Hokule‘a begins Mahalo, Hawai‘i Sail today
After a morning stop in Olowalu, the voyaging canoe will begin a weekend of events from Honolua Bay
The Maui News – Hokule’a’s arrival at Honolua Bay today will mark the start of the voyaging canoe’s Mahalo, Hawai’i Sail and kick off a weekend of events celebrating the canoe’s return after a three-year world tour.
On Wednesday, Hokule’a departed Sand Island on Oahu and headed for West Maui. The canoe will stop at Olowalu this morning to celebrate the designation of the reef as a “Mission Blue Hope Spot” before sailing into Honolua Bay at 4 p.m.
Honolua Bay is the first of 40 ports and nearly 80 communities that Hokule’a will visit over the next several months. The bay was chosen as the first stop because it was where Hokule’a launched its maiden voyage to Tahiti in 1976, according to the Polynesian Voyaging Society.
At 6 p.m., crew members from the 1976 voyage and the most recent Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage will speak at the Huliau Film & Lecture Series at Kamehameha Schools Maui’s Keopuolani Hale. The event is free and open to the public.
On Friday, Kamehameha Schools Maui students and teachers will get a chance to visit with the Hokule’a crew at Honolua and engage in a service project. The crew will hold two “talk story” events starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Crew members Max Yarawamai, Archie Kalepa, Lehua Kamalu and Billy Richards will speak at the Westin Nanea, while Mark Ellis, Kekaimalu Lee, Ka’iulani Murphy and Pua Lincoln will speak at the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel.
A cultural welcome will be held for Hokule’a at Honolua Bay from 8 to 8:30 a.m. Saturday, followed by a day of activities. From 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., crew and community members will plant 1,000 koa seedlings and other native plants in the Pu’u Kukui Watershed Preserve makai conservation area. The public will be able to tour Hokule’a at the Honolua Bay ramp from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday. The day’s events will close with “Hokule’a Revisited: 1976 Crew Member Talk” at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, featuring crew members Buffalo Keaulana, Snake Ah Hee, Richards, John Kruse, Gordon Pi’ianaia, Penny Martin, Kimo Lyman, Marion Lyman-Mersereau, Makaala Yates and Kainoa Lee.
Hokule’a’s will close its Maui visit with tours and talks on Sunday. Public canoe tours will take place at the Honolua Bay ramp from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. At 6:30 p.m., crew members Kalepa Baybayan, Kala Tanaka and Austin Kino will give a talk at the Montage Kapalua Bay. A talk with Pu’u Kukui Watershed representatives and Hokule’a crew at the Sheraton Maui is still being scheduled for Sunday.
Hokule’a will visit Hana in October and make stops on Lanai, Molokai and South Maui in November.
The Polynesian Voyaging Society said the statewide sail is “an opportunity to thank Hawaii’s people, bring Hokule’a and Hikianalia home to all of Hawaii, share lessons learned from the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage and deepen the organization’s connection and understanding of the important work being done here in the islands to care for the earth.” The crew will hold outreach events, service projects, crew presentations and canoe tours.
“Now that we have returned from our three-year voyage around the world, we are looking forward to reconnecting with and thanking the people of Hawaii,” said Nainoa Thompson, society president. “This first engagement planned at Honolua Bay and Waokele ‘o Honolua by the West Maui community is an example of what we are hoping to support during this sail.”
For more information, visit hokulea.com.