On May 10, 2015 (HST), Hōkūleʻa successfully arrived into Coffs Harbor, Australia. Bruce Blankenfeld served as the captain and Kaleo Manuiwa Wong as the navigator for this segment of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage.
“We would like to celebrate the fantastic job of the Hōkūleʻa crew for crossing the Tasman Sea safety and voyaging into Australian waters for the first time in Hōkūleʻa’s 40-year history,” said Polynesian Voyaging Society President Nainoa Thompson.
“Sighting land is a reaffirmation that the system, skills, and naʻauao of our kupuna and ʻaumakua guiding us on this canoe to find islands like this works, and has allowed transmission from a master navigator down to people like Nainoa and Uncle Bruce. They continue passing down knowledge and information so that we can carry on this tradition and culture of voyaging to find little islands across thousands of miles of open ocean,” said Kaleo.
Hōkūleʻa and her crew will remain at Coffs Harbor until favorable weather conditions permit safe departure for Sydney.
“The current forecast is showing that we may need to wait for a few days until we can sail to Sydney which may delay the arrival ceremony. The most important thing that we have learned in our 40 years of voyaging is to respect and pay attention to the weather,” said Nainoa.