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Voyaging canoes off on next leg of journey

With a fresh crew aboard, the Hokule‘a and Hikianalia are headed to Samoa

By Marcel Honoré

POSTED:


After spending more than two weeks reconnecting with extended ohana on Tahiti, crews of Hokule‘a and Hikianalia have resumed their ambitious voyage to spread aloha across the globe via canoe.

The two Hawaiian voyaging waa (canoes) left the fishing village of Tautira on Tahiti's northeastern shore Wednesday morning for the neighboring island of Moorea, launching the second leg of the Polynesian Voyaging Society's Malama Honua ("Care for Our Earth") worldwide voyage.

A fresh crew of volunteer sailors flew from Hawaii to Tahiti last week to relieve most of the 29 crew who brought Hokule‘a to French Polynesia from Hilo in its fastest time yet, taking 17 days to reach the distant atoll of Rangiroa.

The new crew aboard will guide Hokule‘a and Hikianalia, the voyage's new science and safety escort vessel, to Samoa by way of the Society and Cook islands.

During the first leg, apprentice navigators used only the wind, waves, celestial bodies and natural surroundings to navigate.

"Physically, emotionally, mentally … I did better than I first thought I was going to be doing," Hana native Nokua Konohia-Lind said Wednesday, having recently returned to Oahu after crewing Hikianalia for his first international voyage.

Konohia-Lind said he felt the greatest challenge of this most recent voyage's first leg was meshing all the different crew personalities that had to work together to succeed while confined to close quarters.

"I feel as if we did great as a whole — really bettered ourselves as a whole, as a team, as an ohana waa (canoe family). We really did improve our skills," he said.

This new leg will be a markedly different sail from the first. Malama Honua's first leg was essentially a straight shot across open ocean to Tahiti, in which the crew went more than two weeks without coming anywhere near land.

The trip to Samoa, by contrast, will feature various stops as they sail through the Societies and the Cooks before reaching the end of the leg.

That might sound easier, but this latest leg will pre­sent its own mix of challenges and could prove to be just as difficult as the Tahiti leg.

"There's reefs, there's other things you need to be concerned about," Oahu-based Marine Education and Training Center Director Bob Per­kins said Thursday. "When you're going through the Society Islands and the Cooks, (the worry is) you don't hit something on the way."

After the Samoa leg wraps up, Perkins is slated to captain Hikianalia on the next couple of legs.

Pwo (master) navigator Chadd Cody Onohi Paishon told the new Hokule‘a crew while on deck before they left, in a video provided by Oiwi TV, "The legs that we go to land more is probably the more trickier legs because you get more opportunity for get sick."

Paishon is captaining the canoe to Samoa, relieving fellow pwo navigator and PVS President Nainoa Thompson. Pwo navigator Kalepa Baybayan, who was second in command on Hokule‘a under Thompson, is captaining Hikianalia.

After leaving Hilo in late May, apprentice navigators aboard Hokule‘a for the Tahiti trip endured strong wind and bouts of sickness while aboard — yet they accurately guided the waa and made landfall in Rangiroa, an atoll north of Tahiti.

Once in Tahiti, the first leg's crew attended cultural dance performances, journeyed to sacred sites on the island, spoke with local students and helped get the canoes ready for the next leg.

In a special ceremony, Thompson was also made a Commander in the Order of Tahiti Nui, which local news outlet La Depeche described as "the highest honor of the country."

Hokule‘a made its first, historic voyage to Tahiti nearly 40 years ago, also without the use of a compass or other modern navigation tools. Four years later Thompson became the first Native Hawaiian in centuries to navigate a voyaging canoe to Tahiti using only those ancestral wayfinding techniques.

Konohia-Lind said the hardest part of his recent journey was leaving it behind.

"We made so (many) connections in this period. Leaving them behind is kind of like when you're leaving for college, you know?"

But for the voyage's latest crew members, the journey is just beginning.

"Only thing we got to think about now is we got to get to Samoa," Paishon told his crew before leaving. "Just keep your head on the canoe. One island at a time."






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cojef wrote:
Experience put to use by revisiting previous destinations spreading much "Aloha".
on July 12,2014 | 02:34AM
Mythman wrote:
"Spreading aloha"? How do you spread something that was made up by the Rev Aikaka, namely the Aloha Spirit, which is our missionary version, in Hawaiian, of Christian brotherly love? Along with malama aina, which morphed into malama the ocean, these are all constructs of Colonial occupation by settlers from back West and from Asia. Astute readers will want to check this out - Jean Baudrillard's essay Simulacra and Simulation: http://www.bconradwilliams.com/files/7313/9690/1991/Baudrillard-Jean-Simulacra-And-Simulation2.pdf
on July 12,2014 | 06:14AM
kaiakea wrote:
Aloha in Hawaiian, or brotherly love in English, or philia in Greek, in which everyone had to do their part for the good of the greater whole so all prospered, was embedded in Ancient Hawaiian Society prior to Western and Asian contact. , Developing and practicing this in a place with a limited resource base was a necessity. It is also true that those who did not do their duty eventually faced serious consequences, even the high chiefs and the gods. A multitude of stories and commentaries in the oral traditions attest to the fact that every party was responsible to every other party.
on July 12,2014 | 07:26AM
Mythman wrote:
And was it known as "the aloha spirit"? Language is malleable, one can form it into any configuration to support a meaning desired, as you have just done.
on July 12,2014 | 08:20AM
mulen wrote:
"Aloha" riding on wind and waves touches one, spreads to all. Malama Honua!
on July 12,2014 | 10:57AM
kaiakea wrote:
It was not known as the aloha spirit, was referred to by other terms, but the idea is the same. And I have not made something up, I have instead spent the time reading and studying the oral traditions which support my statement. Maybe you should try the same instead of citing a person who may or may not have gone to the sources from which to draw conclusions.
on July 12,2014 | 04:14PM
CriticalReader wrote:
Isn't Samoa the primary ancestral land of Native Hawaiians?
on July 12,2014 | 11:40AM
mulen wrote:
Actually, somewhere near the "Yellow River". If you believe in linguistics and maternal DNA studies.
on July 13,2014 | 02:28PM
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