Richard Branson welcomes Hokulea to the British Virgin Islands; next stop, Cuba

Provided by Polynesian Voyaging Society

There have been 17 crew changes so far on Hokulea’s voyage around the world, and on Sunday, the 18th crew is preparing to depart the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean.

Hokulea arrived at Richard Branson’s Mosquito Island Saturday, but it wasn’t to hobnob with the British billionaire owner of Virgin Atlantic, it was that same focus to meet about the oceans.

“We’ve been to I don’t know how many ports but, the story’s the same, there’s only one island, it’s blue and it’s called earth,” said Hokulea captain Nainoa Thompson.

And so wherever Hokulea sails, part of her mission, is education and “caring” for this one island, and merging the two.

“So that humanity, unless you’re alien, has someplace you call home that we collectively are citizens of and yet that notion of home comes with a sense of responsibilities and we have to take care of it,” Thompson added. “About where are we in the protection of the world’s oceans, where do we need to be and the big question is how do we get there so.”

Thompson and Branson are two of 15 people from around the world who are part of the group Ocean Elders.

There are several renowned ocean scientists, explorers like Jean Michele Cousteau, Sylvia Earle, but also media mogul Ted Turner, filmmaker James Cameron, Queen Noor of Jordan, Prince Albert of Monaco, musician Jackson Browne and more.

All who have a passion for the oceans, and are working with partners to protect and celebrate them.

“It’s part of the whole larger voyage that Hokulea allows us to connect to, linking with people, and making connections and the belief that united we’ll be more effective at protecting our island earth than we are if we’re apart,” Thompson said.

Hokulea will carry her mission next to Cuba, expected to arrive in about two weeks.

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