Hokulea and crew hunker down on Hudson River as Hurricane Matthew looms

Video still courtesy Polynesian Voyaging Society/Oiwi TV
Video still courtesy Polynesian Voyaging Society/Oiwi TV

Hokulea’s voyage around the world is temporarily on hold Sunday because of Hurricane Matthew.

Hawaii’s voyaging canoe just went up and down 61 locks through the waterways of canada and the northeastern U.S., and although she was due to return to New York City Sunday night.

She instead will remain in the safest place they can find, which is in place, 37 miles north of New York City on the Hudson River away from storm surges and strong currents caused by a storm.

“We’re taking her up and hiding her in a marina up in the Hudson the farther north you are and the more west you are, with this particular storm the better,” said Polynesian Voyaging Society president Nainoa Thompson by phone. “We’ll probably be there until another eight days until the storm goes by, we’re not going to move Hokulea until the storm passes and goes north of New York.”

The crew is taking down the sails and rig and will set anchor depending on direction and strength of the wind.

Once they know they’re in the clear, Hokulea will continue south until Virginia where she’ll be taken out of the water and go into drydock for a month, then hurricane season will be over and she can be ready to reach the Panama Canal.

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