Video by David Corrigan
HILO, Hawaii – It was a joyous and emotional send-off for the Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia voyaging canoes on Friday. At noon, the crew of the wa’a gathered on the beach of Palekai in Keaukaha, where a jubilant crowd danced and sang in honor of the departing vessels. Many of Hawaii Island’s well known Hawaiian cultural practitioners and ambassadors of aloha engaged in an epic kanikapila.
The start of the world-wide Malama Honua voyage was delayed for nearly an entire week, as the crew waited for the optimal weather to sail to Tahiti, the first stop.
Message from the Polynesian Voyaging Society as Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia began their journey:
As we depart for Tahiti today, we are grateful to you as a member of our ʻohana waʻa (canoe family). What started as a dream to take our waʻa around the world has come to full fruition, thanks to your sense of aloha, kuleana, and belief in the mission of the canoes. We are inspired by you and by the expansive nature of our community, which has grown to include large corporations, generous individuals, foundations, environmental activists, children bringing mele and hoʻokupu to our crew members, and families who visit the waʻa with lei made from the flowering trees of their homes.
What is remarkable about our ʻohana is that it is bound by the values that come from Hōkūleʻa and HIkianalia, rather than any geographical space that we occupy. Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia will travel the globe and enlarge this ʻohana waʻa, connecting the expanding community that cares deeply enough to come together to build a better future for Island Earth.
As the waʻa stand ready to sail away from the bay in Hilo, our story has already taken off! Released last week, the Associated Press article and news video has been picked up by dozens of news outlets across the nation. Thanks to your support and dedication, Hōkūleʻa, Hikianalia, and our crew members are traveling into the hearts and minds of people regardless how far they live from the ports that our waʻa will visit.
Mahalo nui loa for all that you do!
E Mālama Pono,
PVS Staff and Crew