Bidding Honolulu aloha three years ago, the crew of a 62-foot-long canoe will be saying it again in Oahu, this time in greeting.
Dubbed the Hōkūleʻa, the double-hulled Polynesian vessel is homeward bound from a journey around the globe. The canoe visited more than 150 ports spread across 19 countries and covered more than 40,000 nautical miles during the course of its voyage, all in the name of promoting environmental consciousness and sustainability.
But what really makes Hōkūle‘a’s homecoming a true feat is how the crew made it happen.
Taking direction from Polynesian Voyaging Society president Nainoa Thompson (the main organizer of the trip) the crew used the art of “wayfinding” to navigate, meaning they relied on the stars, the direction of waves and the flight of seabirds to guide their path instead of a GPS.
The 17-member rotating company also survived as naturally as they could, often relying on fish they caught themselves and rainwater for sustenance, according to Scientific American.
As epic as the trip was, when Hōkūle‘a arrives on Saturday, she’ll be a sight for sore eyes.
“Watching Hōkūle‘a crest the waves of Oahu’s south shore as she returns home, much like the canoes of our ancestors, will be a once in a lifetime experience,” Thompson said. “We are overwhelmed with emotion at all we have accomplished during this historic voyage and we look forward to setting sail on the next chapter together.”
If any crew spots open up, we’ll let you know.