Friday, October 18, 2013

Polynesian Voyaging Society's Hōkūle‘a visits HIMB

Hōkūlea in Kahana Bay 2013. Image by M. Heckman
A couple of Sunday's ago, on October 13th, the Hōkūlea pulled in to visit Moku o Lo'e. During their stay, the crew took time to meet with HIMBers to talk story, tour labs, share their adventure, and even invited students, staff, friends, and family aboard the  Hōkūlea.
Hokulea coming into HIMB 2013. Image by M. Heckman
HIMB's Mark Heckman was given the opportunity to sail with the crew as they traveled from Kahana Bay.

From Mark:
"We started just after noon and as is typical of the windward side, a clear calm morning had progressed to clouds. We had a nice transit, including our usual blessing of rain, which cleared in the late afternoon as we came into Kane'ohe Bay. It was wonderful to see the Hōkūlea at HIMB again. We had tours, time to visit, and even share music. The crew gave a presentation on Monday and talked with our scientists and students. On Wednesday morning as I came in and saw the Hōkūlea sailing away it was sad and wonderful at the same time. Sad that they would not be here, wonderful that they are going on through the islands and around the world. The Hōkūlea brought us new ideas, possibilities, and even some plantings that came from Kahana - some ti and sugarcane. They will go into our island gardens. We sent them off with coconuts, possibly ancestors of the ones Princess Puahi Bishop planted, to take to the next folks that need them - seemed fitting.
Hōkūlea at Moku o Lo'e, with Robert Tangaro and HIMB grad students


Talking with the crew was a highly intriguing and educational.  I incorrectly assumed that the first thing the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) looks for in a crew member is sailing experience.  More important than seamanship, though, is the ability to get along with the rest of the crew.  After considering the tight living quarters that twelve people would share for extended periods of time, it seemed like common sense. In rough seas, unity will keep you afloat. 
Hōkūlea at HIMB 2013. Image by M. Heckman
Being aboard was a moving experience, especially when considering what the Hōkūlea represents, the trials it has been through, and the inspiring journey it will soon undertake.  In the spring of 2014, the Hōkūlea accompanied by her sister vessel, the Hikianalia, will embark on a voyage around the world.  You can find the awe inspiring sail plan by visiting their website at  You can also learn about the rich history on the Hōkūlea at



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