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Hokule’a, Hikianalia canoes to set sail for Hilo before trip to Tahiti

The Polynesian Voyaging Society canoes Hokuleʻa and Hikianalia are scheduled to set sail for Hilo Monday morning, 11 days later than planned.

The canoes, which are now slated to depart at 7:30 a.m., have been stuck at Sand Island on Oahu due to strong winds.

Hokuleʻa and Hikianalia had been scheduled to depart Sand Island on March 31; instead, the crews have been training.

“Our job is to protect these canoes and the people who have worked so hard to care for them. The current direction and strength of the winds could be damaging to these beautiful vessels, so we’re going to wait,” pwo navigator Nainoa Thompson said today. “At this point, we cannot forecast when a good weather window will begin, but we will watch day by day. It’s never a delay, it’s always part of the journey.”

If conditions are favorable, the canoes should arrive in Hilo by Wednesday afternoon. PVS officials said they hope the canoes will depart for Tahiti as early as Thursday afternoon.

Thompson will be sailing the Hokuleʻa to Hilo, but does not plan to sail to Tahiti, a journey that is expected to take about 20 days depending on the weather.

He plans to fly to Tahiti and sail Hokuleʻa back to Hawaii.

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