Hawaii’s famous Hokule’a traditional double hull canoe has completed the first leg of the “Kealaikahiki Voyage” from Hawaii to Tahiti.
Kealaikahiki, which means ‘The path to Tahiti’ is the first leg of a worldwide voyage by the Hokule’a and its sister vessel Hikianalia.
Hokule’a’s first female captain Lehua Kamalu says the historic Kealaikahiki route coincides with a perfect ocean pattern and weather conditions.
“Somehow the geography, the weather, the stars, they perfectly align right during the season, right in this space, from all the way up in 90 and half north to 80 and half south into Tahiti, everything comes together to give you a voyage like this on one of this canoes, you know they are very unique, they sail in a specific way.”
Kamalu says next year the Hokule’a and Hikianalia will take on a more challenging voyage, a full circumnavigation of the Pacific.
“We are getting ready for another big voyage coming up next year called Moananuiakea, which is celebrating this whole ocean space we are in Pacific, and I feel after this part of the journey, we still have one journey to get back home. Everyone is feeling positive, sort of revitalized, feeling like were right back out there again.”
Moananuiākea Voyage: Over the next five years, the organization will plot a course for the future by circumnavigating the Pacific Ocean, covering 41,000 miles, 345 ports, 46 countries and archipelagoes, 100 indigenous territories, starting first in our home islands of Hawaii. The goal is to inspire, educate and elevate a new generation of 10 million Navigators by the end of the voyage in 2026, young people who can lead the many different kinds of bold voyages our Earth needs now, with the mindset, preparation and courage to face the coming storms, and the resilience to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world.
Hōkūle’a’s first voyage to Tahiti was in 1976, and when the vessel arrived at the beach in Pape’ete Harbour, over half the island’s population was there, about 17,000 people.
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