HONOLULU (KHON2) — Five young Hōkūleʻa navigators training on the “navigating the kupuna islands” voyage to Papahānaumokuākea successfully found Nihoa Sunday morning. The voyagers were approximately 35 miles out when they sighted the island.
The voyaging canoes left Oahu shortly after 4 p.m. on Friday, June 18, to embark on a two-week training sail that would test the young navigators and crew on five challenging deep-ocean legs to the French Frigate Shoals.
After departing sand island, Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia made their way to Kaena Point and then crossed the Kaʻieʻie Waho Channel (Kauaʻi channel) between Oʻahu and Kauaʻi at an average speed of seven knots. The crew had clear skies and stars were visible to help guide their way.
According to the Polynesian Voyaging Society, the crew observed various signs from nature including bioluminescence, lightning and many Manu o Ku.
From Kauaʻi, the crew headed for Niʻihau. On Saturday evening, the canoes positioned themselves north of Niʻihau and Lehua to find Nihoa, which they sighted at 8:30 a.m. Sunday morning.
The next leg for the young navigators will be from Nihoa to Mokumanamana, a journey the Polynesian Voyaging Society calls the most challenging navigational test.