2012: Events and News
2011: Events and News
Kau Wela (Dry Season) 2011
Hoʻoilo (Wet Season) 2011
2010: Events and News
December 2009: Training Sail to Palmyra
December 2008: Plan for a Training Sail to Palmyra and Christmas Island
January 2008: Ku Holo Mau (Voyage to Satawal) and Ku Holo Komohana (Voyage to Japan)
September 2006: Hokualaka‘i Launching; 2006 Malama Wa‘a (Caring for the Canoe)
August 2006: Kapu Na Keiki: Youth Training Program
December 2004: Navigating Change: NWHI Voyage Completed
Winter 2003: Northewestern Hawaiian Islands Voyage Postponed; Sail to Nihoa
Summer 2003: Marine Education Training Center; 2003 Statewide Sail
Spring 2002: Plans for Northewestern Hawaiian Islands Voyage
Summer 2001: Ocean Learning Academy
Spring 2001: 2001 Statewide Sail
Ho‘oilo (Rainy Season) 1999: Closing the Triangle: the Quest for Rapanui; Malama Hawai‘i Initiative
Kau (Dry Season) 1998: Restoring Hokule‘a; Center for Marine Sciences
Kau (Dry Season) 1997: Aloha, Wrighto; Project Ho‘olokahi
Ho‘oilo (Rainy Season) 1996-1997: Malama Hawai‘i: 1996-97 Statewide Sail
Ho‘oilo (Rainy Season) 1995-1996: Exploration Learning Center Launched
Kau (Dry Season) 1995: A Safe Successful 1995 Voyage; Northwest and West Coast Tours
Makali‘i (November-December) 1994: North to Hawai‘i, the Marquesas Connection, by Ben Finney
Hilinama (August-September) 1994: Hawai‘iloa Sea Trials, after Modification
Ka‘aona (May–June) 1994: Training and Education Sails; 1992 Voyage: 4. The Voyage Home
Nana (February–March) 1994: 1992 Voyage: 3. Sailing in the Cook Islands
Makali‘i (November-December) 1993: First Sea Trials for Hawai‘iloa Completed; Modifications Begin; 1992 Voyage: 2. Sailing in Tahiti
Fall 1993: Blessing and Launching Hawai‘iloa; 1992 Voyage: 1. Hawai‘i to Tahiti
March 1992: Building Hawai‘iloa
December 1990: Native Hawaiian Culture and Arts Program; search for logs to build Hawai‘iloa
March-April 1984: Announcing the 1985-1987 Voyage of Rediscovery
August 1975: A Voyage into Hawai‘i’s Past (1976 Voyage to Tahiti), by Ben Finney
1974: Plans for Launching of Hokule‘a on March 8, 1975
September 1974: Announcement of 3 day Polynesian Sailing Workshop at Kualoa Park
April 1974: Wa‘a Kaulua...Double Canoe, by Herb Kane. (Training on Nalehia, a 40 ft. double-hulled sailing canoe built by Ben and Ruth Finney in 1966; plans to build Hokule‘a.)

Polynesian Voyaging Society: 2012 News and Events

Upcoming Events:

April 15: Hōkūle‘a’s Statewide Sail

On April 13, Friday, Hōkūle’a departed from Sand Island and sailed to her ‘āina hānau (birthplace) at Hakipu’u and Kualoa, on the windward side of O‘ahu, where she was first launched 37 years ago. This is the first stop in her Statewide Sail, scheduled for April 16 to August 7.

Click here for a map and schedule. Click on icons on the map for background information about the stops.

The Statewide Sail is the Hawaiʻi-based start of the World Wide Voyage.

Hōkūle’a moored in Hakipu‘u, near the spot where she was launched 37 years ago. On Monday, April 16, she was blessed for her upcoming World Wide Voyage by the Dalai Lama, who was visiting Hawai‘i.

On Saturday, the crew participated in the City’s Canoe Festival, giving on-board tours of Hōkūleʻa. The voyaging canoe is scheduled to depart on April 16 for Kauna‘oa Bay, on the west coast of Kohala, on the Big Island of Hawai‘i, for a 3-day stop. After that Hōkūleʻa will head for Kawaihae, north of Kauna‘oa, for a week-long stay.

Kawaihae is homeport of Nā Kalai Wa‘a Moku o Hawai’i and ‘āina hānau of the voyaging canoes Makali‘i and Alingano Maisu, a gift for navigator Mau Piailug, launched in 2007. Maisu sailed to Satawal, Micronesia, that year with Hōkūle‘a and was presented to Mau at his home island to honor his life-long achievements and to thank him for sharing his traditional navigation and voyaging knowledge with the people of the Pacific in order to keep it alive and growing.

