Sunday, January 13, 2008

Hawaii - Hokulea Voyaging Canoe - Hawaiian Tradition

Hawaii is one of the most remote places on Earth. The islands are fully 2,000 miles from the nearest inhabited places in the South Pacific. It takes five hours by jet to get there today from the South Pacific or from the U.S. mainland. Imagine what time it took for a sailing craft from the South Pacific, headed north to an unknown destination.

The Hokulea has made the voyage several times, usually without any modern navigation aids, manned by modern Hawaiians, after being built in 1975 by a group of aficionados known as The Polynesian Voyaging Society. In 1976 the Hokulea sailed down to Tahiti and back, a feat it repeated in 1980. In 1985-1987 the double-hull canoe made a voyage of discovery throughout the South Pacific, visiting many remote islands. During a 1995 voyage the Hokulea made record time going to Tahiti and Micronesia.

Hokulea means "Star of Joy," after a star, Arcturus, that hangs over the islands.

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