Hokulea departs Rapa Nui, sails for Pitcairn Island and Tahiti

Video still courtesy Polynesian Voyaging Society/Oiwi TV

After two years, Hokulea is again sailing the waters of Polynesia, bringing her closer to her Hawaii home.

The voyaging canoe departed Rapa Nui, or Easter Island, Friday following a departure ceremony.

“I’m very excited to start this voyage,” said captain Russell Amimoto, “and at the same time, very sad to be leaving Rapa Nui.”

Hokulea’s crew is being captained and navigated by the younger generation, with Pwo navigator Bruce Blankenfeld on board as mentor. This crew includes three apprentice navigators will guide the canoe ultimately to Tahiti, with a first stop along the way at Pitcairn Island.

“Right now, the sun is directly overhead, and we’re using the wind to help to guide us to our next destination about 10 days from now,” said apprentice navigator Kaleo Wong.

It will be the first time Hokulea has returned to Pitcairn Island in 18 years. Following that stopover, the voyaging canoe will head to the Marquesas Islands and Tahiti in mid-April.

Hokulea is scheduled to arrive back home at Magic Island on June 17.

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