Hokulea sails down Ala Wai Canal trouble-free as homecoming celebrations continue

Hokulea sails down Ala Wai Canal trouble-free, as homecoming celebrations continue
Updated: Jun. 19, 2017 at 5:49 AM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
(Image: Polynesian Voyaging Society)
(Image: Polynesian Voyaging Society)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hokulea homecoming celebrations continued on Sunday, one day after thousands welcomed home the voyaging canoe.

Visitors are allowed to tour the wa'a, which is now docked at Ala Wai Promenade at the Hawaii Convention Center until Tuesday.

"It's chicken skin," said Maui resident Dawn Nordblom. "I still got chicken skin right now."

"It's just great to be here," said another visitor Gordon Simmons. "It feels like you're part of history."

Captain Billy Richards, an original crew member of Hokulea's inaugural 1976 voyage to Tahiti, helped guide the tours on Sunday.

"Most people want to know three things: where you eat, where you sleep and where you go to the bathroom," Richards said.

But getting Hokulea from Magic Island to the Convention Center was no easy task.

Crews had to wait until the lowest tide, at 4 a.m. Sunday, to navigate the canoe under a low-sitting bridge over the Ala Wai Canal.

Master navigator Nainoa Thompson said the the 31-foot high masts were removed and nearly 80 people were called to come on board.

"To push Hokulea down one inch, it takes 2,000 pounds," said Thompson."We were thinking we needed it down 5 inches, which is 10,000 pounds in the canoe. That was the biggest crew ever on Hokulea today. I really didn't know if we could do it, but we needed to try because of those 2,000 school kids, we needed to be here today."

The Hokulea is one of many exhibits visitors can explore during the three-day Malama Honua Fair and Summit at the Convention Center.

Thompson said getting the canoe under the bridge was a reminder that our world is ever-changing and the message of Malama Honua -- to care for earth -- is more important now than ever.

"Humanity is changing the world and the world changed humanity," Thompson said.

Copyright 2017 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.