(BIVN) – Hōkūleʻa has found Hawaii.
At 12:30 p.m. this afternoon, the crew of iconic double-hulled voyaging canoe “sited the sacred mountain of Haleakala,” a Polynesian Voyaging Society media release stated, “signifying that the legendary canoe is officially back home after sailing for 37 months, 40,000 nautical miles and visiting more than 150 ports in 19 countries around the world. After spending 400 days at sea and 700 days on foreign soil, Hōkūleʻa will be bringing home wisdom, lessons and ideas as gifts to share with Hawaii’s children from this voyage of rich learning.”
The moment also marked World Oceans Day. On this day one year ago, Hōkūleʻa was in new York City.
“We want thank this crew of Hōkūleʻa for sailing with such a high level of excellence and commitment to honoring the tradition of voyaging and ancestral navigation,” said Nainoa Thompson president the Polynesian Voyaging Society. “All of us in the voyaging community are extremely proud of them. I also want to express our gratitude to the crews of the 30 other legs and the thousands of people in Hawaii, the Pacific and around the world for allowing this voyage to happen. We are grateful for all that they have given to the success of the voyage,” Thompson added.
Although Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia are in home waters, PVS says the canoes are still under kapu until the arrival ceremony at Magic Island on June 17.
“We will be spending the next week slowly making our way towards Oahu,” said Thompson. “We appreciate the aloha and support of friends and families eager to greet our canoes and crew, and we ask for your patience and understanding as we direct all those interested in greeting Hōkūleʻa, Hikianalia and our crew to our June 17 arrival at Kalia (Magic Island), Oahu,” he added.
After returning to Oahu, Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia will begin what the PVS says is the most important leg of the voyage, which will be an eight-month sail to 30 ports throughout the Hawaiian islands.
“When we sail throughout the Hawaiian Islands, we will go to as many as 70 communities and 100 schools to thank Hawaii’s people and share what we have learned with their children. We are also looking forward to hearing Hawaii stories of Malama Honua,” said Thompson. “Kalia (Magic Island) is the first stop of a year-long homecoming,” he added.