Hokule’a and its escort vessel, Hikianalia, are poised to leave Hilo sometime Friday morning, according to Polynesian Voyaging Society officials.
The two voyaging canoes have been docked at Palekai, also known as Radio Bay, in an industrial zone in Hilo for about 10 days as crew members make final preparations and await the weather and winds needed to sail for Tahiti.
The trip will mark the first international leg of Malama Honua ("Care for Our Earth") worldwide voyage.
Earlier this week, Hokule ‘a Captain Nainoa Thompson called the weather off Hawaii "highly unusual," resembling what sailors typically see during the winter months. The canoes need stable winds from the northeast that will allow them to sail well to the east of the islands, before turning south for Tahiti.