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Hokule’a, Hikianalia prepping for Friday departure for Tahiti

  • CESAR LAURE / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER
    The crew of the Hokule'a waved goodbye as they departed Radio Bay in Hilo on Friday.
  • CESAR LAURE / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER
    Hokule'a and Hikianalia took a practice run around Hilo Bay on Wednesday.
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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.

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