Hawaii’s voyaging canoe Hokulea is in in drydock in Virginia Sunday evening.
Volunteers of all ages are sprucing her up before she takes on the Panama Canal and comes home next year, and when she sets sail, she’ll have two more names on board.
You don’t see them from afar, but the names of those who’ve passed, engraved, almost everywhere you look, on Hokulea.
For example on the steering sweep they’re holding “Kawainui” for Herb Kawainui Kane, co-founder of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, which built Hokulea, and he even named Hokulea.
On another sweep, “Tommy” for another co-founder, Tommy Holmes.
“It’s also a part of that legacy of them living on because you constantly see their names and you remember these stories,” said crew member Moani Heimuli by phone.
Friday, while working on drydock, Heimuli, had the honor of engraving two women’s names. One on the front spreader where on one side the name Wally is engraved, Moani engraved “Moku.”
Moku and Wally Froiseth were there helping prepare for Hokule’a’s first voyage in 1976, were there in Tahiti when she arrived, and were there to care for Hokulea and her mission for many many years after.
It was just as “Paige” Barber was, the second name Moani engraved.
“I’m just very honored that I was able to engrave those names on the canoe,” said Heimuli. “I’ve never met either of them but I just hear beautiful stories and i’m just honored to be able to do that.”
They join many others on the portside railing by the navigators seat, “Mau” for Hokule’a’s first navigator Pius Mau Piailug, who then taught Hawaii’s navigators.
Another named carved, “Kapu Na Keiki” for long time PVS president Myron Pinky Thompson who also dedicated his life to bettering the life of Hawaii’s keiki.
Also “Lacy” could be found on the canoe, for Hawaii astronaut Lacy Veach who, with Pinky, envisioned Hokulea sailing around the world in the name of caring for earth.
And in the front, on a plaque, Eddie Aikau who laid down his life for his friends and Hokulea.
It is said they sail in the wake of their ancestors, but they sail with them as well.