During this holiday season, we want to express our sincerest mahalo for the support of our many volunteers, partners and supporters who make it possible for Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia to continue voyaging, connecting and inspiring.
2022 has been another year of immense preparations for the Moananuiākea Voyage, which is tentatively slated to launch in June of 2023. We are ending 2022 with an abundance of gratitude, reflections on this year’s accomplishments, and an optimistic outlook for 2023.
Extensive Canoe Preparations
A priority for 2022 was to get Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia prepared for another 10 years of sailing. Over the last 18 months, both canoes have undergone structural changes to advance the safety and performance for deep sea sailing and exploration. Hōkūleʻa is structurally sound and as a result of a recent redesign to her deck; her performance on the ocean is better than ever. Hikianalia has been in months-long dry dock where volunteers are building a new and improved hale and replacing the old deckboards with new ones made in part with recycled bottles. The canoe’s metal fasteners have been removed and are being replaced with hundreds of traditional lashings. To accelerate the completion of Hikianalia’s re-lashing, PVS launched “Menehune Weekends” during which volunteers work through the night on Fridays and Saturdays. Under the leadership of captains Bruce Blankenfeld and Bob Perkins, PVS estimates that more than 5,000 volunteer hours have been put towards the redesign and improvements of Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia. This year’s more-than-$200,000 dry dock project was made possible by the hard work of dozens of volunteers and donations to support the purchase of necessary materials and equipment.
“Our work on these canoes is not just about maintenance, but also about improvement,” said Nainoa Thompson, CEO, PVS. “We are blessed with skilled volunteers and a community that understands and loves these canoes,” he added.
Voyaging Leadership Training
PVS continues to focus on developing the next generation of voyaging leaders primarily in the roles of captain and navigator. After months of training, the skills of these young leaders were put to the test during the Kealaikahiki Voyage, a sail to Tahiti and back. Next year, a larger pool of crew will be trained for various positions on the canoe in preparation for the Moanauiākea Voyage.
Launch of Waahonua.com, a Virtual Canoe
When Hōkūleʻa and her sister canoe Hikanalia set sail for Tahiti in April, PVS launched a virtual addition to the fleet. Waahonua.com, named after Waʻa Honua (Canoe for the Earth), is a digital platform that will join the canoes for the Moananuiākea Voyage. The fledgling waahonua.com will grow in size and scope as Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia connect people around the globe to the magic of Polynesian wayfinding and the imperative to make better choices for our earth. Developed through the support of Nakupuna Foundation for general audiences and learners of all ages, the platform features video stories, articles, and educational resources focused on developing the “Navigator Mindset.” Content will be produced by PVS and also curated from educational and research partners including Kamehameha Schools, Arizona State University, University of Hawaiʻi, and Bishop Museum.
Strengthening Pacific and Global Connections
As voyage planning continues, conversations with old and new Pacific communities are taking place to plan for the Moananuiākea Voyage. This effort is led primarily by the ʻAha Moananuiākea Pacific Consortium under the leadership of Dr. Randie Fong of Kamehameha Schools. A significant number of the exchanges took place during the pandemic on a digital platform, and this year in-person meetings were able to take place in French Polynesia, Alaska and Aotearoa (New Zealand). Additional Pacific partners include Indigenous Taiwan, Satawal (Caroline Islands, Federated States of Micronesia) and Rapa Nui.
Whatʻs Ahead in 2023
As PVS approaches a milestone 50 years of voyaging and exploration, we will be focusing on our vision and goals for the next 50 years. Our founders, leadership and teachers have set the foundation, and now the next five years will be a transitional phase for the next 50 years and the next generation of voyagers.
Meanwhile, extensive preparations for the Moananuiākea Voyage will continue with canoe work, leadership and crew training, and sail planning. PVS is also in the process of seeking permission to visit from indigenous communities in the ports the canoes hope to visit and engage with. If all these required preparations for a deep sea voyage are fulfilled, the Moananuiākea Voyage will launch from Yakutat, Alaska around June 1, 2023.
Sneak peak of the 2023 membership decal and shirt available in January 2023