Hokule‘a delays
voyage to NW islands

A planned voyage to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands by the sailing canoe Hokule'a set to begin today has been postponed until May, the Polynesian Voyaging Society announced yesterday.

The decision was made after the Hawaiian sailing canoe's escort vessel, the Excaliper, broke its main mast Wednesday during sea trials off Ko Olina.

Repairs to the Excaliper and subsequent sea trials would delay the seven-week expedition into a period of unpredictable fall weather, said society President Pat Duarte.

"Obviously, we are very disappointed with this incident -- a lot of people have put in many hours in preparation for our launch," said Nainoa Thompson, who was to captain the 12-member crew for the journey. "But we have to always respect the ocean and make plans according to her timetable, not ours. The safety of the crew aboard the Hokule'a and the escort boat is of paramount importance, and we cannot compromise that."

Once Hurricane Jimena passes the islands next week as has been forecasted, there is a chance that the Hokule'a will make a shorter voyage to Nihoa and Mokumana in September, taking cultural practitioners to "make cultural reconnection to those islands," Duarte said.

"Navigating Change" educational programs that would have been conducted from the Hokule'a at the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands will be revised to fit shorter sails around the main Hawaiian Islands, Duarte said.

"KidScience with Patty Miller" will still air a three-show series on "Navigating Change: Expedition to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands" 8-9 a.m. Sept. 18 and 25 and Oct. 2 on KHET. For updated information, go to


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