Crewmembers aboard the iconic voyaging canoe Hokulea departed Miami’s waters this morning and are headed for Key West for a brief stop before sailing to Panama to transit through the Panama Canal.
Hokulea ended Leg 25 of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage in Miami where she was moored for approximately two weeks for necessary re-provisioning and preparations for the canoe’s next crew and journey to Panama. The canoe was docked at Shake-A-Leg Marina, which is home to a non-profit organization that offers therapeutic watersport activities and marine environment education to people with physical and developmental disabilities. The crew hosted several canoe tours for the youth and adults participating in the Shake-A-Leg Miami programs.
During the two-week stay in South Florida, the crew also utilized their time to host public canoe tours and reconnect with schools to share the environmental and cultural mission of the Voyage. Na Kelamoku, Polynesian Voyaging Society’s youth leadership group, also joined the crew in Miami to visit with schools and learn from other Miami organizations studying the environment. Both groups also visited the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Hurricane Center and Weather Service and heard from local experts on how they track weather, forecast storms and collaborate with the Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu.
“We are incredibly grateful for the opportunities we’ve had to work with Florida’s people, fulfilling our hope of inspiring and strengthening more communities throughout Island Earth” said Kalepa Baybayan, pwo navigator and captain for Hokulea’s sail throughout Florida. “Hokulea has been prepared for a successful crossing back into the Pacific Ocean and we look forward to welcoming her back home to beautiful Hawaii Nei.”
After the canoe’s transit through the Panama Canal, crews will make stops in the Galapagos Islands, Rapa Nui and French Polynesia. She will continue to sail west until she concludes her Worldwide Voyage with a historic homecoming at Magic Island in June 2017. Within the remaining seven months, the Voyage will further its mission of engaging communities worldwide with education, collaboration and service and share the message of Malama Honua (caring for Island Earth).