the birthplace of our wayfinding heritage.”

Hokulea is expected to port in Rapa Nui around February 28, weather permitting. The crew will stay on the island for approximately a week  before sailing on to French Polynesia. The crew will again be joined by a contingency of teachers and students from Hawaii.  The last time Hokulea visited Rapa Nui was on a voyage that took place in 1999.

Host to famed archaeological sites including nearly 900 monumental statues called moai, Rapa Nui is a remote volcanic island located in Polynesia under Chilean territory. Rapa Nui represents an opportunity for the crew to learn more about the island’s status as a World Heritage Site as well as the rich cultural history of its Polynesian ancestors.

The Malama Honua voyage will cover over 60,000 nautical miles upon its return home to Magic Island estimated this June.

Hokulea Arrives at Galapagos Islands

Polynesian voyaging canoe Hokulea arrived yesterday at  Puerto Ayora, the capital city of Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos Islands. The crew will be joined by a contingent of teachers and students from Hawaii as well as representatives from The Nature Conservancy and Conservation International for an educational visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Marine Site. During their stay, the crew and participating schools will engage in activities to further their understanding of the area’s fragile ecosystem and how its preservation aligns with the Worldwide Voyage’s Malama Honua mission.

Situated in the Pacific Ocean more than 600 miles from the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands and the surrounding marine reserve have been called a unique “living museum and showcase of evolution.” Similar to Hawaii, the Galapagos Islands is an isolated volcanic archipelago known for its endemic species and rich biodiversity. The location became famous after naturalist Charles Darwin visited in 1835 to study the area’s rare animal species which led to his theory of evolution by natural selection.

This stop on the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage will be an opportunity for the voyage mission crew to learn about the Galapagos Islands’ conservation management and environmental sustainability efforts while bringing attention to science, evolution and the importance of protecting the earth’s most fragile resources.

Educators and students from Halau Ku Mana Public Charter School, Kamehameha Schools, and James B. Castle High School will all be present throughout Hokulea’s stay in the Galapagos. Groups will engage in a series of land tours, dives, and a Hoike event, or final presentation, to showcase their scientific findings and share the potential impacts the learning from this visit could have on education in Hawaii.

The learning journey will include visits to the Charles Darwin Research Center and the Tomas de Berlanga School, which focuses on developing a sense of stewardship in its students for the society and environment in which they live.  The school was launched in 1994 by a group of Galapagos residents who believed that improved education was a prerequisite to a more sustainable Galapagos.  They sought to launch an educational model that could serve as a showcase of best practices and as a future training ground for educators from other schools on the islands.

After the Galapagos Islands, Hokulea will continue on her voyage to Rapa Nui and French Polynesia for further community outreach and opportunities to share the Malama Honua message. In June 2017, Hokulea will make her long-awaited return to the Hawaiian Islands with a historic homecoming ceremony at Magic Island

Hokulea Re-Enters the Pacific Ocean, Sailing Towards the Galapagos Islands

Iconic polynesian voyaging replica Hokulea yesterday departed Balboa, Panama and began her sail to the Galapagos Islands. After making a momentous crossing of the Panama Canal, crews spent several days engaging in a cross-cultural engagement with indigenous groups and sharing the meaning of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines. Hokulea’s voyage to the Galapagos will take approximately 10 days.

“Hokulea is back in Pacific waters after nearly two years and the Galapagos will be the first Pacific islands we will visit on this journey home,” said Nainoa Thompson, president of Polynesian Voyaging Society.  “The Galapagos Islands will be an important mission stop where we will celebrate their sustainability efforts, identify parallels with Hawaii and bring attention to science, evolution and protecting the earth’s most fragile natural resources,” added Thompson.

A contingent of students and teachers from Castle High School, Kamehameha Schools and Halau Ku Mana will be traveling to the Galapagos to work with the crew of Hokulea. Students will join the crewmembers on their engagements and take part on an unparalleled educational journey in this UNESCO World Heritage Marine site.

Hokulea will stay approximately in the Galapagos for approximately one week before setting sail for Rapa Nui.

Hokulea Completes Transit Through Panama Canal and Returns to Pacific Waters

After two days of transit through the Panama Canal, iconic voyaging canoe Hokulea reached the Panama city of Balboa today at 2:54 p.m. EST.

The canoe went through three sets of locks on the man-made waterway and returned to Pacific waters for the first time in nearly two years. Because Hokulea has no engines, and because of the turbulence and currents within the canal, the canoe was safely towed by a powerful work vessel – DWS Linda – through the canal.

Crewmembers moored the double-hulled canoe at Balboa Yacht Club and will remain docked in Balboa for about seven days. From Balboa, Hokulea will depart for the Galapagos Islands, a sail that is expected to take approximately 10 days.

