Polynesian Voyaging Society Launches Voyage Around the World
Hawaiian Voyaging Canoes Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia Embark on Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, Sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines
The two wa‘a sailing on the voyage, Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia, will be guided by a crew of skilled navigators using ancient Polynesian wayfinding techniques, observing the stars, ocean, wind, and birds as mapping points for direction. When Hōkūleʻa completed her maiden voyage in 1976, it was the first time in 600 years that a Polynesian voyaging canoe sailed across the Pacific Ocean.
“As we embark on this voyage today, we are honored to join a global movement towards a more sustainable world,” said Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society. “Mālama Honua allows us the special opportunity to perpetuate the legacy of our ancestors and inspire stewardship of the earth, sharing our aloha for our environment while nurturing and learning from local solutions and relationships.”
Thompson was joined by his fellow OceanElders to celebrate the launch of this historic voyage: a collective of leaders including renowned oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, musician and activist Jackson Browne, and ocean exploration pioneers Jean-Michel Cousteau and Captain Don Walsh.
“The State of Hawai‘i applauds the Polynesian Voyaging Society and the countless volunteers, crewmembers, and partners of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage for their truly remarkable and courageous efforts to take our cultural knowledge and values to the sea and around the globe,” said Hawai‘i State Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui. “Mālama Honua will be a symbol of our cultural pride in every part of the world it visits, educating communities about the importance of appreciating and protecting each other and our earth.”
Throughout the voyage, crewmembers will educate communities and students of all ages around the world. Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia will be “floating classrooms” powered by Google products and will share knowledge through a broad range of educational opportunities and partnerships. The program seeks to support and cultivate the next generation of navigators and explorers – helping young crewmembers to embody and value the lessons of Mālama Honua that will continue to thrive long after the wa‘a and crew return home.
The Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage will visit 85 ports and 26 countries, including 12 of UNESCO’s Marine World Heritage sites, through June 2017. The first stop for Hōkūle‘a and Hikianallia is Tahiti, where Hōkūleʻa made her first voyage in 1976. The voyage is made possible by many community sponsors and partners, including Hawaiian Airlines, the University of Hawai‘i, Kamehameha Schools, the James and Abigail Campbell Family Foundation, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and many more.