Hōkūleʻa, Hikianalia Depart Hilo on Voyage to Tahiti
After several delays, Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia are finally on their way to Tahiti.
The two voyaging canoes departed at 12:30 p.m. Monday, April 18, from Hilo on the Big Island. The crews were in Hilo for the past five days waiting for the best weather conditions to begin their trip on Kealaikahiki, a 2,500-mile ancient sea road to the South Pacific island in French Polynesia.
According to a press release, the Kealaikahiki Voyage will focus on navigational training and cultural protocol to prepare the crews and test the canoes before they embark on their Moananuiākea Voyage next year, a circumnavigation of the Pacific. The deep-sea leg is designed to train crew who will become the captains and navigators to 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 participate in the Blue Climate Summit, a high-level meeting to discuss ocean protection and climate change.
Weather-permitting, the voyaging canoes are expected to reach Tahiti in about 20 days and should return to Oʻahu in mid-June 15.
For more details about the Kealikahiki Voyage, click here.