On the morning of March 8th
, before the sun rose, volunteers and crew members of the Hokule’a gathered to launch the magnificent boat again, on the 37th
anniversary of Hokule’a’s original launch on March 8th
, 1975. The Hokule’a has become an icon for the resurgance of Hawaiian
traditions and culture.
“For more than 30 years
we’ve had the privilege and honor to explore and discover aboard Hōkūle‘a,” said Bruce Blankenfeld, one of Hōkūle‘a’s master navigators and the person who led the reconstruction effort. “The wa’a has served us well, sailing more than 125,000 miles over the last three decades…. As we train a new generation of leadership and deep sea sailors, it is our obligation to leave them with a canoe that is healthy, sound and capable of another 4 decades of voyaging and exploration.”
The Hokule’a made its inaugural voyage from Honolua Bay, Maui to Pape’ete, Tahiti. Yes! Magazine
covered the Hokule’a’s history and some of its journey’s, and one of the main ideas behind Hokule’a was that “Hokule‘a’s voyage to Tahiti helped prove that ancient Polynesians were not drifters who accidentally discovered the Hawaiian Islands, but expert navigators. The boat launched a cultural revival in Hawai‘i.”
In talking about the additions and fixes that were made on the Hokule’a by volunteers and crew, the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s blog stated that “She will be stronger, lighter, more stable and safer, as a requirement for her planned 2012 statewide sail and her three-year Worldwide Voyage (WWV), slated to begin in 2013.”
The World Wide Voyage
Currently in the planning stages, the mapping of the World Wide Voyage will be completed by the Polynesian Voyaging society
. The mission of the voyage is malama, to take care of our homes – our canoes, islands and honua (world) and to navigate toward a healthy and sustainable future.
Hokule’a’s crew will stop, visit and explore during the four-year long World Wide Voyage. Crew members will report on discoveries and engage teachers and students on the World Wide Voyage web blog. Their reports will center around the societies and cultures they encounter, as well as the natural environment and sustainable practices and initiatives of the places they are visiting. The crew will teach Hawaiian
traditions and learn from the cultures that they visit.