Hokule‘a ends statewide tour with promise of new voyage
A large crowd lined the Ala Wai Promenade Friday morning to greet the Hokule‘a voyaging canoe at the final stop of its 20-month statewide sail.
Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser!
You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription.
Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story.
A large crowd lined the Ala Wai Promenade Friday morning to greet the Hokule‘a voyaging canoe at the final stop of its 20-month statewide sail. The double-hulled vessel, packed with crew members and approximately 70 students, was welcomed with oli (chant), maile lei and a hula performance when it arrived at a floating dock behind the Hawai‘i Convention Center.
The final stop in the Mahalo, Hawai‘i sail tour was designed to focus attention on Ala Wai watershed restoration efforts by students, community organizations and businesses. More than 150 people attended the ceremony that included Gov. David Ige, Maui Mayor Michael Victorino, Republic of Palau President Thomas “Tommy” Remengesau and other guests.
Students from ‘Iolani School, Halau Ku Mana Public Charter School, The School for Examining Essential Questions of Sustainability (SEEQS), Voyager Public Charter School, Punahou School, Kaimuki High School, Mid-Pacific Institute, Maryknoll School and Anuenue School shared their concerns about the adverse impacts of human activity to the watershed and called on the community to step up to take care of Hawaii’s resources and promote sustainability.
“I think in order for our land to grow, we need to love it,” said Sanoe Forsgren, an eighth-grader at SEEQS, a public charter middle school in Kaimuki. “You can always say that you love the land but actions do speak louder than words. We need to take action and do something that will help our aina.
“We humans are ruining Oahu and we should be the people to restore it to where it was before. If we want to see the results that we need for our home, the changes need to start with us.”
The statewide sail began in August 2017, two months after the Hokule‘a entered the Ala Wai Boat Harbor to end its three-year worldwide Malama Honua (Care for our Island Earth) voyage. Crew members visited 19 counties and traveled 19,000 nautical miles during their journey.
During Friday’s ceremony, attendees cheered after master navigator Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, gave a rousing speech noting Hawaii’s leading role in promoting environmental issues and renewable energy.
“I have never seen any place else in the world (where there are) more navigators who are driving more change at a pace and rate which is so critically important than in Hawaii,” Thompson said.
“When the children say malama honua matters, then we keep going.”
Thompson commended the students who spoke at the ceremony for their insights on sustainability. “They were so passionate. They were so clear,” he said afterward. “You heard courage, you heard hope.”
He added: “These kids are having an education to save the world. And in doing so, Hawaii becomes, through schools and through communities, a place that we train navigators for tomorrow.”
Thompson noted another Hokule‘a voyage is being planned that will be longer than the Malama Honua sailing. A fundraising gala will be held at the Hawai‘i Convention Center’s Kalakaua Ballroom tonight where he is slated to discuss Hokule‘a’s next adventure.
“Everybody has the capacity and kuleana to save the world for the next generation,” he said.
Fuatialemoana Lavea, who is visiting from Wellington, New Zealand, waited in a line of more than 30 people eager to tour the voyaging canoe.
“It’s really neat that we’re here to witness all this,” she said.
Dockside tours will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today.