Hōkūleʻa Crew Leaves for Tahiti to Prepare for Final Leg

May 8, 2017

The crew for the next part of the voyage of the Hōkūleʻa left Honolulu on Saturday afternoon for Tahiti. Both the canoes and crews are preparing for the final leg of the worldwide journey. We talked with Hōkūleʻa’s navigator– Kaʻiulani Murphy – before the crew left Honolulu.

For this leg, there’s one main constellation that is important for us to know that we’re in the latitude of Hawaii. And that’s Hānaiakamalama, or the Southern Cross. So since we knew we were going to do this voyage, we’ve been kind of trying to check that out as much as possible. So a bunch of us, crew members, made a trip to the island of Kahoʻolawe to see the Southern Cross when it’s upright from there. We also went to Kalai or South Point on Hawaii Island, to see the Southern Cross upright there. And then just observing as much we can from our own islands as well. It’s really the best clue in the stars for us to know that we’re in our own home latitude.

We are getting a lot of feedback that this is really a special leg coming home. And definitely, I always feel like coming home is the most important part of any voyage because we definitely want to be able to go out and explore. And this being the longest voyage of really 3 years travelling around the honua, around our world, it’s special to us that we get to have this opportunity to bring her home. So definitely a lot of excitement just for the fact that we’ll be able to spend time on the ocean together. And then I think it’s multiplied because of this particular route that we get to do. Also this feeling of sailing in the wake of our kupuna, those people that had they not come here we wouldn’t have been here. Like we’re doing a voyage that’s a familiar one, even if we’ve never done it ourselves, but because it has been done thousands of years ago we’re re-learning it in modern times.

Listen to the extended conversation:

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