Sir Richard Branson Welcomes Hōkūleʻa

Hōkūleʻa made a special stop and visited The Branson Estate on Moskito Island, which is owned by Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group. 


Branson greeted master navigator Nainoa Thompson and the crew as the canoe arrived on March 5, 2016.  The visit gave Branson and Thompson an opportunity to share their respective efforts and thoughts about ocean conservation.  During the visit, Thompson also honoured Branson as a Great Navigator of Island Earth in recognition for his contribution to the Earth and mankind and for his lifetime achievement of making the world a better place. During the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, Thompson has been seeking out the Earth’s great navigators and has honored leaders such His Holiness Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

During the two day visit at Moskito Island, the crew was hosted at a welcome gathering and were able to explore the island’s pristine beaches. 

“On behalf of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and the Worldwide Voyage, it was an honor to bring Hokulea to Moskito Island while we are sailing through the Caribbean,” said Thompson.  “We were able to learn more about Sir Richard Branson’s work to conserve the Caribbean and hear how the region is becoming a leader in ocean conservation and sustainability,” he added.

Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder, said: “The Hōkūleʻa, just like our ocean, is majestic and performs remarkably so it’s good to see she is sailing around the world urging citizens of our planet to care of our oceans. 

“Caribbean islands emit less than 1% of total global greenhouse gases, but with rising sea levels and extreme weather events, they are bearing the brunt of climate change. I truly believe the small islands in the Caribbean can be global leaders in ocean conservation and sustainability. By working together we can act as a test bed to demonstrate and scale innovative, clean energy solutions.” 


 While on Moskito Island, the crew also hosted Branson, community members and students from the environmental club of Lavity Stoutt Community College on a sail on Hōkūleʻa.

Both Branson and Thompson are members of the Ocean Elders, an independent group of global leaders focused on the protection of the ocean.

Happy Birthday, Hōkūleʻa!

Help us celebrate Hōkūleʻa’s 41st birthday by becoming a member, or gifting membership to another!

On March 8, the iconic deep-sea voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa celebrates her 41st birthday! Our master navigators use the stars, waves, wind, and birds to find their way, following in the wake of their ancestors. Hōkūleʻa has journeyed more than 150,000 miles over the past 41 years, and a new generation of navigators is sailing around the world to explore how people and communities are working to Mālama Honua – care for our Island Earth.  We need your support to keep us voyaging – please visit to help.

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