HONOULU (KHON2) — After eight days of training and exploring the islands and waters of Papahānaumokuākea, the crews of Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia have returned to Oahu.
The voyaging canoes departed Oahu for a two-week training sail to the Marine National Monument on Friday, June 18. The “Navigating the Kupuna Islands” Training Voyage is the second in a series of deep-sea training sails to prepare crew for the Moananuiākea Voyage, a circumnavigation of the Pacific scheduled to launch in May 2022.
The 42-month, 41,000 mile journey will cover 46 countries and archipelagoes, nearly 100 indigenous territories and 345 ports. The Polynesian Voyaging Society said the voyage will focus on the vital importance of oceans, nature and indigenous knowledge.
June’s voyage took the canoes to Nihoa, Mokumanamana and Lalo (French Frigate Shoals) so the young navigators could be trained in voyaging and learn about the cultural and ecological significance of these sacred places.
While surveying coral reefs on Wednesday, June 23, crew members discovered two large anchors, 20-feet underwater in Lalo, which are the French Frigate Shoals.
Although not verified, they believe it’s possibly part of a whaling ship that sank in the 1800’s. Confirmation of the discovery could take years, but the crews is already calling the site Hikianalia Reef.
The crew made their grand return to the Marine Education Training Center on Oahu’s Sand Island on Sunday, June 27.