HONOLULU (KHON2) — The voyaging canoes Hokulea and Hikianalia departed Hilo on Monday, April 18 after waiting almost a week for the best weather conditions for their 2500-mile journey.

On day one, before leaving Honolulu for Hilo, the crew had a COVID-19 scare, which delayed their departing time by four hours on Monday, April 11.

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According to the Polynesian Voyaging Society, this deep-sea leg is designed to train the crew, who will become the captains and navigators leading the eventual voyage throughout the Pacific next year.

Both voyaging canoes are expected to reach Tahiti in about 20 days and are scheduled to return to Oahu on June 15.

To track their journey go to Wa’a Honua’s website.