Hokulea completes journey through Panama Canal after brief delay

Photo: Polynesian Voyaging Society/Oiwi TV

After two days of transit, the famed voyaging canoe Hokulea successfully completed her journey through the Panama Canal.

The historic crossing was delayed a day due to unforeseen repairs being performed on the east lane of the canal.

Hokulea began the journey from Colon on Tuesday, Jan. 10, and reached the city of Balboa on Wednesday, Jan. 11.

The canoe went through three sets of locks on the man-made waterway, mooring in Lake Gatun for a night, before re-entering the Pacific Ocean for the first time in nearly two years.

Because Hokulea has no engines, and because of the turbulence and currents within the canal, the canoe was safely towed by a powerful work vessel, DWS Linda, through the canal.


“It’ll surely be a sight to see Hokulea travel through the Panama Canal,” said pwo navigator and Hokulea captain Bruce Blankenfeld before their departure. “Like Hokulea, the Panama Canal brings international communities together and serves as a bridge between the Atlantic and the Pacific.”

Crewmembers moored the double-hulled canoe at Balboa Yacht Club and will remain docked in Balboa for about seven days. They will work alongside indigenous communities and organizations to offer culturally relevant maritime activities to the Panamanian public.

The canoe will also undergo necessary assessment and preparations before setting sail to the Galapagos Islands, Rapa Nui and French Polynesia.

Hokulea’s Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage concludes with a historic homecoming at Magic Island on June 17.

Photo: Polynesian Voyaging Society/Oiwi TV
Photo: Polynesian Voyaging Society/Oiwi TV

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