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.

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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”…