Hokule'a sails again
The 7,000-mile journey will link Micronesia to Japan as a warm-up to New Zealand
NEXT YEAR, Hokule'a will not only sail more than 7,000 miles to Micronesia and Japan, but will serve as "a perfect opportunity" to prepare the leadership for a five-canoe trip to New Zealand in three years.
Nainoa Thompson, Polynesian Voyaging Society president and Hokule'a navigator, said yesterday the Hokule'a's crew would range from a dozen to as many as 20 people during "the short voyages" in Micronesia, giving various members experience.
"There will be six leadership changes," Thompson said.
STAR-BULLETIN / 1987
Hokule'a ended a historic two-year Pacific voyage when it sailed into Kualoa Beach in May 1987. CLICK FOR LARGE
The voyaging canoe, which will leave Hawaii for Majuro on Jan. 6, has two goals, said Thompson: The Japanese leg celebrates the integration of diverse cultures, and the Micronesian trip pays tribute to Mau Piailug, who helped revive traditional voyaging practices.
Joining the Hokule'a on the 22-day, 2,200-mile trip from Kawaihae on the Big Island to Micronesia will be the 57-foot canoe Maisu, which will be a gift to "Papa Mau." The Maisu is being built by Na Kalai Waa Moku o Hawaii.
Chadd Paishon, skipper of the voyaging canoe Makalii, said the Maisu would continue to be used as a teaching vessel in Micronesia. He said $50,000 is still needed to finish the Maisu, which has cost $300,000 so far.
The Micronesian leg of the voyage will run from Jan. 28 through March 24 and include a stop at Satawal -- Papa Mau's home in the Caroline Islands of the Federated States of Micronesia. Papa Mau navigated Hokule'a's first voyage to Tahiti in 1976.
Thompson will then take the Hokule'a from Palau to Okinawa -- one of eight areas in Japan where Hawaii's immigrant population originates. The 1,200-mile northern trek will begin on March 24 and take 14 days.
Other stops in Japan include the port cities of Uto in Kumamoto; Nagasaki; Fukuoka; Yamaguchi; Hiroshima; Uwajima; and Yokohama. At Uwajima, the Hokule'a and its crew will visit the fishing school that is the home of the teaching vessel Ehime Maru.
The Hokule'a was one of the escort vessels used when victims' families visited the watery grave site of Japanese schoolchildren killed when the first Ehime Maru was hit and sunk by the submarine USS Greeneville off Diamond Head in 2001.
"We go in the steps of Kalakaua," Thompson said, referring to King David Kalakaua, the first Hawaiian leader to meet with Japanese Emperor Meiji in 1880, and open Hawaii to Japanese workers.
This part of the voyage is a partnership with the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, the Japan-America Society of Hawaii, United Japanese Society, Japanese Consul General and Kenjin Kai.
During the Micronesian part of the voyage, doctors and nurses will stop at Majuro, Ponape, Chuuk, Satawal, Yap and Palau. A integral part of the Micronesia legs is a health initiate involving members of the Aloha Medical Mission, Oceania Community Health, Papa Ola Lokahi, University of Hawaii Medical School and Pacific Basin Medical Association.
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Nainoa Thompson stood yesterday between two hulls of the voyaging canoe Hokule'a, which is dry-docked at the Honolulu Community College's Marine Education Training Center on Sand Island. CLICK FOR LARGE
Other partners in the voyage are the Department of Education, Pacific Resources for Education and Learning, Kapiolani Community College, Honolulu Community College's Marine Education Training Center, Myron Thompson Academy and Alu Like. High school students from Hawaii, Micronesia and Japan will travel on selected legs.
The Polynesia Voyaging Society will maintain a Web site (pvs.hawaii.org) -- to contain a tracking map, navigation and weather information, and cultural and environmental curriculum -- and a Web log (pvshawaii.squarespace.com).
Thompson said the Office of Hawaiian Affairs gave the Polynesian Voyaging Society $140,000 last year to prepare and train the crews. Other corporate sponsors include Hawaii Tourism Japan, Japan Airlines, NYK Line, Yanmar Marine, HMSA, Island Insurance Cos. and Chemi-Pure Termite and Pest Control.
Thompson estimates that the Polynesian Voyaging Society still needs another $150,00 to cover the costs of the 85-day voyage.