Hokule‘a voyage shines bright in new book
“Malama Honua: Hokule‘a — A Voyage of Hope,” by Jennifer Allen, includes color photos and thoughtful looks at stops on the voyage and waters in between, plus a capsule history of the Hokule‘a.
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In June, racing ahead of a big south swell, the majestic double-hulled canoe Hokule‘a sailed safely to harbor in Honolulu, ending its three-year voyage around the world, navigating, as always since its 1976 maiden crossing to Tahiti, exclusively with traditional wayfinding techniques based on waves, winds, currents, birds, clouds and, most of all, the stars.
The voyage was called Malama Honua, care for the earth.
As Nainoa Thompson, Hokule‘a’s first Native Hawaiian navigator, reflects in a gorgeous new book, “Malama Honua: Hokule‘a — A Voyage of Hope,” by Jennifer Allen (Patagonia, 352 pages, $60), the traditional vessel was launched by the Polynesian Voyaging Society with a mission of healing the Hawaiian people. In the intervening years, that has naturally evolved into a mission to heal the planet by connecting with people in other lands and finding ways we can all act locally to save the environment of our shared globe.
In the book’s foreword, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu calls Malama Honua “a testimony to the human spirit — that human beings can be so courageous, that human beings can be so inventive that they are ready to sail around the world to share the message of the peace of sustainable living.”
The color photographs by John Bilderback, a North Shore resident, range from epic seascapes to illuminating personal moments. The reminiscences of crew members and their families who stayed home, along with local perspectives and eco-solutions from South Africa, Rapa Nui, Australia, Cuba, New York and other ports of call, are captured in oral histories and author Allen’s experienced reporting.
To have, in one photo-rich volume, such thoughtful looks at stops on a voyage and the waters in between, plus a capsule history of the Hokule‘a, is deeply satisfying and moving. It’s a grand and crucial adventure, and we’re all on board.
Find “Malama Honua: Hokule‘a — A Voyage of Hope” at Patagonia stores and patagonia.com, with a portion of sales being donated to PVS. Meet Allen, Bilderback and crew members at 6 p.m. Oct 20 at the Patagonia store at 940 Auahi St.