How do you get Hokulea into the Ala Wai?


Hokulea’s homecoming and celebrations may be behind us, but her job and the mission of Malama Honua march on. In fact, it was an eventful morning for Hokulea.

Just one day after completing her worldwide voyage, Hokulea had to travel her shortest leg into the Ala Wai Canal. Not an easy task.

Hokulea is now docked just outside the Hawaii Convention Center.

She has been in the Ala Wai before, but this is the first time the public will get a chance to tour the historical canoe.

A time-lapse video shows how crews prepared to move Hokulea from Magic Island to the Ala Wai Canal.

Dozens worked to slowly bring down the first mast and then the second mast followed not long after.

Nainoa Thompson said Hokulea was in the Ala Wai back in 2000.

“Moving the canoe into the Ala Wai 17 years later, it becomes the story of a changing world. We had to call the university and say give us the measurements. How much sea level rising has taken place in 17 years and it did,” Thompson explains.

There were an estimated 65-80 people on the canoe early Sunday morning

“To push Hokulea’s hulls down one inch, it takes 2,000 pounds… We were thinking we needed to get 5 inches and we needed 10,000 pounds on the canoe. So that was the biggest crew ever on Hokulea today,” Thompson said.

Sunday was the first time that the public could actually get on board Hokulea for a tour since the worldwide voyage.

Thompson reflected on the voyage and says he’s overwhelmed by the support.

“Yesterday was… it’s been a long voyage you know. Out there and some days on your knees, you know, somedays questioning why you’re doing this. Is it worth the risk?” Thompson said. “I didn’t forecast the emotion. I didn’t forecast the amount of people that seemed to be so inspired in such a powerfully, amazing good way. I just didn’t expect it.”

Hokulea crew members said homecoming is bittersweet

“While there’s joy, there’s also sadness because it’s over and you don’t want it to be over, you want to keep going,” crew member Billy Richards said.

If you missed it today, you still have time to get a tour of Hokulea and check out all of the featured exhibits tomorrow and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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