Hōkūleʻa, Hikianalia to embark on Papahānaumokuākea 2-week training voyage

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Imagine being in the middle of the ocean and the only small island around is a great distance away. 

What kind of challenge would that be? 

Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia will leave on Friday, June 18, for a training voyage to prepare them for the 2022 voyage around the Pacific Ocean that is called the Moananuiākea Voyage.

KHON2 met with one of the navigators, Bruce Blankenfeld, to find out more.

What kind of training will the crews be engaging with?

“So the training we’re doing is pretty much the beginning stages of seamanship, learning about the wa’a and its performance and handling, a little bit of navigation and the rudiments of it and putting it all together and see how it works, and then a lot of culture also about all those islands up there and just learning and sharing,” says Blankenfeld.

The theme of this training voyaging is “Navigating the Kupuna Islands.” 

What does that mean, what is attention being brought to?

“That’s a great question.  In 2004, that was the first time Hōkūleʻa sailed up to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, Papahanaumokuākea, and it just opened up a whole world,” says Blankenfeld.  “So, its revisiting those islands.  Kupuna islands meaning that these are islands that were visited ancestrally.”

What is the goal with the Moananuiākea Voyage?

“So, starting next year, the larger voyage Moananuiākea, the goal is learning, the goal is discovery and it’s going to be about education,” says Blankenfeld. “It’s going to be about indigenous knowledge, expanding our based of new young leadership, navigators and captains aboard both of these wa’a, and it’s just a journey of expansion, awareness and education and understanding of our shared space, the Pacific ocean.”

The Moananuiākea Voyage, the one circumnavigating the Pacific, will launch in May 2022. 

For more information about this and everything Hōkūleʻa, click here.

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