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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 Received and Celebrated in Mahina

Legendary voyaging canoes Hokulea, Hikianalia and their crews were welcomed by the Mahina community yesterday. The crews enjoyed performances of traditional song and dance from people of all ages during the arrival celebration hosted on the shores of Mahina, which is near Papeete in Tahiti.

The arrival was filled with the true meaning of aloha. “You could feel it from the canoe. The community here was overwhelmingly happy and thrilled with love in their hearts that Hokulea and Hikianalia were there,” says Kala Tanaka, captain and navigator of Hikianalia. Adorned with welcome wishes and lei, the crews were treated to a front row celebration of traditional song and dance.

The arrival in Tahiti marks the reconnection of Hokulea and Hikianalia. The sister canoes were last together in Aotearoa (New Zealand) in the spring of 2015. “We started his voyage together and now we end this voyage together,” says Bruce Blankenfeld, master navigator of Hokulea.

The crew will travel throughout Tahiti and Raiatea to engage with the local communities in ceremony and educational outreach as they celebrate the close of the nearly four-year long journey. Together with her sister canoe Hikianalia, Hokulea will head home to a welcoming ceremony at Magic Island in June 2017.

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.

Wordless Wednesday – Praying for Prickett

Mike Prickett, legendary water lensman, is suffering from serious decompression sickness after rescuing a fellow diver in Tahiti.

Hawaii’s Mike Prickett, an internationally acclaimed underwater cinematographer from the North Shore of Oahu, has been partially paralyzed following a diving accident that occurred during a commercial filming job in Tahiti. The accident happened last Wednesday and he is still undergoing hyperbaric oxygen therapy in Papeete.

Prickett, 47, sustained a severe case of decompression sickness (the bends) while saving the life of another diver on the job. He was paralyzed from the chest down but has today regained some sensation in his legs. Doctors are hopeful for his recovery.

“I was doing an underwater shoot for wetsuits and dive gear,” Prickett said. “I saw another diver sinking and panicking. I dove down to 220 feet to save him, but he used up all my air. I’m glad I was able to rescue him and he could walk away from the incident.

“I want to thank my family and friends for their prayers. I really need your prayers right now.”

Mike’s been a big part of bringing the incredible water angles for the ASP webcasts from South Africa to Hawaii and we all wish him a full recovery. Thoughts and prayers are with you Mike.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/sBcT3w_tWy8]

Video courtesy of Prickett’s nephew, Ryan Miyamoto

Holland America Line’s Rotterdam and Westerdam to Sail Hawaii and Tahiti Explorations in 2011 and 2012

Media Release:

In fall of 2011 and winter of 2012 two Holland America Line ships — ms Westerdam and ms Rotterdam — will sail three 30-day “Circle Hawaii, Tahiti and Marquesas Islands” explorations, visiting beautiful and picturesque islands throughout French Polynesia and the Aloha state.

Westerdam’s voyage sails round trip from San Diego, Calif., and departs Sept. 29, 2011. Rotterdam also sails round trip from San Diego and departs Jan. 4 and March 4, 2012.

“The South Pacific islands are known for their impressive landscape, crystalline waters, lush foliage and pristine beaches,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “Holland America Line gives our guests a full range of experiences, offering some of the best diving and snorkeling opportunities in the world as well as unique land excursions including tours to pearl farms and vanilla plantations.”

Guests sailing on the Westerdam will have two opportunities to extend their voyage and embark early for the coastal portion of the cruise. The ship departs Seattle, Wash., Sept. 24, making it a 35-day voyage, or Sept. 25 from Vancouver, B.C., making it 34 days.

During the voyages the ships will call at Hilo, Lahaina, Honolulu and Hawaii; Fanning Island, Kiribati; Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, and Raiatea, Bora Bora, Papeete, Moorea, Rangiroa and Nuku Hiva, French Polynesia.

Highlights of the journey include crossing the equator and international date line, two “musts” on every traveler’s list. Extended stays at Lahaina, Hilo and Honolulu allow for a more in-depth Hawaiian experience, while an overnight call at Papeete, Tahiti, affords guests time to explore the island’s French culture as well as learn more about painter Paul Gauguin.

Cruise fares for Westerdam’s “Circle Hawaii, Tahiti and Marquesas Islands” voyage begin at $3,699 for 30-day, $3,899 for the 34-day and $3,949 for the 35-day journey. Rotterdam cruise fares begin at $3,999. All fares are per person, double occupancy.

When in port, guests can choose from a multitude of diverse shore excursions including Overland Adventures, off-the-beaten-track explorations, Signature Collection private-car touring and exclusive Medallion Collection excursions.

Rotterdam features the latest Signature of Excellence enhancements, including new Lanai cabins and new stateroom decor. Highlights also include Mix, a new bar concept with three specialty lounges serving their namesakes: Martinis, Champagne and Spirits & Ales; Showroom at Sea, a glamorous nightclub with a new slate of performances featuring seasoned Broadway entertainers; a new resort pool feature called The Retreat, a shallow area where guests may lounge in chairs and dip their fingers and toes in the water; and Canaletto, a complimentary Italian restaurant that is open in the evening.

For more information on Holland America Line’s Hawaii, Tahiti and Marquesas Islands Voyages, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-800-522-3399 or visit www.hollandamerica.com.

Find Holland America Line on Twitter, Facebook and the Holland America Blog. Access all social media outlets via the Online Communities quick link on the home page at www.hollandamerica.com.

About Holland America Line:

Holland America Line’s fleet of 15 ships offers more than 500 cruises to 354 ports in 98 countries, territories or dependencies. Two- to 110-day itineraries visit all seven continents and highlights include Antarctica, South America, Australia/New Zealand and Asia voyages; a Grand World Voyage; and popular sailings to ports in the Caribbean, Bermuda, Alaska, Mexico, Canada/New England, Europe and Panama Canal.

Fleetwide, the company features Signature of Excellence enhancements, a commitment totaling more than $525 million, that showcase the Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine — a state-of-the-art onboard show kitchen where more than 60 celebrated guest chefs and culinary experts provide cooking demonstrations and classes — Explorations Cafe powered by The New York Times, Digital Workshop powered by Windows, teens-only activity areas and all new stateroom amenities highlighted by flat-panel TVs and plush Euro-top Mariner’s Dream Beds.