Updated: December 5, 2023
Voyaging canoes Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia on their way to Tahiti. The canoes departed Hilo on Monday at 12:30 p.m. following five days of weather related delays.
They embarked on the 2,500-mile Kealaikahiki Voyage, an ancient sea road to Tahiti. During the sail, crew will focus on navigational training and cultural protocol to prepare them and test the canoes before they embark on the Moananuiākea Voyage next year.
The deep-sea leg is designed to train crew who will become the captains and navigators who lead the Moananuiākea Voyage. On Hōkūleʻa, Lehua Kamalu will become the first woman to lead-captain and lead-navigate a canoe from Hawaiʻi to Tahiti. On Hikianalia, the captain in training is Kaniela Lyman-Mersereau and the apprentice navigator is Kaleo Wong.
While in French Polynesia, voyaging leaders will also be participating in the Blue Climate Summit, a high-level meeting to discuss ocean protection and climate change.
Weather-permitting, Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia are expected to reach Tahiti in approximately 20 days and are scheduled to return to Oʻahu around June 15, 2022.
PVS launches Waʻa Honua, first phase of digital canoe
Waahonua.com, named after Waʻa Honua (Canoe for the Earth), is a digital platform that will follow the Polynesian Voyaging Society to Tahiti and back on the Kealaikahiki Voyage and join the canoes for the Moananuiākea Voyage that begins next year.
The fledgling waahonua.com will grow in size and scope as Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia connect people around the globe to the magic of Polynesian wayfinding and the imperative to make better choices for our earth.
“The great navigators of the Pacific had a deep understanding of the systems of nature and how their vessels interacted with those systems, as well as the values needed to successfully voyage over long distances,” said Nainoa Thompson, pwo navigator and PVS chief executive officer. “PVS voyages to perpetuate and deepen this knowledge, which is critical to protecting our planet. Our young crews are learning that deep connection, and so will anyone who voyages with them on Waʻa Honua,” said Thompson.
Created for general audiences and learners of all ages, the platform features video stories, articles, and educational resources focused on developing the “Navigator Mindset.” Content will be produced by PVS and also curated from educational and research partners including Kamehameha Schools, Arizona State University, University of Hawaiʻi, and Bishop Museum.
Daily followers of waahonua.com will find fresh stories highlighting the genealogy of Hōkūleʻa, its founders and early voyages connecting the people and places that sparked the Hawaiian cultural renaissance; conversations with anthropologists, archaeologists and scientists about cultural evolution and natural systems; and navigation and crew updates as the canoes sail to and from Tahiti, and, eventually, around the Pacific Ocean. The site also highlights navigational lessons, learning resources, and games available on Kamehameha Schools’ new Holomoana website for teachers and students, as well as heritage lessons related to the Kealaikahiki Voyage and developed by the KS Kaʻiwakīloumoku Pacific Indigenous Institute. Additional features being developed for waahonua.com include virtual expeditions, live streams and moderated discussions.
“Our hope is for waahonua.com to become a digital global hub that carries the critical cargo of our community’s values, lessons, and stories, and connects all the partners and the people who are part of our larger Mālama Honua voyage and movement, no matter where they are around the world,” said Thompson.
“Connected by common values, the crew of the virtual canoe includes universities, schools, educators, scientists, explorers, storytellers, artists, elders, young leaders, policy makers, innovators, and anyone who has a gift for the planet,” he said. “As each partner steps on board, he, she, they make a promise to the earth. Everyone can be a navigator of their own voyage for the future of the earth.”