Archbishop Tutu Blesses Hōkūleʻa, Goes for a Sail

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu blessed the voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa during a private ceremony at Honolulu Community College’s Marine Education and Training Center at Sand Island this morning.

Students from the charter school Kamaile Academy greeted Archbishop Tutu, his wife and close friends of theirs who live in Hawaiʻi, when they arrived at the Center at about 10:30am. Kamaile Academy is a Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) partner and some of its students are enrolled as candidates to try out as crewmembers for Hōkūleʻa’s upcoming worldwide voyage. The students and leaders from Hawaiʻi’s voyaging community attended the blessing.

Archbishop Tutu & his wife were traditionally welcomed by crewmembers and supporters.

Archbishop Tutu & his wife were traditionally welcomed by crewmembers, students and supporters.

Following the blessing, Archbishop Tutu, his wife and their friends, along with experienced crewmembers, sailed aboard Hōkūleʻa for a 40 minutes, in Māmala Bay, outside the Kalihi Channel.

“The Archbishop said that what he really wants to do is to just get a feel of the canoe, so we aren’t going to go far,” said PVS president Nainoa Thompson. “We are just completely honored that the Archbishop would grace the canoe, bless the canoe and be with us. As we consider sailing around the world, it’s very important for us to know that these kinds of leaders are caring of (Hawaiʻi’s) canoe. These are leaders whom we admire and for whom we have enormous respect for their lifetime of fighting for human rights and improving the condition of not just their home country but of the world (The Dalai Lama blessed Hōkūleʻa in April 2012). We are just honored that they would come, bless Hōkūleʻa for the worldwide voyage and honor us by letting us take them for a sail.”


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