Hokule‘a to set historic first sail to Pearl Harbor

This file photo shows the Hokule’a returning to Hawaii after an around-the-world journey last year. The Hokuke’a will sail to Pearl Harbor tomorrow. File photos by MC3 Justin Pacheco

Polynesian Voyaging Society

For the first time in Hokule‘a’s 42-year history, the legendary canoe will sail into the waters of Pearl Harbor and visit the Puuloa region. The crew will be welcomed at Rainbow Bay Marina on Saturday, Feb. 10 at 10 a.m. by the Puuloa community and U.S. Navy who are hosting the canoe.

The week-long engagement to follow will include school visits, public dockside tours and a crew talk story event. As part of the Mahalo, Hawaii Sail, the purpose of Hokule‘a’s visit is to bring the canoe to more of Hawaii’s children, honor Pearl Harbor’s ancient culture and history, and to learn about the efforts to restore the area’s cultural sites including Loko Paaiau fishpond.

“We welcome the navigators of Hokule‘a. Many are military veterans or have strong family ties to our armed forces,” said Rear Adm. Brian Fort, commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific.

“I have great respect for the courageous navigators of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and for the values they live by: love of the ocean, care for a sustainable environment, appreciation of history and heritage, and commitment to educating the next generation. And I join with the rest of our community in thanking the navigators for sharing their time, talents and wisdom with us and our neighbors at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.”

When Hokule‘a enters the waters of Pearl Harbor for the first time on Saturday morning, the crew will pay respects as Hokule‘a sails by significant cultural and historical sites including Halealoha Halemau (Fort Kamehameha Reburial Platform), USS Nevada, Arizona Memorial, Battleship Missouri, Ford Island, USS Utah, and Loko Paaiau fishpond before making the arrival at Rainbow Bay Marina. The crew also will spend a day working with the restoration team at Loko Paaiau fishpond on Feb. 17.

The Loko Paaiau fishpond, located at McGrew Point Navy housing, is one of only three fishponds out of an original 22 in the Puuloa area which are still relatively intact. In September 2014, the Navy invited members of the local Hawaiian civic clubs and Aiea community members to begin work on restoring the historic fishpond.

“We want to celebrate this place and the movement taking place by the Puuloa community and the Navy to restore the Native Hawaiian history, sites and cultural identity of Pearl Harbor,” said Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society. “We hope Hokule‘a’s visit will open the doors for our young people to learn about the extraordinary history and culture of this very-special, sacred place,” he said.

More than 1,000 school children are scheduled to visit Hokule‘a and participate in educational activities during its stop at Puuloa.

Hokule‘a will be greeted at Rainbow Bay Marina with traditional Hawaiian protocol and a military welcome. The event is open to the public and $1 parking will be available at Aloha Stadium. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and water. Hokule‘a will be open for public dockside canoe tours on Sunday, Feb. 11 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Monday, Feb. 12 through Friday, Feb. 16 from 3 to 5 p.m.

On Thursday, Feb. 15 from 5 to 7 p.m., the public is also welcome to attend a Hokule‘a “talk story” event featuring crew and community members who will discuss the significance of Hokule‘a’s visit to the Puuloa to Ewa region.

“We want to thank the Puuloa community, Alii Pauahi Hawaiian Civic Club, Kapolei Hawaiian Civic Club, Pearl Harbor Hawaiian Civic Club, the U.S. Navy and Kamehameha Schools Ewa Region for inviting Hokule‘a to visit Puuloa to learn more about the great work and rich history in this cultural location and allowing us the opportunity to connect with more schools in this region,” Thompson said.

“Hokule‘a’s visit to Puuloa fills our hearts with profound gratitude and love,” said Winston Kalina Lum, Sr., Alii Pauahi Hawaiian Civic Club board member and genealogical descendant of the early inhabitants of Aiea, Kalauao and Keehi. “It has been hundreds of years since a voyaging canoe last landed on our shores. As our community works together to preserve our cultural sites and educate our children, the canoe’s presence reminds us that we, too, can bring peace and Aloha to the planet,” he said.

For more information, visit www.hokulea.com.

About Hokule‘a

A symbol of cultural revival, the history of Hokule‘a is also being shared on this journey to inspire other indigenous cultures. This replica of an ancient Polynesian voyaging canoe was built 40 years ago and revitalized voyaging and navigation traditions throughout the Pacific. The canoe’s twin hulls allow her to handle large ocean swells and recover easily in the troughs of waves, and her triangular canvas sails can harness winds up to 20 knots. Hokule‘a first set out on the Pacific Ocean in 1975. Through the revival of the traditional art and science of wayfinding-navigating the sea guided by nature using the ocean swells, stars, and wind, Hokule‘a sparked a Hawaiian cultural renaissance and has reawakened the world’s sense of pride and strength as voyagers charting a course for our Island Earth. PVS

Schedule of events:

Hokule‘a arrival ceremony


Feb. 10, 10 a.m.
at Rainbow Bay Marina
 Hokule‘a and the crew will arrive and be greeted with Hawaiian cultural protocol followed by a military welcome.

Public open house tours of Hokule‘a

Feb. 11, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Rainbow Bay Marina.
Feb. 12 through 16, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Hokule‘a crew “Talk Story”
(Sponsored by Kamehameha Schools Ewa region)

Feb. 15, 5 to 7 p.m.
at Rainbow Bay Marina Pavilion.
Meet crew and community members who will discuss the significance of Hokule‘a’s visit to the Puuloa to Ewa region.

Hokule‘a departs Rainbow Bay Marina

Feb. 17, 7 a.m.

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