New crews are manning Hokulea and Hikianalia as the voyaging canoes prepare to begin the second leg of their voyage around the world.
The canoes have been moored in the village of Tautira, Tahiti. There, the crew that traveled from Hilo to Tahiti cleaned house, so to speak, checking supplies and fixing up the canoes before the next crews take charge.
For those wrapping up this leg of the journey, it’s bittersweet. “We just want to say a big mahalo to all the families that have taken us in,” said apprentice navigator Haunani Kane. “It’s going to be really hard to go home.”
A new wave of crewmembers, from veteran to novice, arrived in Tautira this weekend and have been gearing up for the voyage’s second leg.
“Because we’re doing multiple stops, just remember where we stay and what we’re going to do,” Hokulea captain Chadd Onohi Paishon told crewmembers. “No need think about that moment now. We’ve got to get to Samoa, so just keep your head on the canoe.”
When Hokulea and Hikianalia leave Tahiti this week, they’ll be visiting many islands along the way, focusing on reconnecting relationships forged long ago.
Veteran crewmembers from Hokulea’s maiden voyage in 1976 are on board, plus others from subsequent voyages.
The canoes are scheduled to leave Tautira for Moorea island on Wednesday. From there, they journey through the Society Islands, the Cook Islands and on to Samoa in late August.