Voyaging canoe Hokule‘a sets sail for a return visit to county

Kick-off event is a ‘talk story’ Friday

The Maui News

Hokule’a and its crew members will return to Maui County this month as the Polynesian Voyaging Society continues its celebration of the vessel’s three-year, around-the-globe journey.

The vessel’s return to Maui will kick off with the “E Wala’au Kakou — Talk Story” at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Helene Hall in Hana, according to an announcement. Featured speakers will be from the Kanaka’ole Foundation, Maui Nui Makai Network, Promise to Pae’ Aina and the Worldwide Voyage.

The talk story event coincides with Hana’s ninth annual Limu Festival.

The event continues from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday in Hana Bay with family-friendly festivities that highlight the importance of limu (seaweed) in marine ecosystem health, Hawaiian culture and diet.

Other events, such as school visits, are planned. For more information, visit www.muolea.org/.

Then, in the final week of this month (Nov. 20 to 28), Hokule’a and the crew will visit Kaunakakai, the announcement says.

Crew members will interact with students at port and in schools for hands-on voyage and “malama honua-inspired activities.”

Crew members also plan to volunteer with Molokai cultural and environmental organizations and participate in several panel discussions, which will be open to the public, throughout the week.

In December, the vessel will go to Pokai Bay in Waianae, Oahu.

“As we sailed Hokule’a far from home, our home communities continued the efforts that fueled and inspired the Worldwide Voyage,” said Nainoa Thompson, the society’s president. “Not only did they give us the best of their communities to sail on the deck of our canoes, they also continued the work to bring Hawaii to the global forefront of educational transformation, environmental stewardship and cultural revitalization. We need to share, celebrate, elevate and mahalo their successes — this is what the Mahalo Hawaii Sail is all about.”

In mid-August, Hokule’a and its crew members visited Honolua Bay at the start of more than 40 ports and 80 communities the crew set out to visit on the vessel’s Mahalo Hawaii Sail.

Hokule’a embarked on its first long-distance voyage from Honolua Bay in May 1976.

The sail schedule is subject to change because of weather and other factors, the society says.