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.

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.

Nainoa Thompson Honored with 2016 Legacy Award at the Annual BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit

Renowned navigator and Polynesian Voyaging Society president Nainoa Thompson was honored yesterday with the 2016 Legacy Award at the annual BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit. The prestigious accolade celebrates and recognizes leaders that have made extraordinary achievements to create a lasting legacy in ocean conservation, exploration, education, innovation, and the pursuit of marine knowledge.

nainoa-blue“Like crossing the deep ocean in a voyaging canoe, navigating towards a better Island Earth takes a crew of passionate people with the power and commitment to make a difference,” said Thompson. “I am truly inspired to be surrounded by so many others here at the BLUE Ocean Film Festival who are taking risks and making great strides towards global sustainability, respect for our ocean, and the kind of education that prepares our next generation of stewards who will navigate our communities to a brighter future.”

Thompson was acknowledged for his leadership on the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage as captain and navigator of iconic sailing canoe Hokulea. Throughout the world-spanning wayfinding journey, he has guided crew members in successfully sharing experiential education and inspiring communities to care for themselves, each other, and their natural and cultural environments. In addition to Thompson, the honor was also presented to Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Greg MacGillivray, who has produced and directed some of the industry’s most enduring conservation education films.

“It is a privilege to welcome Nainoa and Greg as this year’s Legacy Award winners and praise them as outstanding pioneers that personify great courage, passion and wisdom,” said BLUE CEO Debbie Kinder. “For seven years, we’ve successfully hosted this celebration of achievements in ocean conservation and are proud to call it the birthplace of many inspiring and innovative collaborations each year.”

Founded in 2009, BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit is a unique convergence of film festival and ocean conservation summit, highlighting ocean-related films, breath-taking photography, inspiring keynotes, captivating art, thought-provoking panels, engaging music, hands-on workshops, conservation activities and great parties. It has become one of the world’s most popular ocean events for innovators, entrepreneurs, government dignitaries, emerging talent, media icons, thought-leaders, scientists, teachers, explorers and industry professionals from all walks of life who share a common passion for the sea.

Past recipients of the Legacy Award include Captain Don Walsh for ocean exploration, James Cameron for ocean filmmaking, Phil Nuytten for ocean exploration, Eugenie Clark for ocean science, Stan Waterman for ocean filmmaking and HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco for ocean stewardship.

For more information on the 2016 BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit, please click here.

Nainoa Thompson Receives Hubbard Medal – National Geographic’s Highest Honor

Today, an extraordinary group of individuals were honored by the National Geographic Society at the 2016 Explorer Awards, presented by Rolex.

Nainoa Thompson received the National Geographic Society’s oldest and most prestigious honor, the Hubbard Medal, for his outstanding contributions to scientific research, exploration and conservation.

Nainoa Thompson and Meave Leakey receive the National Geographic Society’s oldest and most prestigious honor, the Hubbard Medal, for their outstanding contributions to scientific research, exploration and conservation at the National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C. on June 16, 2016. Photo by Randall Scott/National Geographic Society

Nainoa Thompson and Meave Leakey receive the National Geographic Society’s oldest and most prestigious honor, the Hubbard Medal, for their outstanding contributions to scientific research, exploration and conservation at the National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C. on June 16, 2016. Photo by Randall Scott/National Geographic Society

A master in the traditional Polynesian art of non-instrument navigating known as “wayfinding,” Thompson revived the ancient practice while advocating for ocean conservation and a sustainable future for our planet.

THE HUBBARD MEDAL

Named for the National Geographic Society’s first president, Gardiner Greene Hubbard, the Hubbard Medal is given in recognition of a lifetime of achievement in exploration, discovery and research. In 1906, Robert E. Peary was the first to receive the Hubbard Medal for his exploration of the Arctic. This year’s recipients, Meave Leakey and Nainoa Thompson, will join the ranks of distinguished honorees, including Charles Lindbergh, John Glenn and Jane Goodall, among others.

