Hawaii voyaging canoes expected to depart Maui waters

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia are expected to depart from waters off Lahaina during the evening of Saturday, May 22, after more than seven days of delay due to dangerous conditions in the ʻAlenuihāhā Channel.

Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia arrived in Maui on Thursday, May 13.

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Navigator and Polynesian Voyaging Society president Nainoa Thompson says the training expedition was a success, despite the delay.

“Nature is opening the gateway to go.  The crew has been patient.  It’s time to go. Although our intent was to take the crew into the storm of the doldrums, mother nature had other plans.  We still had a robust training nonetheless, we’ll still hit Moananuiākea, and now the final exam for this crew will be crossing the Alenuihaha at night (upon their return), the second roughest channel in the world.”

Nainoa Thompson, navigator and Polynesian Voyaging Society president

The canoes are slated to sail to the southeastern point of Maui around 11 p.m. Saturday before crossing the ʻAlenuihāhā Channel just prior to sunrise on Sunday, May 23.

The Polynesian Voyaging Society hopes to have 120 new crew trained by the end of summer 2020 to prepare for 2022s circumnavigation of the Pacific Ocean.

Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia are scheduled to arrive back in Oahu by Friday, May 28.

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