Hokulea: Tahiti is the next stop for voyaging canoe

Crew members of the voyaging canoe Hokulea spent Friday putting up the traditional crab claw sails in preparation for departure Saturday morning, destination Tahiti.

Hokulea and her support canoe Hikianalia are still anchored in Rangiroa atoll, or “Ra’iroa” as the locals there say.

Crew members visited a school to share and connect with the children who live on the tiny atoll.

“They’ve been following the canoes’ journey and were more than excited to meet the crew,” apprentice navigator Jenna Ishii said. “They had drawn Hokulea pictures. They were even starting to memorize our chants, so they asked us for the words, so they’re learning some of our oli. They did performances for us and we shared pictures with them.

“They wouldn’t let us go, so we stayed there for a couple hours. It was awesome,” she said.

Crew members promised to return in three years on their way home, back to Hawaii, on the canoe’s voyage around the world.

The canoes leave Saturday and arrive to a big celebration at Papeete, Tahiti, on Sunday afternoon.

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