Nainoa Thompson

Charles Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, is an expert in the ancient Pacific Island tradition of wayfinding, a non-instrument method of navigating on long ocean voyages using the stars, swells and natural elements as guides. The first native Hawaiian to practice wayfinding since the 14th century, he studied under Micronesian master navigator Pius Mau Piailug of Satawal, Yap.

In the 1970s, Thompson was part of an important movement among young Hawaiians committed to restoring cultural pride. He has since dedicated his life to teaching wayfinding to future generations, developing a method that combines the tenets of ancient Pacific navigation with modern science, fostering a renewed interest in Hawaiian heritage.

Nearly 40 years ago, Thompson made history when he navigated Hōkūleʻa, a traditional double-hulled voyaging canoe, 2,500 nautical miles from Hawaiʻi to Tahiti relying entirely on the art of Polynesian wayfinding.

Today, Hōkūleʻa is on a three-year, 60,000-nautical-mile expedition around the world. The sail, known as the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, aims to encourage the global community to live sustainably by drawing upon the wisdom and teachings of ancient Polynesian culture. Upon its completion, the voyage will stop in 100 ports, 27 nations and 12 UNESCO Marine World Heritage sites. Along the way, Hōkūleʻa and her crew have met with a number of global peace and marine conservation leaders, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle.

Thompson is a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi, where he received a bachelor’s degree in ocean science. A member of the Ocean Elders, he is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Peter Benchley Ocean Award for Excellence in Exploration; the Unsung Hero of Compassion, presented by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama on behalf of the organization Wisdom in Action; and the Native Hawaiian Education Association’s Manomano Ka ‘Ike (Depth and Breadth of Knowledge) Educator of the Year Award.

Dalai Lama and Nainoa Thompson Discuss Education and Universal Human Values

Nainoa Thompson, pwo (master) navigator and president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, today joined a panel discussion with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in celebration of His Holiness’s 80th birthday. The topic of discussion for the panel of inspiring leaders was The Significance of Education in Advancing Universal Human Values.

Dalai Lama and Nainoa

“I was honored and humbled to be invited to speak with His Holiness, one of my heroes and a true inspiration for our work aboard Hokulea as we travel around the world,” said Thompson. “We came together to celebrate his legacy of peace, kindness and universal compassion, and the true gift for his 80th birthday was the lesson he has offered all of us.”

Thompson acknowledged His Holiness as one of Earth’s greatest navigators and offered a gift of traditional Hawaiian oli (chant) by apprentice navigator Lehua Kamalu.  Thompson then presented him with a maile lei he had carried from the Hawaiian islands.

The event was the final session of His Holiness’s three-day Global Compassion Summit at University of California, Irvine’s Bren Center on Tuesday, July 7 and took place at 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Thompson was one of 15 distinguished panelists to participate in the conversation.

The Dalai Lama blessed the Hokulea at Kualoa Park last year.  Photo courtesy of Pillars of Peace

The Dalai Lama blessed the Hokulea at Kualoa Park last year. Photo courtesy of Pillars of Peace

Thompson’s visit to the Global Compassion Summit marked a truly global moment for the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Worldwide Voyage today. Legendary voyaging canoe Hokulea is scheduled to arrive at Darwin, Australia, while sister canoe Hikianalia today returns home to Honolulu after a fruitful trip to the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument with NOAA researchers and crew from The Nature Conservancy.

The Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage is taking the iconic sailing vessels Hokulea and her sister canoe Hikianalia across Hawaii and the Earth’s oceans to grow a global movement toward a more sustainable world.

The Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines, began in Hawaiʻi in 2013 and will cover over 60,000 nautical miles, 100 ports, and 27 nations, including 12 of UNESCO’s Marine World Heritage sites, through June 2017. The voyage seeks to engage all of Island Earth – practicing how to live sustainably while sharing Polynesian culture, learning from the past and from each other, creating global relationships, and discovering the wonders of the precious place we call home.

Jack Johnson and Polynesian Voyaging Society Launch Song Celebrating 40 Years of Hōkūleʻa

The Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) today launched a special online crowdfunding campaign in partnership with musician Jack Johnson.

