Early this morning Kūmau (Polaris) revealed itself, shimmering humbly at the hālāwai exactly where we knew she was. To know, and then to see what you know is the ultimate moment of gratification while at sea. Each of us quietly acknowledged Kūmau for its steadfast connection to this ancient pathway we sail home on. Through prayer, song, smiles, and tears we thanked our kumu for teaching us, our kūpuna for leading us here, our kini akua – the elements of clear sky and steady wind. We visualized ourselves as children learning the stars at a family camp, or a blanket in our backyards, we relived the last moment we shared with Kūmau at sea, we remembered the final measurement we took of her twinkling above the horizon prior to departing Hawaiʻi 22 days ago.
We have crossed Ka Piko o ka Honua, the equator. We have entered Ke-ao-polohiwa-a-Kāne, the realm of Kāne. And though through our dead reckoning we can prove every nautical mile forward and west of our courseline, our numbers are grounded on the firm kāhua of what we see and feel. Those same hōʻailona that served as beacons for our kūpuna have pulsated throughout our voyage and housed themselves upon the deck of our floating honua, Tūtū Hōkūleʻa. We have observed the high arching dome of our sky, the keʻe of all celestial beings and movements above us, the chill in the evening and early morning darkness, the smell of the heat of kau ka lā ka lolo, the activation of sea and sky life, the coolness of our ocean, and Kūmau.
Today we began the next section of our journey and appropriately so we will see the Kūkahi moon this evening trailing behind the sun. We sail onward to all the pieces of us that we have left back at home, those pieces that we call Hawaiʻi. We sail with Kūmau at our manu ihu and Tautira in our wake. Tūtū Hōkū’s coming home!
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Join thousands of supporters and fans to welcome Hōkūleʻa home to Hawaiʻi in June 2017! Register now for the Mālama Honua Summit, reserve your tour aboard Hōkūleʻa, and RSVP for the Polynesian Voyaging Society benefit dinner.