Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia return to Oʻahu after a two-week training voyage. The next training voyage will be to Papahānaumokuākea in mid-June.
(Honolulu, HI) — The Polynesian Voyaging Society’s (PVS) two traditional Polynesian canoes returned to Oʻahu early yesterday morning after a two-week training voyage to prepare for next year’s Moananuiākea Voyage, a circumnavigation of the Pacific. Hikianalia arrived at the Marine Education Training Center at Sand Island at 4:30 am followed by Hōkūleʻa at 5:30 am.
The original sail plan was for the crew to sail to the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (the doldrums), located approximately five degrees north of the equator. The canoes, however, were delayed for nine days off Lahaina, Maui due to dangerous conditions in the ʻAlenuihāhā Channel. Despite the altered schedule, the crew continued their robust training focused on traditional navigation, safety, leadership, and respect for community, place and nature. The training voyage also provided an opportunity to test the newly-refurbished vessels in strong winds and rough waters.
Once the weather cleared and the canoes were able to depart Lāhainā on May 22, they crossed the Alenuihaha Channel, which is considered the second roughest channel in the world, and then headed to Keauhou on Hawaiʻi Island. From Keauhou, they sailed to Kalae (South Point) and then into Moananuiākea, about 100 nautical miles south of Hawaiʻi Island.
“Although our intent was to take the crew into the storm of the doldrums, mother nature had other plans. We still had a robust training nonetheless and we still hit Moananuiākea,” said PVS president and Pwo navigator Nainoa Thompson. “There have been many gifts of learning that we never ever imagined, because we were forced to change. It’s been a spectacular training program,” he added.
The crew on Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia were a mix of senior voyagers and new crew members. On this training voyage, they received about 900 miles of training and crossed seven of the nine major channels (5 of them twice) in the lower eight Hawaiian islands. PVS’s goal is to have 120 new crew trained by the end of the summer in preparation for next year’s Moananuiākea Voyage, a circumnavigation of the Pacific.
Planning is underway for the next training voyage, which will be to Papahānaumokuākea in mid-June (weather-permitting).