Nainoa Thompson and Jack Johnson

Nainoa Thompson and Jack Johnson

The campaign, which is now live at RallySong.com, offers users a chance to download the song “Na Ho‘okele Opoipio (The Young Navigators),” which was written by Chucky Boy Chock and recorded with Johnson and Paula Fuga in honor of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage.

“The Polynesian discovery of islands throughout the Pacific Ocean was one of humanity’s most amazing achievements,” said Jack Johnson, songwriter and musician. “With the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, we have a new generation of navigators exploring the earth and bringing people together to find a sustainable future. We are proud to support them with this song, “Na Hoʻokele Opiopio,” which means, “The Young Navigators.”

Cultivating and nurturing the next generation of navigators is a key focus for the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, which seeks to educate people and communities around the world about the values of traditional wayfinding (non-instrument navigation) and the importance of caring for our Island Earth.

Chucky, Jack and Paula

Chucky Boy, Jack and Paula

“We are grateful to Jack Johnson, Chucky Boy, and Paula for honoring our next generation of navigators,” said Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

Jack and Paula and Chucky Boy“Across the globe, there are young people with the courage to set a new course and protect our natural environment. They are our leaders and navigators, whether they are on canoes or not, and we hope this campaign will provide a way for more people to join our voyage.”

All proceeds from the RallySong campaign will benefit PVS and the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage. In addition to purchasing and downloading the song, fans can also purchase collector’s items and enter a raffle for a chance to win grand prizes such as an ukulele autographed by Jack Johnson and a Papa He‘e Nalu (small wood surfboard), crafted with mahagony wood from the deckboards of the Hōkūleʻa. The campaign runs through April 25, 2015 and seeks to meet a fundraising goal of $75,000.

“This fundraiser comes at a critical juncture for PVS and the Worldwide Voyage, as we prepare to leave the Pacific for the first time,” said Clyde Namuʻo, PVS Chief Executive Officer. “In 2015 we will be travelling from New Zealand to Australia and South Africa, and every contribution from our community will make it possible for us to complete this historic leg of our journey around the world.”

Hōkūleʻa, a traditional Polynesian voyaging canoe, is celebrating 40 years this year since her first launch from the sacred shores of Hakipu‘u-Kualoa in Kāne‘ohe Bay, O’ahu, on March 8, 1975. The iconic canoe helped contribute to a significant generation of renewal for Hawaiian culture and language, and revitalized voyaging and navigation traditions throughout the Pacific Ocean.

The Hawaiian name for this journey, Mālama Honua, means “to care for our Island Earth” and is taking Hōkūleʻa and her sister canoe Hikianalia across Earth’s oceans to grow a global movement toward a more sustainable world. The Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines, will cover 47,000 nautical miles, 85 ports, 26 nations, including 12 of UNESCO’s Marine World Heritage sites, through June 2017. The canoes are currently in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Hawaii Education Leaders Partnering in Worldwide Voyage

Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi and Hawaii State Board of Education members today joined education leaders from public and private sectors in signifying their shared support for and participation with the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s (PVS’s) Worldwide Voyage.

Just an overexposed picture I kind of like

Just an overexposed picture I kind of like

Representatives from early childhood to higher education institutions gathered at the Marine Education and Training Center on Oahu’s Sand Island to sign a memorandum of understanding in support of community based and sustainable education aligned with the PVS’s voyaging canoes Hokulea and sister vessel Hikianalia. Titled “Promise to Children,” the MOU states in part that, “We will transform our schools, empower youthful voices, and accept the responsibility of Malama Honua. We believe that by inspiring children to explore, discover and learn about Island Earth, they will navigate the future of humanity toward vitality, renewal, and compassion.”

Jenna Ishii explains some of the safety equipment

Jenna Ishii explains some of the safety equipment

“We are … excited that we can make the claim that Hawaii is with us,” said master navigator Nainoa Thompson. He said the Hokulea, in preparation for its Worldwide Voyage, has hosted more than 20,000 school children and community members while visiting ports across the Islands.

