The international portion of the Worldwide Voyage began with a return to Tahiti, Hōkūleʻa’s second home. Crewmembers aboard leg 2 of Worldwide Voyage paid tribute to the founding teachers that made our modern voyage possible: Mau Piailug, Eddie Aikau, Lacy Veach, Herb Kane, Pinky Thompson, and Will Kyselka, among others. We paid our respects to our Pacific cousins, with whom we share our routes and our origins, and from whom we continue to learn. For the first time in 18 years, we returned Hōkūleʻa to the beach that was given her name in Papeʻete. Residents of the fishing village there teach us about extraordinary kindness and compassion through their everyday actions. It is a kindness and mutual respect that will help establish the new generation of relationships between youth in Hawaiʻi and Tahiti. The island of Raiatea is a sacred site for perpetuating Polynesian navigation throughout the Pacific Ocean. The original name for Taputapuātea is “Hawaiʻi Iki,” a place that served as a school of wayfinding. Navigators learned to carefully study and revere nature for direction, and to value exploration and connection.
As Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia begin the next leg of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage from Tahiti to Samoa, we look back at the time spent in Fare Hape, a deeply sacred place that the crew was fortunate to visit.