By Wendy Osher
Maui welcomed the crew of the Hōkūle‘a as the Polynesian voyaging canoe embarks on the first international leg of its historic worldwide voyage with its sister canoe, the Hikianalia.
Today’s festivities included mooring of the vessel off of Lahaina Harbor, an awa ceremony at Kamehameha Iki Park, and a pot luck gathering.
The vessel heads to Hilo next, where it will embark on its 47,000 nautical mile journey around the world, called Mālama Honua, which is loosely translated as “Care for the Earth.” According to the PVS website, the journey is aimed at navigating together toward a “healthier, more sustainable future.”
Over several months last year, the canoe conducted Mālama Hawaiʻi, the first leg of the voyage, in which navigators paid respect to communities throughout the state.
The second leg of the worldwide voyage will begin this month as the canoes depart for their first international port. More than 300 crew members are expected to rotate and participate in the voyage, visiting 85 ports in more than 25 countries, traveling an estimated 47,000 nautical miles.
Lahaina is home to the Hui o Waʻa Kaulua voyaging society where members are trying to complete construction of the 62-foot double-hulled Moʻokiha o Piʻilani.
More information on the Worldwide Voyage can be found at the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s website, at hokulea.org.
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