Legendary voyaging canoe Hokulea, which is now almost exactly halfway around the world from the starting point of Honolulu, Hawaii, set sail today for Brazil, South America’s largest country both geographically and in terms of its population. Hōkūleʻa and her escort vessel Gershon II depart South Africa, which welcomed crewmembers and the Hawaiʻi delegation to the region for more than two months. Crews had the opportunity to share Hōkūleʻa’s story of inspiration, discover stories of hope from the diverse cultures of South Africa, visit the point of origin of modern thinking man and honor Archbishop Desmond Tutu-one of the great navigators of Island Earth.
Now on the midway point of the epic Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage, Hōkūleʻa will be venturing into the Atlantic Ocean for the first time in her 40-year history. This current sail will be the longest leg of the voyage at approximately 4,200 nautical miles. Hōkūleʻa will be on Atlantic Ocean waters during Christmas and over the holidays.
Hōkūleʻa’s most current sail plans after departing Cape Town include a stop in January at the island of St. Helena, located in a British Overseas Territory in the southern Atlantic Ocean midway between Africa and South America (approximately 1,400 miles from Brazil). The canoe also will spot the island of Ascension, which is also part of the Territory. After a few days of provisioning and other preparations, Hōkūleʻa’s crew will continue to voyage across the Atlantic Ocean and is expected to stop at Ilha Fernando de Noronha, Brazil, an archipelago and UNESCO Marine World Heritage site, where the crew will engage in cultural and educational exchange. The crew of Hōkūleʻa is planning to make landfall in South America at the coastal city of Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, located in northeastern Brazil, in late January.
After stopping in Brazil, Hōkūleʻa will continue the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage and stop in ports in the Caribbean before sailing up and visiting cities along the East Coast of the United States. She is scheduled to arrive in New York City by June 8, 2016, for World Oceans Day.