Rounding Kawaihoa, Maunalua Bay, on the south side O‘ahu.

Sailing to the windward side of O‘ahu, for Hakipu‘u-Kualoa

Captain Bruce Blankenfeld

March 12: Official Herb Kawainui Kāne web site

The Herb K. Kāne Family Trust has opened an Official Herb Kawainui Kāne web site at Herb was a founder of the voyaging society; one of his paintings, “Kaha‘i entering Kāneʻohe Bay,” appears in the PVS web site banner above.

March 8: Launching Hōkūle‘a

Click here for a narrative of the launching, by Karen Holman: “Hōkūle‘a Reborn.” Excerpts below.

For days, nature has been speaking to us with heightened intensity in the Hawaiian Islands. Winds sing through the valleys with fervor and trees follow the dance, bending impossibly in all directions. A thick blanket of cloud molds to the contours of the Wai‘anae range, caressing her shape seamlessly. Streams rage to the sea, and every crevice of the Ko’olau range holds a waterfall.  Sheets of lightening illuminate the night, while thunder resonates vibrations through the Earth. This has been nature’s mood for days but in the pre-dawn hours of March 8, 2012, she seems to stop and take a deep breath, and the elements subside into calm. Today, Hōkūle‘a returns to the sea. A canoe is reborn, and with her, so too are we…all those inspired by her, the hands that together re-created her, and the children to be reached in her future journeys. It is a timeless moment and also, a window in time… into past and present, hope and possibility. (Excerpt from “Hōkūle‘a Reborn.”)

Under the Full Moon, Kealoha Hoe and Attwood Makanani Prepping Hōkūle‘a for Launching

A full moon hangs low in the sky and anticipation fills the air as people busy about preparing Hōkūle‘a to touch the sea again. It is her birthday and exactly 37 years since her first launching at Kualoa. For the last 18 months she has been on land in dry dock, where she was rebuilt by many hands, with care and love. I have felt a profound privilege to be alongside her and to be a part of tremendous unity, of a community, building together, putting our hearts and hands into making her stronger and just as beautiful. In the early morning when the sky is still dark and planets are visible, it is time for her to go back to the ocean and fulfill her purpose. It is a historic moment. Some seek solitude or a moment of silence with her. One puts his arms around her hull and presses his ear to her side. In this moment, I can see the tenderness we all share for Hōkūle‘a. She is a living treasure, with a life and spirit of her own. (Excerpt from “Hōkūle‘a Reborn.”)

Kaina Holomalia Wrapping Maile on the Back Spreader

1976 Crew Member Billy Richards, Representing ‘Ohana Wa‘a, the Family of the Canoe, the statewide canoe building and voyaging organization.

As dawn emerges, we gather for a blessing.  Though the clouds have parted and the wind softened, a mist from the valleys still surrounds us, noted as symbolic of kupuna, our ancestors that join us in the re-birthing of Hōkūle‘a. We form a circle and are asked to let any stresses drift out to sea so that our blessing is positive. The conch is blown in the four cardinal directions and the three tips of ti leaves, representing ‘ohana (mother, father, child) are used to bless her with water in a purification ceremony or pikai. Billy Richards speaks of the ‘ohana wa’a, all those who have sailed with her, a family with Mau Piailug as our father and Hōkūle‘a as our mother. We are their descendants on this voyage, this succession of knowledge and leadership to the next generation.

Nainoa Thomspon, Bruce Blankenfeld, and Bob Perkins also speak. Their words remind us of this single moment in time, of the power of community coming together. They remind us that the community rebuilt Hōkūle‘a, and Hōkūle‘a rebuilt the community. Many hands, with love, compassion and aloha, have touched the canoe and shared with her. She is a symbol of what the community can do united. To rebuild her has allowed us a precious intimacy with Hōkūle‘a, transforming us all. Tears well in my eyes and it is hard to know if they are tears of joy, loss, or some unknown entwining of emotion I cannot describe.

“Let her be free to go to the sea, it is her time, let her go, she thanks you.”

(Excerpt from “Hōkūle‘a Reborn.”)

Kaniela Akaka, with Billy Richards, Bruce Blankenfled, and Bob Perkins, blessing Hōkūle‘a

Crew Pule (Prayer)

It is a moving sight to see the many hands holding her and guiding her back to the blue. We pause before reaching the water. Hōkūle‘a is symbolic of a lei needle as she continues touching shores around the Earth. In blessing her, we form a circle, a lei around the canoe of linked hands, and share a prayer before she goes back in the ocean. In the same tradition as our ancestors, a chant resonates.

