Hōkūleʻa and her crew arrived Thursday at Honolua Bay, the first stop of the six-month Mahalo, Hawai’i Sail and the place where the legendary voyaging canoe departed for her maiden voyage to Tahiti in 1976. Since arriving in Maui, Hōkūleʻa crew, including three original crewmembers from that first crossing, have been engaging with students and the community, and celebrating local efforts to mālama honua (care for Island Earth) at areas such as Olowalu Reef and Pu’u Kukui Watershed Preserve. Throughout the five-day stop, the crew also have been conducting canoe tours at Honolua Bay and presentations at venues throughout West Maui.
Mahalo, Hawai’i Sail
*Ports and dates are subject to change
- August-September: Maui (Honolua), Oʻahu (Haleʻiwa), Kauaʻi (ports TBD)
- October: Hawaiʻi Island (ports TBD), Maui (Hana)
- November: Maui (Maʻalaea/Wailea), Lānaʻi, Molokaʻi
- Late-November to mid-December:Oʻahu (Windward)
- January: Oʻahu (Leeward, East and South)
On Friday, Hōkūleʻa was welcomed to Honolua Bay by 1,200 students from Kamehameha Schools Maui who lined the shores of the Bay and greeted the canoe with traditional chant and dance. The following morning, more than 500 people from the community came to Honolua Bay to welcome Hōkūleʻa and crew with a cultural ceremony. More than 20 canoes from local paddling organizations encircled Hōkūleʻa along with Maui’s voyaging canoe Moʻokiha O Piʻilani to begin the welcoming ceremony.
Following the welcome ceremony, the Hōkūleʻa crew walked from Honolua Bay to Pu’u Kukui Watershed Preserve with approximately 500 members of the community to plant 5,000 native plants including koa trees, the traditional building materials of voyaging canoes which have been scarce in recent generations. The planting was conducted in partnership with the Maui Land and Pineapple Company, Inc. through the conservation department of the Pu’u Kukui Watershed Preserve, State of Hawaiʻi DLNR, The Nature Conservancy of Hawaiʻi and Kamehameha Schools Maui.
During the planting at Pu’u Kukui Watershed Preserve, Nainoa Thompson said, “It’s about values, kindness, compassion, love, aloha. When you plant the trees here and you put it in this soil, that act of kindness is for the whole planet. On behalf of all the voyagers, this is why we sail.”
On the way to Honolua Bay, Hōkūleʻa also made a stop at Olowalu Reef where members of the Olowalu Community Makai Management Area came aboard the canoe to announce that Olowalu Reef had been officially recognized as a Mission Blue Hope Spot by world-renowned oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle. Local scientists took Hōkūleʻa crew on a dive to see the Olowalu Reef first hand during the brief stop on Thursday.
This evening, 1976 Crew Members who sailed from Honolua Bay to Tahiti and those on the return from Tahiti to Hawaiʻi will participate in an event at the Ritz Carlton Kapalua called The Legends of 1976. The talk story event will reunite Buffalo Keaulana, Snake Ah Hee, Billy Richards, John Kruse, Gordon Piʻianaia, Penny Martin, Kimo Lyman, Marion Lyman-Mersereau, Makaala Yates, Kainoa Lee and Nainoa Thompson.
Public canoe tours will continue tomorrow (Sunday) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Honolua Bay. Additional crew presentations will take place at Sheraton Maui and Montage Kapalua Bay. Hōkūleʻa is scheduled to depart Honolua on Tuesday, August 22, and will return to Oʻahu to prepare for the next stop on the Mahalo, Hawai’i Sail, which will be Haleʻiwa on the North Shore of Oʻahu.