Over the next 48 months, the Worldwide Voyage will sail 49,000 nautical miles, visiting 26 countries and 85 ports while sharing Hawaii’s culture with the world. Educators are collaborating on curriculum aligned with Worldwide Voyage activities. Students will be able to embark on a virtual educational journey and participate via various technology channels and the Internet.

The decks were so hot when I was aboard the Hokulea, that they had to keep splashing water on the deck to keep our feet from burning

The decks were so hot when I was aboard the Hokulea, that they had to keep splashing water on the deck to keep our feet from burning

“This voyage not only offers lessons about world exploration and Hawaiian navigation but also the cultivation of aloha and valued Hawaiian traditions,” said Superintendent Matayoshi. “We are excited to be a partner in this educational endeavor and will build upon the knowledge over the course of the next four years. We are grateful to the Polynesian Voyaging Society for including our public school students and teachers in this mission.”

While the vessels are not slated to depart Hawaii until May 2014, plans for the Worldwide Voyage are already changing the lives of children such as Daniel Corpuz, who has been visiting the Hokulea as part of an educational program.

“It was only natural that I fell in love with PVS,” he said about growing up near the ocean in Waianae. He said the program has engaged students with culturally relevant, hands-on learning and will help change negative stereotypes on the Leeward Coast. “As they are judging, we are learning,” Corpuz added.

The Hōkūle‘a

The Hōkūle‘a

Follow along with the educational program on the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s website at hokulea.org.

The Hawaii State Department of Education is the ninth largest U.S. school district and the only statewide educational system in the country. It is comprised of 288 schools and serves more than 185,000 students. To learn more about the Department, its goals and vision for success, visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.

 

16-Year-Old Cancer Survivor Receives Wish of a Lifetime Aboard the Hōkūleʻa

The Polynesian voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa welcomed special guests Sunday as she sailed from her home port at Sand Island to her final Hawai‘i stop of the Mālama Hawaiʻi portion of the Worldwide Voyage, Ko Olina. On board was Wish Kid Colin, his mom, his brother Chase and his aunt; Colin was receiving his wish-come-true.

Colin takes the helm of the Hokulea

Colin takes the helm of the Hokulea

After facing a life-threatening diagnosis of alveolar rhabdomyasarcoma, countless treatments and hospital stays, Colin’s one true wish was to travel to O‘ahu for a sailing experience, and the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) partnered with Make-A-Wish® Hawaii to grant his wish. PVS crewmembers were quick to volunteer to support Colin’s wish – many of those on Sunday’s voyage were cancer survivors themselves.

Colin has had a life-long love for sailing that started with sailing excursions with his dad who was in the Navy and a sailor at heart. Tom, Colin’s father, passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly in January 2010, and then Colin was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer two years later. Today, Colin can say he is cancer clear and he felt this wish would not only realize his passion, but honor his family, particularly his father, as well.

Colin and brother Chase

Colin and brother Chase

Once under sail, a pule, prayer, was said and introductions were made, as is traditional. During the sail, Colin and Chase (10) helped to steer the waʻa and participated in story telling exchanges with the crew. Colin’s mom and aunt did not hop on the sweep, but actively shared stories with the crew. It was a happy sunset sail, with a lot of laughter and learning.

“We are incredibly honored to work with Polynesian Voyaging Society to help make Colin’s wish come true,” said Siana Hunt, President and CEO Make-A-Wish Hawaii. “We believe that a wish can be powerful medicine for children battling life-threatening conditions and we would not be able to bring wishes true without the support of our community; the type of incredible support shown by PVS with Colin’s wish. Colin was shown the true spirit of aloha and we couldn’t be more grateful for PVS’s involvement.”

Nainoa Thompson

Nainoa Thompson

As the sail completed, Master navigator Nainoa Thompson told Colin “you are a star of hope.” Colin smiled and said the sail was just as he imagined it would be.

