Hokule`a, Hikianalia Being Readied for Worldwide Trip
Crews of the voyaging canoes Hokule`a and Hikianalia were busy Tuesday afternoon readying the vessels for their upcoming worldwide trip.
The canoes arrived in Hilo Tuesday, and are moored in Radio Bay inside the Hilo Bay breakwater.
The voyage called “Malama Honua,” or “Care for the Earth,” is tentatively set to begin Saturday, May 24.
The first stop on the three-year voyage will be Tahiti.
Launched in 1975 by the Polynesian Voyaging Society, the Hokule`a has sailed more than 140,000 nautical miles in five previous trips around the Pacific.
This will be the society’s most ambitious journey so far, with visits planned for 85 ports and at least 25 countries while traveling some 47,000 nautical miles.
On this trip, the Hokule`a will be accompanied by Hikianalia.
Hikianalia has the same basic style of ancient double-hulled voyaging canoes but also features high-tech assistance in the form of a solar-powered electrical system for lights, communication and back-up motors.
It has a small cabin on its deck which will allow the Hawaiian broadcast company `Oiwi TV to provide the voyaging society with photos and live video feeds through a satellite dish to keep in touch with schoolchildren and family back home.
The communication capacity will allow the world to follow the voyage via Google Maps through the blog section of the Hokule`a website.
The website also provides information on the crew of both vessels.
The two canoes will keep in touch with each other through Wi-Fi antennas on each vessel.
***Updated Thursday, May 22.***