(BIVN) – All eyes in Hawaii were on Magic Island Saturday for a dramatic homecoming, three years in the making .
Hōkūleʻa, the iconic Polynesian double-hulled voyaging canoe, ended its Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, cheered by tens of thousands as it arrived on the shore of Oahu.
Huge crowds lined the banks, shorelines, sidewalks, piers and docks around Magic Island for the landing. The Hawaii DLNR, which provided video of today’s arrival, reported there were no incidents in the water during the four-hour-long parade of wa’a leading to the Hōkūleʻa’s temporary overnight mooring off Magic Island.
“Hundreds of others in canoes then greeted the vessel as it was being tied up,” DLNR said. “A months-long, highly coordinated effort between federal, state, and city and county law enforcement and water safety agencies ensured the trouble and injury-free homecoming.”
Eight Polynesian voyaging canoes made safe passage from their command post at the old Ala Wai fuel dock today, DLNR reported. Various Hawaii law enforcement and water safety agencies “deployed a large fleet of boats and jet skis to maintain a safety perimeter around the large sailing canoes as they were under tow from the open ocean into the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor and to Magic Island. On a few occasions officers and ocean safety personnel had to warn other watercraft to respect the safety zone and asked people who’d jumped into the water to get back up on the bank. Dozens of people were involved in the success of today’s homecoming. They are still on the scene at this hour, as they’ll escort seven of the wa’a back out of the harbor early this evening,” DLNR said.
Upon arrival, the Hōkūleʻa crew participated in an arrival ceremony and program, where there was a planned screening of Mālama Honua Voyage Highlights, and Hoʻolauleʻa, or community celebration.