Hawai'i to Tahiti and Return: 1976
Photo Below: Hokule'a Arrives in Tahiti, 1976
The first voyage of the Hokule`a from Hawai`i to Tahiti and back took place in 1976, as part of the Bicentenniel Celebration of American Independence. The official purpose of the voyage was to show that the two-way voyages celebrated in Hawaiian oral traditions could be done in a replica of an ancient voyaging canoe navigated without instruments.
Ben Finney: The Founding of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and the Building of Hokule'a, originally published in "Voyaging into Polynesia's Past" in From Sea to Space (Palmerston North: Massey University, 1992).
CREW MEMBERS, HAWAI`I-TAHITI, 1976: Navigator Mau Piailug, Clifford Ah Mow, Shorty Bertelmann, Ben Finney, Tommy Holmes, Sam Kalalau, Boogie Kalama, Kawika Kapahulehua, Buffalo Keaulana, John Kruse, Dukie Kuahulu, David Lewis, Dave Lyman, Billy Richards, Rodo Williams
CREW MEMBERS, TAHITI-HAWAI`I, 1976: Snake Ah Hee, Andy Espirto, Kawika Kapahulehua, Mel Kinney, Kainoa Lee, Kimo Lyman, Gordon Pi`ianai`a, Leonard Puputauiki, Penny Rawlins, Keani Reiner, Nainoa Thompson, Maka`ala Yates, Ben Young.
Other accounts of the 1976 voyage to Tahiti can be found in Ben Finney's Hokule'a: The Way to Tahiti (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1979) and in David Lewis We, the Navigators: The Ancient Art of Landfinding in the Pacific, 2nd Edition (Honolulu: Univ. of Hawai'i Press, 1994, pp. 312-341). "The Navigators: Pathfinders of the Pacific" is a 59-minute video on Mau Piailug, Polynesian navigation and migrations, and the first voyage of Hokule'a.
For more on the designing, building and launching of Hokule'a, see Canoe Building.