"Pehea ka wa‘a, pono anei?" (How is the canoe? Is it good?)

“‘Ae maika‘i loa ka wa‘a Hōkūle‘a!” (Yes, the canoe Hōkūle‘a is indeed very good!)

(Excerpt from “Hōkūle‘a Reborn.”)

Into the Ocean, with the Sun Rising

We let her go gently, and in the golden light that appears only as the sun rises or falls into the horizon, her hulls touch salt water. A crewmember stands on her deck, with arms outstretched like an ‘iwa bird. Others guide her in from below, immersed in the water beside her and smiling broadly. In the very moment that Hōkūle‘a glides into the sea, a rainbow emerges in the sky. Throughout our reflections of dry dock, a recurrent theme has been the word ‘magic’. There is certainly magic in this moment, and as her hulls meet the sea, salt water seems to flow through us all, stirring exploration and the ocean inside of us. The rainbow continues to touch the horizon behind the canoe, and at one moment seemingly illuminates the crewmembers themselves, who steer her sweep for the first time in so many months. (Excerpt from “Hōkūle‘a Reborn.”)


Nainoa and Kaniela after the Launching

Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Mel Kanaulu Kinney (October 16, 1954-February 14, 2012)

The life and legacy of Hōkūle‘a crew member Mel Kanaulu Kinney will be celebrated at Kaimana Beach Park (in Waikīkī) on Saturday, March 10, 2012, 9:30 am to 5:00 pm. Mel was a crew member on the first voyage, in 1976, from Tahiti to Hawai‘i. Hōkūle‘a is scheduled to attend the celebration.

Mālama Wa‘a Update: March 5, 2012

After 18 months in dry dock, and the contribution of 15,500 volunteer hours, the wa‘a kaulua, Hōkūle‘a has been completely rebuilt and will be re-launched on Thursday, March 8 at daybreak. The date is the 37th anniversary of Hōkūle‘a’s original launching, on March 8, 1975. Ceremonies are scheduled to start at 5:30 am; launching at around 6:30 am. Sunrise at 6:45 am.

Attwood Makanani and Bruce Blankenfeld plan lashing the back mast step.

“For more than 30 years we’ve had the privilege and honor to explore and discover aboard Hōkūle‘a,” said Bruce Blankenfeld, one of Hōkūle‘a’s master navigators and the person who led the reconstruction effort. “The wa’a has served us well, sailing more than 125,000 miles over the last three decades.... As we train a new generation of leadership and deep sea sailors, it is our obligation to leave them with a canoe that is healthy, sound and capable of another 4 decades of voyaging and exploration.”

Back end, where the steering blade will be affixed

Back end, below deck

Front end, with mast step and deck cleat.

Finishing touches.

Hōkūle’a: almost ready for relaunching, on March 8, at sunrise. The mast will be raised at dockside in the afternoon, after the canoe is afloat.

February 21: Mālama Hōkūle‘a Update

The frontpieces are painted; the new Hōkūle’a moves toward the completion of her renovations this spring:

A new, two-feet wider deck between the two hulls, lashed down to the ‘iako, or crossbeams joining the hulls:

Looking forward, down the starboard hull:

February 8: Online Voyaging Society Archive Launched

PVS, in partnership with Honolulu Community College, the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, and Ulukau, the Hawaiian Digital Library, announced the opening of its online archive:

The purpose of the archive is to make materials about the Polynesian Voyaging Society accessible to scholars, teachers, and student while also reaching the wider Hawaiian community and the general public.

The searchable materials are organized by subjects, years, people, voyages, and titles. Click here for a UH News Report on the archive: “Polynesian voyaging online archive unveiled.”

February 7: Mālama Wa‘a Update

Both forward manu (end pieces curving upward) attached to the hulls:

Sanding the hulls, by machine and hand:

Decking postitioned to be lashed down:

Posts positioned for railing and lashing:

Mālama Wa‘a Update: January 12

In the New Year, the work toward Hōkūle‘a’s rebirth continues, in preparation for the Worldwide Voyage ...

The front manu (the end piece curving upward) atop the starboard hull:

A new steering sweep positioned at the back of the port hull:

Volunteers lashing down a ‘iako (crossbeam) at the bow of the port hull, under the guidance of Mark Kimura (bottom left), of Honolulu Community College’s Marine Education and Training Center:

The crew, lashing down a ‘iako (crossbeam) at the aft of the starboard hull:

The art of lashing: intricate line work tying together the parts of the canoe: