By Wendy Osher
Seven voyaging canoes sailing across the Pacific, are expected to arrive in West Maui this morning as part of Te Mana o Te Moana. The voyage name, which translates to “The Spirit of the Sea” was organized to raise awareness about the state of the ocean, and revisit the wisdom of the Polynesian ancestors who loved and respected the sea.
More than 150 crew members are participating in the voyage, which began in April in Aukland, New Zealand. The canoes arrived in Hilo over the weekend. After their stop on Maui, the voyage will continue on to Molokai, Oahu, Kauai, and then to the U.S. Mainland with stops in San Francisco, Monterey, Los Angeles, and San Diego. In January of 2012, the journey will continue to the Galapagos Islands, Marquesas and Tahiti.
The voyage was organized by Pacific Voyagers and includes a flotilla of seven canoes or wa’a from different Pacific regions including: the Marumaru Atua vessel from the Cook Islands, Haunui and Hine Moana from Pan Pacific, Te Matu A Maui from Aotearoa, Faafaite from Tahiti, Uto Ni Yalo from Fiji, and Gaualofa from Samoa.
While in Hawaii, the group will attend the Kava Bowl Ocean Summit 2011, taking place in Honolulu between June 30 and July 4, 2011. The summit will explore the worth of the ocean and address the consequences of climate change.
The canoes were due to arrive at Hanakao’o Beach on Maui between 4 and 6 a.m., followed by Hawaiian protocol led by Keeaumoku Kapu. Makalapua Kanuha, one of the Maui organizers said later tonight, several Maui musicians including Ikaika Blackburn and Pono Murray will join in a pa’ina with festivities set to begin at 5:30 p.m.