The Hōkūle‘a Arrives in Hilo – Malama Hawaii (Statewide Sails) and Malama Honua (Worldwide Voyage)

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).

Hōkūle‘a ported at Radio Bay in Hilo

Hōkūle‘a ported at Radio Bay in Hilo

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.

The Hōkūle‘a

The Hōkūle‘a

Here is a map of the planned route that they plan on taking:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

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.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/DANTGFPV-5U]

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.

David Corrigan interviews Kim Kuulei Birnie

David Corrigan interviews Kim Kuulei Birnie

Tiffany Edwards Hunt checks out one of the places to sleep on board

Tiffany Edwards Hunt checks out one of the places to sleep on board

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.

Jenna Ishii explains some of the safety equipment

Jenna Ishii explains some of the safety equipment

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.

Ishii shows us the flashing beacon that is tossed over shores if someone goes overboard

Ishii shows us the flashing beacon that is tossed off the boat if someone goes overboard

“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.”

"Eddie Would Go!"

“Eddie Would Go!”

Here is one of the press releases I received from them on Why Hokulea Voyages:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

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:

The Hawaii part of the World Wide Exploration

The Hawaii part of the World Wide Exploration

And the worldwide plan(s):

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

I spent about an hour aboard the Hokulea this afternoon and look forward to following them on their worldwide tour.

The decks were so hot, that they had to keep splashing water on the deck to keep our feet from burning

The decks were so hot, that they had to keep splashing water on the deck to keep our feet from burning

Here are some quick facts about the Hokule’a and the Hikanalia:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

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.

Hokulea in Hilo

Just an overexposed picture I kind of like

Just an overexposed picture I kind of like

 

Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage Public Celebration – Hōkūle‘a in Hilo

The Polynesian Voyaging Society Canoe “Hōkūle‘a” is currently in Hilo at Palekai, Radio Bay in Keaukaha.

Her sister canoe, the  Hikianalia will depart Kawaihae today at 5 PM and be in Hilo sometime Saturday.  All events are subject to change, of course, mostly due to the weather.

On Sunday, June 9th, a big community event in Hilo will include the Hōkūle‘a launch ceremonies.  Everyone is invited.

Hokulea in Hilo

It is being hosted by Keaukaha community, ‘Ohana Wa‘a and the canoe clubs there.  There will be guest speakers that include Mayor Kenoi, a couple of the Ocean Elders and others.

The window of opportunity for the actual departure is between June 10-14, but the official ceremonies will take place Sunday.

According to Hawaii News Now:

…There are 22 legs planned for Hokulea’s voyage around the world, but the first and final are both right here at home.  Crew members say it’s about honoring our community and showing Hawaii’s people their gratitude.

Over the next four years, Hokule’a and her escort boat and sister canoe, Hikianalia, will travel to 28 countries and stop at 85 international ports – sailing more than 45,000 nautical miles around the world.

“We want to go. It’s time to go,” said navigator Nainoa Thompson, Hokulea’s Captain.

But before they set sail for international waters, Hokule’a and Hikianalia will spend the first five months of their journey right here at home.

“Around Hawai’i sail is the first leg.  It’s only a thousand miles, probably the shortest of all of them, but it’s the most important,” described Thompson, before adding this portion of the voyage is crucial to making sure all 250 crew members are trained and prepared before heading to the South Pacific next May.

“In many ways we could go to Tahiti right now.  We’re safe enough to do that, but I think this engagement with home is a crucial piece to earning that voyage,” explained Thompson.

“Malama Honua”, or “Care for the Earth”, defines the worldwide voyage’s mission and crew members say that starts here in the islands with “Malama Hawai’i”…

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park June 2013 Hawaiian Cultural & After Dark in the Park Programs

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture and After Dark in the Park programs with the community and visitors in June. All programs are free, but park entrance fees apply. Programs are co-sponsored by the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association, and your $2 donation helps support park programs.  Mark the calendar for these upcoming events:

Hawaiki Rising: Hōkūle‘a, Nainoa Thompson and the Hawaiian Renaissance. Author Sam Low tells the story in the words of the men and women who voyaged aboard the Polynesian sailing canoe,  Hōkūle‘a.

