December 12: Letter from Nainoa
Aloha mai kākou,
Mahalo nui loa for your support and participation in 2012! The Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) …
- celebrated the historic renovation of Hōkūle‘a,
- launched and completed a Statewide Sail (Mālama Pae ‘Āina),
- launched and brought home Hikianalia, a new voyaging canoe, which will be Hōkūle‘a’s escort vessel on our Worldwide Voyage (WWV),
- began Hōkūle‘a’s last dry dock before the WWV,
- and has continued working towards the reality of the Worldwide Voyage, beginning in June 2013.
She had been in dry dock since September 2010, making this the most extensive refurbishment effort since she was built in 1975. Grants, partnerships, donations, memberships and volunteer power enabled this intensive dry dock: more than 1,000 volunteers donated approximately 26,500 hours of time. She is two feet wider; 1,000 pounds lighter; and her front mast is two feet taller. All of the wood rot from 36 years and 140,000 miles of voyaging has been removed. After sailing the equivalent of six times around the earth, Hōkūle‘a’s hulls – designed by PVS founder and mentor Herb Kawainui Kāne – are the only original elements of her configuration.
Hōkūle‘a is stronger, lighter, more stable and safer. Mahalo nui loa for everyone’s support in assuring that Hōkūle‘a is able to be gifted to younger and future generations, enabling voyaging for at least another 37 years. PVS remains most grateful for the opportunity to rebuild excitement and relationships around Hōkūle‘a that we will maintain throughout the WWV.
During the Mālama Pae ‘Āina (Caring for the Hawaiian Archipelago) voyage, from April through August 2012, Hōkūle‘a visited 17 ports statewide. Community and school groups welcomed her and her crews, and they learned about the education efforts associated with the upcoming WWV. Setting the stage for the WWV, while in port, at least 1,000 students and another 600 community members were able to board Hōkūle‘a and get reacquainted with or introduced to the educational efforts of PVS. The communities and students learned about voyaging and navigation, and educators were able to take lessons back to their classrooms that will allow for continued connections throughout the WWV.Equally, the crew learned about the good work that our local communities are doing to take care of their home waters and lands.
For the WWV, Hōkūle‘a will be joined by her new sister vessel, the double-hulled voyaging canoe, Hikianalia. Like Hōkūle‘a, Hikianalia carries a Hawaiian star name. Because Spica (Hikianalia) breaks the horizon with Arcturus (Hōkūle‘a) in Hawai‘i, they are considered sister stars. The sister canoes will break new ground together as well, since we have not before had a wa‘a as an escort vessel.
Hikianalia shares the same mold as the Pacific Voyager waka moana that gathered in Hawai‘i in 2011. She will be a second floating classroom, and the main platform for the technology and communication for the WWV, while Hōkūle‘a remains our prime educational platform for indigenous, traditional knowledge and sustainability. Neither vessel uses fossil fuels; both rely on the wind in their sails and solar energy for their lights, communication, and – in Hikianalia’s case – engines. We launched Hikianalia on September 15, 2012, and her maiden voyage totaled more than 5,000 miles, 25 days and three crew changes – sailing from Auckland to Papeete, Tahiti, to Hilo and home to Honolulu.
Hōkūle‘a returned to dry dock on September 4, 2012: her last dry dock before the WWV. This dry dock includes maintenance after the five-month Mālama Pae ‘Āina voyage around Hawai‘i, and additional work necessary to completely ready the canoe for sailing around the world. We appreciate all of the volunteers who have returned to care for and ready Hōkūle‘a. She will return to the ocean by the end of January 2013 so that she can sail with Hikianalia, and crew training can continue on both wa‘a.
Our WWV to Mālama Honua (Care for the Earth) will last approximately 36 months; travel more than 45,000 nautical miles; and visit at least 26 countries with 62 stops. Much like this year’s Mālama Pae ‘Āina voyage, the WWV will assure connections with classrooms and educators of all types and ages while at sea and in port, as well as connections with community and indigenous groups who share our values and our vision, and have much to teach us all. All of this has been and will be documented on our website (http://hokulea.org) and through the relationships we are building around the world.
Click on the Map to Enlarge It.
None of these actions or plans would be possible without the support of our members, volunteers, donors, staff, crew and leadership. Numerous generations and types of supporters – from school children to kūpuna – have inspired and reminded us throughout the year to remain true to our voyaging values and to our kuleana to our canoes, our home and each other.
We invite you to continue on our journey with us as a 2013 member of our non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization via a tax-deductible donation:
- Click here for a Membership Application.
As before, we will provide you with a membership decal, and – based on the level of your contribution – you may also receive a 2013, dark green, cotton, short-sleeved T-shirt printed with an original drawing by a WWV crewmember from Kaua‘i: Keala Kai. We also offer the option of gift memberships to share during the holiday season.
Mahalo for your continued interest in and support of PVS. We are setting off, together, on a journey that will change all of us in ways that we cannot anticipate. We sail forth based on our vision and values, and we are grateful to have you on board with us.
President, Polynesian Voyaging Society