SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – Hōkūleʻa and her crewmembers sailed into iconic Sydney Harbor yesterday, the latest port on her Worldwide Voyage that began in Honolulu last May. They were greeted at the dock by international dignitaries, aboriginal elders, leaders in ocean conservation and members of the local community eager to welcome the canoe to Sydney.
The canoe arrived from Coffs Harbor, her first landfall in Australia, after sailing approximately 1200 nautical miles from New Zealand through daunting weather conditions. Hālau Mōhala ʻIlima from Kailua, Oahu was at the harbor to greet Hōkūleʻa upon arrival with traditional ʻoli (chant) and hula.
“We’re very proud of Hōkūleʻa’s sailing accomplishments and tenacity on this leg, and are humbled that our ancestors continue to watch over us on this trip,” said Bruce Blankenfeld, Hōkūleʻa captain and pwo navigator. “Traditional means of wayfinding, which involve relying heavily on natural elements for direction, remain as our guides on this sail.” Blankenfeld will be presenting on traditional navigation and the Worldwide Voyage at the Australian Museum on May 20.
Throughout their time in Australia, crewmembers are seeking out local stories of hope to learn more about Australia’s leading work in environmental and ocean stewardship. Crew will share Hawaiian voyaging practices and values with the community, including working collaboratively to carefully steward natural resources, and take guidance from our natural surroundings. The canoe will sail from Sydney to Darwin, visiting significant environmental and cultural sites before sailing on to Indonesia, Madagascar, and South Africa.