While in Balboa, Hokulea’s crew will engage with several indigenous organizations and leaders of the Panamanian community. Crewmembers will also use their time in Balboa to provision the vessel for her upcoming sail to the Galapagos Islands and then Rapa Nui, ensuring she is in exceptional condition for the remainder of her voyage home to the Hawaiian Islands.

Hokulea Transit Through Panama Canal Delayed

Traditional voyaging vessel Hokulea’s historic transit through the Panama Canal has been delayed due to unforeseen repairs being performed on the east lane of the Canal. The canoe was scheduled to make its legendary crossing today towards the Pacific Ocean and through the Atlantic Locks. Crewmembers have docked Hokulea in Colon, Panama and are now expected to commence her transit through the Panama Canal possibly as early as tomorrow, Jan. 10.

Crossing the Panama Canal from Colon to Balboa will take the crew approximately two days. Hokulea crewmembers will use their time in Balboa to work alongside indigenous communities and organizations to offer culturally relevant maritime activities to the Panamanian public. The canoe will also undergo necessary assessment and preparations before setting sail to the Galapagos Islands, Rapa Nui and French Polynesia.

Hokulea Reaches Colon, Panama and Prepares for Historic Canal Crossing

Thirteen days since departing Key West, iconic sailing canoe Hokulea arrived yesterday in Colon, Panama, a seaport located by the Caribbean Sea near the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal. The crew will spend the next two to three days preparing for their historic crossing through the 48-mile isthmus of Panama. Upon completion of the waterway, Hokulea will arrive in Balboa to re-enter the Pacific Ocean for the first time in nearly two years.

“It’ll surely be a sight to see Hokulea travel through the Panama Canal,” said pwo navigator and Hokulea captain, Bruce Blankenfeld. “Like Hokulea, the Panama Canal brings international communities together and serves as a bridge between the Atlantic and the Pacific.”

The Panama Canal has been an international landmark for over 100 years. The unique geography of Panama has allowed for increased international trade, fortifying international relations through modern technology. The canal continues on a new purpose with the passage of Hokulea, where both the vessel and its mission to share a message of caring for Island Earth will travel through the stretch of man-made waterway.

It will take the crew about two days to make their way from Colon to Balboa through the canal. With her return to the Pacific as an ancestral homecoming, Hokulea will continue with the mission of engaging with local communities worldwide before she reaches Hawaii.  The canoe will make stops in the Galapagos Islands, Rapa Nui and French Polynesia. Hokulea will conclude her Worldwide Voyage with a historic homecoming at Magic Island on June 17, 2017.

Hokulea’s Crew Celebrate Christmas in Caribbean Waters

Crewmembers aboard the historic vessel Hokulea are celebrating Christmas Day at sea while in transit to Panama where they will clear customs before crossing the Panama Canal.

With approximately a week to go before Hokulea reaches Panama, the crew took the opportunity to decorate the canoe with festive trimmings to get into the holiday spirit while they are away from their families and loved ones over the holiday season.

“Not many people get to celebrate the holidays while at sea on the deck of Hokulea during this epic around-the-world voyage,” said Hokulea captain and pwo navigator Bruce Blankenfeld. “As much as we’d love to be home in Hawaii with our loved ones at this time of year, we are all truly honored to be sailing Hokulea to share our Malama Honua message with communities around the world.”

Hokulea was sailing along the coast of Cuba today and will arrive in Panama around December 31, where the crew will possibly ring in the new year. Once she re-enters the Pacific Ocean, Hokulea will make stops in the Galapagos Islands, Rapa Nui and French Polynesia before her sail west back to a celebratory homecoming at Magic Island in June 2017.

Hokulea Sets Sail for the Panama Canal

Legendary voyaging canoe Hokulea and her crew departed from Key West yesterday morning. The crew of the 26th leg of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines will continue to make way for the historic Panama Canal, where the ancient Polynesian voyaging replica will transit through the modern industrial marvel.

During her stay in Key West, Hokulea underwent usual inspections and maintenance in preparation for the next journey. The crew left Key West around 10:10 a.m. EST and sailed through the island’s channel under tow of the ship Gershon II. As she re-enters Caribbean waters, Hokulea will shift her sights for the 48-mile journey through the Panama Canal heading back to the South Pacific Ocean.

“Hokulea traveling through the Panama Canal will be a sight to see and is symbolic of ancient technology meeting modern day technology,” said Hokulea captain and pwo navigator Bruce Blankenfeld. “We anticipate this will be a special moment for everyone aboard, and will mark another tremendous milestone for the crewmembers who have sailed this vessel to great lengths.”

After the canoe’s transit through the Panama Canal, Hokulea will make stops in the Galapagos Islands, Rapa Nui and French Polynesia before her sail west back to the Hawaiian Islands. She is scheduled to make a celebratory homecoming at Magic Island in June 2017. With just under seven months to go on the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines, the Hokulea team will continue engaging communities through education, collaboration and service, sharing the message of ocean conservation and sustainability and the mission of Malama Honua (caring for Island Earth).