(BIVN) – The iconic Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia canoes have departed from Hilo, and are now on their way to Tahiti.
The canoes left at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, after a five-day stay in Hilo. The crew waited for the best weather conditions before launching the Kealaikahiki Voyage, a journey along the 2,500-mile ancient sea road to Tahiti.
The Polynesian Voyaging Society says the Kealaikahiki Voyage “will focus on navigational training and cultural protocol to prepare the crew and test the canoes before they embark on the Moananuiākea Voyage next year.”
From the PVS news release:
The deep-sea leg is designed to train crew who will become the captains and navigators who lead the Moananuiākea Voyage. On Hōkūleʻa, Lehua Kamalu will become the first woman to lead-captain and lead-navigate a canoe from Hawaiʻi to Tahiti. On Hikianalia, the captain in training is Kaniela Lyman-Mersereau and the apprentice navigator is Kaleo Wong.
While in French Polynesia, voyaging leaders will also be participating in the Blue Climate Summit, a high-level meeting to discuss ocean protection and climate change.
Weather-permitting, Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia are expected to reach Tahiti in approximately 20 days and are scheduled to return to Oʻahu around June 15, 2022.
For more details on the Kealikahiki Voyage, visit hokulea.com.
Major sponsors continuing to support the voyaging efforts of PVS include Atherton Family Foundation, Shaw US Foundation, Nakupuna Foundation, Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate, Sealaska Foundation, Harold K.L. Castle Foundation, HEI, Hawaiian Electric, American Savings Bank, Hawaii Tourism Authority, Matson, Omidyar ʻOhana and Hawaiian Airlines.