Hawaiki Rising

The crew members grew up at a time when their Hawaiian culture was in danger of extinction and their future in their own land was uncertain. Overcoming fear by trusting in the vision of islands rising from the sea, Nainoa Thompson and his crew became the first Hawaiians to navigate the Pacific without charts or instruments in a thousand years. Join Sam Low for a special evening celebrating the release of his new book. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.
When: Tues., June 4, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Wai‘ōhinu Coastline. The Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund (www.wildhawaii.org) and volunteers have been working on conservation issues along the Wai‘ōhinu coastline in southeast Hawai‘i since 2001.

Waiohinu

Perhaps best known for their marine debris removal efforts, they have also been active with anchialine pool restoration, hawksbill (honu‘ea) sea turtle research, and coastal strand restoration projects in this remote region in Ka‘ū. Marine biologist and HWF project coordinator, Megan Lamson, will discuss the unique natural and cultural resources of this region, share the progress of their conservation work, and present some opportunities to participate in upcoming volunteer events.

When: Tues., June 25, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

 

Worldwide Voyage Receives First Major Sponsorship

Hawaiian Airlines Pledges Crew Travel and Cargo Transportation

In a significant display of support for the mission of the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Worldwide Voyage, Hawaiian Airlines has pledged to provide air transportation for PVS crew and cargo throughout Hawaiian’s route network for the duration of the four-year voyage.

Hikianalia on its way to Hawaii last year.

Hikianalia on its way to Hawaii last year.

Under a sponsorship contract signed this week, Hawaiian Airlines will provide 32 million air miles for crew travel, as well as cargo support for supplies needed as the sailing canoes Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia travel to international ports throughout the Pacific.  The value of the sponsorship is estimated to be $1 million.

Hawaiian will be the lead sponsor of the voyage, which will be known as “The Worldwide Voyage Sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines.”

The Dalai Lama blessed the Hokulea at Kualoa Park last year.  Photo courtesy of Pillars of Peace

The Dalai Lama blessed the Hōkūle‘a at Kualoa Park last year. Photo courtesy of Pillars of Peace

“We are deeply appreciative of Hawaiian’s extraordinary commitment to our mission to inspire young people throughout the world to care for and sustain our planet, and to coexist in peace and compassion,” said navigator Nainoa Thompson, PVS president.  “Sailing Hōkūle‘a has taught us the importance of understanding and connecting with our natural resources.  She is a reminder to us all of the need to celebrate and protect the natural and cultural treasures of Island Earth.”

“The Worldwide Voyage honors a legacy of connecting islands throughout the Pacific that Polynesian navigators created centuries ago. It is our privilege as modern-day navigators and beneficiaries of that legacy to support this voyage and its message of sustainability and resource protection,” said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian Airlines’ president and CEO.

The Worldwide Voyage Sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines will begin in June 2013 with a series of voyages throughout the Hawaiian archipelago, and continue through 2017 with visits to more than 60 ports in more than 20 countries.

The Hōkūle‘a being worked on. Picture courtesy of Pillars of Peace

The Hōkūle‘a being worked on. Picture courtesy of Pillars of Peace

The 48-month voyage involves more than 400 crewmembers from 16 countries.  This includes educators and scientists who will be using the voyage to research ocean wellness, using Native Hawaiian and western science research methods, and to create voyaging-based curriculum to be disseminated in as many Hawai‘i schools as possible, including Mālama Honua, a newly created charter school affiliated with the voyage.  Hikianalia, the solar- and wind-powered support and sister vessel to Hōkūle‘a, will be a platform for marine science, documentation, education outreach, communication and teacher training, while Hōkūle‘a will continue to be a platform for indigenous knowledge, experiential learning and sustainability.

