A Ceremony of Friendship was held today at 2 p.m. South Africa Time (2 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time) at the V&A Marina to officially welcome and celebrate the historic arrival of Hōkūleʻa to Cape Town, South Africa. Themed Crossing Oceans & Connecting People, Hawaii To Cape Town, the Ceremony of Friendship featured greeting chants and a prayer of blessing followed by traditional South African performances and hula by members of the Hawaii delegation. Words of welcome and unity were made Mpho Tutu, executive director of the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, US Ambassador Patrick H. Gaspard of the US Embassy in South Africa, pwo navigators Nainoa Thompson and Kālepa Baybayan, a representative of the Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town, and Hōkūleʻa supporter Pam Omidyar. Global peace leader Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who sailed on Hōkūleʻa during his 2012 visit to Hawaii, also attended the ceremony to greet and engage with crewmembers and the Hawaii delegation.
Following the Ceremony of Friendship, Hōkūle‘a crew and the Hawai‘i delegation invited families and members of the Cape Town community to come aboard the canoe, meet the voyagers from Hawai‘i, hear about traditional navigation and Hawaiian culture, and learn about ways to care for the ocean.