Kauai News

Join Hōkūleʻa, Hikanalia on Virtual Voyage to Tahiti

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The crews of Hōkūleʻa and her sister canoe Hikanalia on their way to Tahiti and those at home can now follow their voyage virtually.

Waahonua.com, named after Waʻa Honua, meaning Canoe for the Earth, is a digital platform that will follow the Polynesian Voyaging Society to French Polynesia and back on the Kealaikahiki Voyage and join the canoes for the Moananuiākea Voyage that begins next year.

Created for general audiences and learners of all ages, the platform features video stories, articles, and educational resources focused on developing the “Navigator Mindset.” Content will be produced by PVS and also curated from educational and research partners including Kamehameha Schools, Arizona State University, University of Hawaiʻi and Bishop Museum.

PVS officials hope waahonua.com will grow in size and scope as Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia connect people around the globe to the magic of Polynesian wayfinding and the imperative to make better choices for our earth.


“Our hope is for waahonua.com to become a digital global hub that carries the critical cargo of our community’s values, lessons, and stories, and connects all the partners and the people who are part of our larger Mālama Honua voyage and movement, no matter where they are around the world,” said Nainoa Thompson, pwo navigator and PVS chief executive officer.

Daily followers of waahonua.com will find fresh stories highlighting the genealogy of Hōkūleʻa, its founders and early voyages connecting the people and places that sparked the Hawaiian cultural renaissance; conversations with anthropologists, archaeologists and scientists about cultural evolution and natural systems; and navigation and crew updates as the canoes sail to and from Tahiti, and, eventually, around the Pacific Ocean.

“The great navigators of the Pacific had a deep understanding of the systems of nature and how their vessels interacted with those systems, as well as the values needed to successfully voyage over long distances,” Thompson said. “PVS voyages to perpetuate and deepen this knowledge, which is critical to protecting our planet. Our young crews are learning that deep connection, and so will anyone who voyages with them on Waʻa Honua.”


The site also highlights navigational lessons, learning resources, and games available on Kamehameha Schools’ new Holomoana website for teachers and students, as well as heritage lessons related to the Kealaikahiki Voyage and developed by the KS Kaʻiwakīloumoku Pacific Indigenous Institute. Additional features being developed for waahonua.com include virtual expeditions, live streams and moderated discussions.

“Connected by common values, the crew of the virtual canoe includes universities, schools, educators, scientists, explorers, storytellers, artists, elders, young leaders, policymakers, innovators, and anyone who has a gift for the planet,” Thompson added. “As each partner steps on board, he, she, they make a promise to the earth. Everyone can be a navigator of their own voyage for the future of the earth.”

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