About 300 people, including chiefs from the Pamunkey Indian tribe, Mattaponi tribe and Nottway Indian tribe of Virginia greeted the crew of the Hokule‘a as the Pacific voyaging canoe made a historic stop in Jamestown, Va., on Sunday.
As they did upon their arrival in Florida weeks ago, the crew arrived in Jamestown heralded by the blowing of a conch shell and a chant to indigenous tribes asking permission to enter the area.
On Saturday the canoe arrived at Newport News and docked at the James River Bridge Fishing Pier. There the crew shared lessons on Polynesian voyaging and the importance of malama honua (caring for the earth) as part of an Earth Day celebration organized by the Mariners’ Museum and Park.
The canoe will remain docked at Yorktown until May 7 as the crew interacts with the community at planned educational events. The itinerary includes a crew lecture at the Mariners’ Museum on Thursday and a home-school community day on Friday. The latter event will include hands-on activities that encourage participants to explore the ways Polynesians navigated the seas and interacted with the ocean.
“We greatly appreciate the efforts of our partners at the Mariners’ Museum and Yorktown, who have been planning for months to work Hokule‘a’s visit into their programming,” said Bruce Blankenfeld, captain and master navigator. “As a result, this engagement will allow us to reach and interact with hundreds of students, teachers and other members of this part of Virginia.”
Since leaving Hawaii on the “Malama Honua” worldwide voyage, the Hokule‘a has traveled more than 23,000 nautical miles, making stops in 12 countries and 55 ports.