Hōkūleʻa Update | November 8, 2016

Dry Dock and Education Update at the Mariners Museum

By Diane Tom-Ogata

In the days leading up to her departure from The Mariners Museum, we found ourselves in the midst of a flurry of special events honoring Hōkūleʻa and her crew, while the dry dock crew continued to work 14-hour days.

We have been blessed with beautiful weather of clear blue skies and sunshine, though periodic wind chill can be felt.  Hōkūleʻa is breathtaking as she sits against a background of trees turning vibrant colors of red, orange and yellow.Hoku@MM

This past Friday, the Dry Dock Crew were taken on a special tour of the museum, which included a behind the scenes tour of artifacts and art from around the world relating to Mariner history dating back to the Viking era.Hoku@MM2

Friday was also a special day for our canoe – the “Hōkūleʻa” lettering was applied to her hull as our skilled Dawson painters continued finishing touches, and Museum Staff and supporters slowly gathered on the great lawn for a special evening. The Mariners’ Museum held a celebration in honor and appreciation of Hōkūleʻa and her crew with a huge Virginia-style BBQ, which included a roasted pig and bon fire. The skies were clear, and with a bit of chill in the air the bonfire (and oversized marshmallows for s’mores) kept everyone toasty.


Hoku@MM4As dusk approached, a short program included the exchange of gifts to the Museum and Polynesian Society. One gift to the Polynesian Society was a Deck Prism. Traditionally, a deck prism was used for additional light that was placed in the deck so when the sun hit the prism, light refracted below so the crew down below had daylight. This prism is a replica of an original prism from the USS Monitor, made by a local artist from a mold of a prism taken from the USS Monitor while The Mariners Museum restores the historic vessel. The deeper meaning of the Prism presentation was explained as helping to shed light to guide and support Hōkūleʻa and her crew on the Mālama Honua Voyage and the journey home.

On Saturday, the dry dock crew worked at a rhythmic pace, transferring items from the workshop to Hōkūleʻa, loading what they could while our painters continued diligently painting. The big event on Saturday was a special Hōkūleʻa Celebration at The Mariners Museum with Hawaiian and Tahitian Entertainment, Uncle Calvin’s well attended workshops to make Pū Ohe (which participants took outside and greeted Hōkūleʻa with) and Ohe Hano Ihu (Nose flutes), a special showing of Nā’ālehu Anthony’s film “Papa Mau: The Wayfinder”, and a tour of the Polynesian Voyagers Exhibit with the Museum Curator, Mark Nucup. Uncle Calvin’s ʻohana, Nani Hoe and her husband, drove 4 hours to set up and provide entertainment outside for all museum-goers.Hoku@MM5

The Mariners’ Museum and Park new display “Polynesian Voyagers” is impressively well thought out. Marc, Curator of the exhibit, and support staff have put in hours of research of every facet to make sure they “get it right,” going as far as re-mapping the sail plan as it exists today and following up with copyrights. Marc’s visitor tour is so impressive, comparing cultures of the Pacific and the East Coast indigenous peoples and European voyaging.

Hoku@MM6On Sunday, visitors came purposely to visit Hōkūleʻa before her departure from the Museum. The dry dock crew worked diligently to prepare Hōkūleʻa for her entry into the water, with masts, boom, fenders, etc all loaded and placed onto Hōkūleʻa by the end of the day. The workshop was cleared, with all supplies & equipment loaded onto the canoe or into the Matson container.

So many of these visitors touched our hearts with their commitment to see Hōkūleʻa and learn the story behind her and this historic voyage, some traveling many hours and many miles. Many visitors from various backgrounds, from Hawaiʻi and far-away lands, shared stories of their connection with Hōkūleʻa and Hawaiʻi.

Hoku@MM7Mahalo to The Mariners’ Museum for their hospitality, which has been above and beyond what we could imagine, accommodating and furnishing kindness beyond words. And to the many visitors who have touched us with their ways of supporting Hōkūleʻa and the Mālama Honua Voyage – thank you for your passion and dedication, and we encourage everyone to follow us on hokulea.com for updates on her departure from Virginia.

E Mālama pono and a hui hou!

Diane, on behalf of the Education & Outreach team

Hōkūleʻa’s Dry Dock Fundraiser

Every year since embarking on the Worldwide Voyage in 2014, Hōkūleʻa has taken several weeks of downtime annually to ensure she is safe, seaworthy and beautiful for the thousands of nautical miles that lay ahead.

Please help fund Hōkūleʻa’s 2016 dry dock efforts.

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