The Never Ending Voyage of Hōkūleʻa

Back in June, Waiakea in partnership with OluKai welcomed the crew of Hawaii’s legendary Polynesian voyaging canoe, Hōkūleʻa, as they arrived in New York City, making first landfall on the mainland. Flashforward and the Hōkūleʻa is heading from Rapa Nui to Pitcarin. This marks one of the final legs of its voyage which has been dedicated to delivering the message of Malama Honu—to care for our Earth. The canoe, aptly named Star of Gladness, is guided to each of its destinations by the trusting hand of the sky. Its navigators use the stars, sun, and sea swell to safely travel through the high seas and dark night skies. By relying on these signs from nature and ancient wisdom, Hōkūleʻa enters a symbiotic relationship with the environment that looks to the past to strengthen our future; to bring the technology, wisdom and values of our ancestors into the present; and to call upon them to help us navigate to a brighter destination for our Island Earth just as the first Polynesians navigated to the archipelago of Hawaii.

The Meaning of Hōkūleʻa

As a whole, Hōkūleʻa represents the common desire of the Hawaiian people and the world to protect some of our most cherished values and places from disappearing. This goes hand in hand with the Hawaiian notion that the well being of the people in inextricably intertwined with the health and well being of the environment. The goal of Hōkūleʻa is to create a movement dedicated to a healthier ‘āina for future generations, one that is imbued with the goodness of Hōkūle‘a and the wisdom born of her legacy. This means helping Hawaii’s residents to navigate the future of the islands towards vitality, renewal, and sustainability through education about safeguarding the Islands and the greater Earth.

In April, Hōkūleʻa will head to Tahiti, reaching its endpoint in Hawaii on June 17th. Upon reaching Hawaii, Hōkūle‘a will have sailed 49,000 nautical miles and reached 26 countries. But the voyage does not end when the Hōkūle’a touches Hawaii’s shores, as protecting and caring for Hawaii is a perpetual endeavor for generations to come. The shared destination: an environment that is worthy of future generations for all of eternity.

Photo: Sam Kapoi