PVS expects to have approximately 5,000 of Hawai‘i’s school children physically on the canoes during the first year of the Worldwide Voyage, and more than 100,000 Hawai’i students and teachers on board PVS’s third canoe, the website http://hokulea.org, throughout the four-year voyage as part of their curriculum.  Students from several public and private schools in Hawai‘i have already been involved in preparing for the voyage by assisting in dry docks (restoration and repair work) for Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia, studying the sail plan, and participating in crew training and classroom work on the wa‘a.

Photo courtesy of Pillars of Peace

The blessing of the Hokulea. Photo courtesy of Pillars of Peace

“The involvement of our youth has been one of the most powerful aspects of planning for this voyage,” remarked Thompson.  “We can count on this next generation of voyagers to perpetuate the values and practices that will guide our planet toward good health.”

Commented Dunkerley: “The students who will be touched by this voyage, either by participating in it or by learning from the science-based curriculum it will produce, are the future workforce of Hawaiian Airlines.  So it is fitting that Hawai‘i-based companies such as ours support this journey.”

Hawaii Waterman’s Hall of Fame Next Week

C4 Waterman co-founders, Brian Keaulana and Archie Kalepa join the list of world-renowned watermen and women when they are honored by the Duke Kahanamoku Hawaii Waterman’s Hall of Fame on Thursday, August 23rd at the Waikiki Outrigger Canoe Club.

The Waterman’s Hall of Fame acknowledges recipient’s legacies and all that they have represented to Hawai‘i’s ocean sports community. Other recipients this year include famed big-wave surfer and oceanographer Ricky Grigg and Michael Tongg, an instrumental leader in the growth of canoe paddling statewide.

C4 Waterman co-founders, Brian Keaulana and Archie Kalepa

“I am really proud of Brian and Archie and I could not think of any one more deserving of this honor,” said friend and business partner Todd Bradley. “They have spent a lifetime dedicated to the ocean and have made significant impact in not just their community but the surf, rescue and movie industry as well.”

The Hawai‘i Waterman Hall of Fame Awards Dinner is presented by the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation (ODKF) and Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Along with paying tribute to the new Hall of Fame honorees, the evening’s festivities will feature a concert by Henry Kapono and music by Maunalua.

“We are honoring truly remarkable watermen who have meant so much to modern-day ocean sports in Hawai‘i and whose influence is seen in generations of young people throughout our islands,” said Tim Guard, event co-chair and ODKF board member.

Table sponsorships seating eight are available for $3,500, $2,500, and $1,000, with individual seats at $65 each. Net proceeds raised will benefit ODKF’s college scholarships and athletic grants program. Tickets and information are available at www.DukeFoundation.org.

The Hawai‘i Waterman Hall of Fame was initiated in 2010 to create a lasting tribute to the Hawaiian Islands’ water sports legacy and honor the achievements of Hawai‘i’s standout watermen and waterwomen. The criteria used to select inductees are:

• Keiki o ka ‘äina / keiki o ke kai

• Sustained outstanding contribution to the sport

• International, national and local accomplishment and recognition

Past Hawai‘i Waterman Hall of Fame honorees include Duke Kahanamoku, Eddie Aikau, Wally Froiseth, Fred Hemmings, Buffalo Keaulana, Rabbit Kekai, Keo Nakama, Nappy Napoleon, Rell Sunn, Peter Cole, Ethel Kukea, Aileen Soule, and Nainoa Thompson.

Earth Blessing and Consecration of the Hōkūle’a and the World Wide Voyage

His Holiness the Dalai Lama conducts a blessing of the earth and a consecration of Hōkūle’a and her World Wide Voyage.

Amid traditional Hawaiian chants and ceremonies at an ancient and sacred site, the occasion is captured with powerful symbolism and personal moments.

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His Holiness The Dalai Lama Blesses the Hokule’a, Answers Questions and HOLDS MY HAND!

I was invited yesterday for a private event held at Kualoa State Park on Oahu, where His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet blessed the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Hokule’a canoe and then answered questions for invited media folks in Hawaii.

