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The Voyage Continues: After Hilo Departure, Hōkūleʻa Heads to Tahiti

  |  Big Island: History and Culture
Hokulea at the Hilo Port

Hōkūleʻa stops in Hilo before beginning a 47,000 nautical mile journey

Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia to Visit 26 Countries

The world wide voyage continues! The Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia sailed into Hilo very early in the morning on Wednesday, May 21st and headed back out to sea on May 30th.

The Big Island community was ecstatic to be a part of such a special and historic event. On Thursday, after the crew had recuperated from the previous leg of their journey, a large group from a Waimea school came to bless and perform for the crew. The students performed several moving hulas, chanted with their teachers and presented lei to honor the next portion of the voyage.

The motto for Hōkūleʻa’s voyage is hewa’a he moku, he moku hewa’a, which means “the canoe is our island and the island is our canoe.” The motto speaks to the vision of the sponsoring organization, the Polynesian Voyaging Society, which seeks to perpetuate the art and science of traditional Polynesian voyaging and the spirit of exploration through experiential educational programs that inspire students and their communities to respect and care for themselves, each other, and their natural and cultural environments.

The Hōkūleʻa Crew: Meet a Crew Member


Kaiwi Hamaku-makue

Hōkūleʻa’s crew is made up of people from all walks of life. Kaiwi Hamaku-makue is one of those people. He is a Junior at University of Hawaii Manoa majoring in Business and the Hawaiian language.

Kaiwi is a part of the crew on Hōkūleʻa’s sister canoe, the Hikianalia. His tasks revolve around collecting data from water samples. At each of their stops, Kaiwi samples the pH and salinity levels of the ocean water. The data he collects will be sent to University of Hawaii Manoa to be charted and further studied.  Once stopped, the crew also lets down a net to catch any debris that may be floating in the near by waters. The debris is picked out of the water as litter collection, but also analyzed. The data created from materials collected is sent to environmental groups to better our environmental efforts as a world.

Kaiwi says the biggest lesson he has learned so far is how to be flexible. He didn’t know much about science or water samples when he started, but that is all part of the fun, he told us. Everyone in the crew’s family has had to adjust and use their skills and maybe even develop an unknown set of skills.

Kaiwi’s family and friends are very proud of him. He said one of the hardest parts was saying goodbye to his mother for four months of the summer. He said if he could describe his mother’s reaction to his voyage in one word, it would be PROUD.

We think that is something we can all say about our feelings toward the dedicated crew on board. We are proud of where they came from, of where they are going and of what they stand for.

Follow the Voyage

Hōkūleʻa has an Instagram feed, a Facebook Crew page and a website where supporters can track the voyage. Join us, as we join them, in support for the rest of their historic journey.

The Beautiful Hokulea

The beautiful Hōkūleʻa

Post by Rebecca Green, R(S)
Photos by Jenna Rose Clark, R(S)

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