To view Hawaii News Now's slideshow on the Hokulea's May 30th Hilo departure for Tahiti, click here
ALOHA FROM JENNIE: In 1975, the Polynesian Voyaging Society originally launched the Hokulea, a double hulled voyaging canoe with twin masts and a long paddle (no auxiliary motor), made with plywood, fiberglass and resin.
The society’s goals included revitalizing Hawaiian and other Polynesian cultures by completing voyages using Polynesian celestial navigation techniques without modern instruments.
Guided only by the wind, current, swells, and stars, the Hokulea has completed nine voyages since 1976, including Micronesia, Polynesia, Japan, Canada, and the U.S. mainland as destinations.
In May of 2014, the Hokulea along with her companion sister vessel, the Hikianalia, embarked on a three year worldwide journey named "Malama Honua", which means to care for our Earth. This voyage will cover 47,000 nautical miles in the circumnavigation of the earth, with 85 port stops in 26 countries.
On May 30th, the two vessels left the Big Island on the first leg of its journey, anticipating its arrival in Tahiti within 15 to 20 days. The link to the Hawaii News Now’s photo slideshow documenting the Hilo send-off is included at the top of this article.
We look forward to following the ships’ progress via their www.hokulea.com website and blogs linked here.
6/17/2014 update: Hokulea and Hikianalia have arrived in Tahiti, reaching land just 15 days after leaving Hilo, the second fastest journey for a Polynesian voyaging canoe traveling without the use of modern-day instruments.
The canoes made landfall Monday at an atoll in French Polynesia in the Tuamotus. From there, crew members made their way to Rangiroa, where most of the island turned out to welcomed them with leis. The crew will refresh themselves with fresh cold water/food, and enjoy stretching their legs on land. They're still about 200 miles from Pape'ete and will head there when the conditions are right. The next leg of the journey involves going through the Cook Islands on their way to Samoa.
9/10/2014 update: The canoes have left American Samoa and are heading towards the Swains Islands. Photos and videos can be viewed here.