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His Holiness arrived at Kualoa Park today for a private blessing ceremony for the Hokule’a. As he was escorted to the blessing by Nainoa Thompson and John DeFries, the Dalai Lama was greeted by the sound of conch shells and chants. The Dalai Lama’s earth blessing led into the consecration of the Hokule’a. At the end of the ceremony, the Dalai Lama boarded the Hokule’a with his entourage. The Dalai Lama’s gift of a scarf was tied to the mast, drawing a close to the poignant blessing. (photos courtesy of Pilars of Peace)

Cy Bridges and other members the Hakipu’u Ohana perform a chant to welcome His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet to Kualoa Regional Park on Oahu.

Hakipu’u Ohana blow the pu shell (conch shell) announcing the arrival of His Holiness

His Holiness climbs aboard the Hokule’a

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.

Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, takes in the Earth Blessing by His Holiness

The crew of the Hokule’a tie a Khata that was given to them by His Holiness to the mast of their canoe

After His Holiness did the blessing, he moved over to a tent where His Holiness fielded questions from the media that was invited… I almost tripped moving to my seat knowing he was coming so close to me!

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He spent about 30 minutes talking to reporters and I just kind of was stunned in amazement that I was sitting right across from him!

Here are some of the pictures I took during the question and answer period with His Holiness (Click for larger view):

Here is His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet’s answer to a couple of the questions asked:

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And a more serious question regarding the military presence here in the State of Hawaii:

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After the question and answer session… His Holiness actually held my hand for about five seconds!!!!  I still haven’t washed my hand!

ABOUT HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA

His Holiness the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent struggle for Tibet and received the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of his “many enduring and outstanding contributions to peace, nonviolence, human rights and religious understanding.” He recently won the 2012 Templeton Prize for his work in spiritually relevant scientific research. Author of more than 72 books and the recipient of numerous awards and honorary doctorates, His Holiness describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk. For more information about the Dalai Lama, please visit: www.dalailama.com.

ABOUT THE HAWAI’I COMMUNITY FOUNDATION 

With 95 years of community service, the Hawai’i Community Foundation is the leading philanthropic institution in the state. The Foundation is a steward of more than 600 funds, including more than 160 scholarship funds, created by donors who desire to transform lives and improve communities. In 2011, more than $43 million in grants and contracts were distributed statewide. The Foundation also serves as a resource on community issues and trends in the nonprofit sector. Visit www.hawaiicommunityfoundation.org for more information.

ABOUT PIERRE AND PAM OMIDYAR 

Active philanthropists who are guided by their belief that people are inherently capable and basically good, Pierre and Pam Omidyar have committed more than $1 billion to help individuals improve their lives and ignite change across a variety of sectors and geographies. The Omidyars received the 2011 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy in recognition of the lasting impact of their work and generosity. In 2009, Pierre and Pam made an historic $50 million commitment to the Hawai’i Community Foundation to establish the Omidyar ‘Ohana Fund, which is being used to launch several community initiatives. To learn more about the Omidyars’ commitment to Hawai’i and ongoing philanthropic interests around the world, go to www.pillarsofpeacehawaii.org/hosts.

A Hawaiian Cultural Panel With His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Kekui Kanahele chants a "mele inoa" (name chant) prior to the Hawaiian Cultural Panel. (Pictures provided by the Pillars of Peace)

This afternoon His Holiness The Dalai Lama held a cultural panel with Hawaiian leaders.  Here are some pictures from that event.

A Hawaiian Cultural Panel “The Importance of Native Intelligence in Modern Times,” included Pualani Kanahele, Ph.D., master hula teacher and director of Hawaiian traditional knowledge research at Hawaii Community College.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet listens to a Hawaiian Cultural Panel entitled “The Importance of Native Intelligence in Modern Times.”

His Holiness thanks Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, following todays panel.

Nainoa Thompson presents His Holiness with a canoe paddle made of Koa Wood

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet greets Governor Neil Abercrombie and his wife, Dr. Nancie Caraway following the Hawaiian Cultural Panel