Welcome home! Hokulea, Hikianalia return to Oahu after Tahiti voyage
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Favorable sailing conditions greeted voyaging canoes Hokuleʻa and Hikianalia as they approached the Hawaiian Islands this week.
The crews returned to Hawaiʻi on Thursday after a months-long journey to Tahiti.
Master navigator Nainoa Thompson noted the voyage was difficult at times, but the crew members had persistence and dealt with the challenges that arose.
“Everybody was navigating on the canoe as a team,” Thompson said. “It was an epic voyage. In terms of learning, it was more than we had expected. We’re very grateful that we are where we are.”
Navigators are picking up lessons in every journey. This trip, named the Kealaikahiki Voyage, is a precursor for their Spring 2023 Moananuiākea Voyage to circumnavigate the Pacific Ocean.
“We’re here to teach, but we’re also here to learn. And our task is to get 20 new captains by 2024.”
“And so we going start off with 10 new captains next year, and double that the following year. This is the best training ground for that kind of leadership,” Thompson added.
[Related report: A warm welcome: Arrival of Hokuleʻa, Hikianalia celebrated in Tahiti]
Hawaiʻi’s Mauna Loa mountain was first spotted by the crew on their way back on Tuesday — 17 days after they departed the French Polynesian Tuamotu Island of Rangiroa.
Pulling off these voyages requires sacrifices by crewmembers and their families back home, which is something Thompson acknowledges and takes to heart.
“Now this voyage on the Kealaikahiki trip has been completed, our whole focus is now on one thing: Family,” Thompson said. “We’re coming home to focus on them.”
To learn more about their journey, click here and view the ‘Voyaging Dashboard’ tab.
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