Hokulea and Hikianalia are now in Tahiti.
The voyaging canoes arrived Sunday to a large welcome ceremony in Papeete, full of cheers, hugs and dancing.
“I was here in 1976,” said master navigator Nainoa Thompson. “Here, the people of Tahiti gave us great gifts and they told us to be proud as Pacific people, be proud of our culture and hang on to who we are. Tahiti changed Hawaii for the better, forever.”
In a gathering after the crew made landfall, a special declaration of Malama Honua and pledge to care for the oceans was presented to Thompson and Gaston Flosse, president of French Polynesia.
Crew members have a full schedule ahead of them, including meeting with children and community members to talk about ancient Hawaiian navigation techniques and the Malama Honua voyage.
On Sunday, June 30, President Flosse will host a ceremony to rename Paofai beach as Hokulea Beach, in honor of the double-hulled canoe.