Voyaging canoes Hokulea, Hikianalia depart Hawaii on training mission in Pacific

Hokulea and Hikianalia departed Sand Island on a training mission.
Hokulea and Hikianalia departed Sand Island on a training mission.(Hawaii News Now)
Published: May. 13, 2021 at 7:34 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The voyaging canoes Hokulea and Hikianalia have set sail again. This time, they’re headed to “the doldrums” on a training mission.

It’s a spot in the Pacific Ocean, about 5 degrees north of the equator.

The two canoes departed Sand Island on Wednesday morning.

The Polynesian Voyaging Society described the sail as an opportunity to “test the vessels in the strong winds and rough waters of the Kaiwi and Alenuihaha channels, as well as South Point, the southernmost point of Hawaii Island.”

“This convergence zone creates highly unstable conditions ranging from dead calm (doldrums) to volatile thunderstorms to thick cloud cover obscuring the stars,” PVS said. “Voyagers believe that this is a place to concentrate and to be fully aware that the benefits they seek are attainable, but at great risk.”

Crews are preparing for next year’s Moananuiakea Voyage, where the canoes will circumnavigate the Pacific.

On this mission, which will begin next May, they’ll learn about navigation, leadership and earth’s ecosystems.

“We’ve been doing some offshore training and stuff,” said captain Bruce Blankenfeld. “This is going to be a really good training endeavor. It’s going to be just as amazing as the around-the-world voyage. It’s actually going to be longer. That’s how big the Pacific Ocean is.”

Both canoes will spend 42 months visiting 46 countries and archipelagoes all around the Pacific.

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