Hōkūleʻa Sets Sail for Rapa Nui, Navigational Return to Pacific
The crew of Hawaiʻi’s legendary Polynesian voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa set sail today for Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, continuing its Worldwide Voyage and Mālama Honua global movement to care for Earth.
Hōkūleʻa departs from the Galapagos Islands after spending time with invited teachers and students from James B. Castle High School, Kamehameha Schools and Hālau Kū Mana Public Charter School as they learned more about the islands’ fragile ecosystem and discussing best practices for how to conserve the earth’s most critical resources.
“Heading to Rapa Nui, Hōkūleʻa carries the invaluable lessons of global sustainability that were learned and shared at other UNESCO World Heritage sites such as the Galapagos Islands,” said Nainoa Thompson, president of Polynesian Voyaging Society. “In addition to being a recognized global resource by organizations such as UNESCO, Rapa Nui signifies a major cultural return for Polynesian navigation and our Worldwide Voyage as we re-enter the Polynesian triangle, the birthplace of our wayfinding heritage.”
Hōkūleʻa is expected to port in Rapa Nui around Feb. 28, weather permitting. The crew will stay on the island for approximately a week before sailing on to French Polynesia. While there, the crew will again be joined by a contingency of teachers and students from Hawaiʻi.
The last time Hōkūleʻa visited Rapa Nui was on a voyage that took place in 1999.
Host to famed archaeological sites including nearly 900 monumental statues called moai, Rapa Nui is a remote volcanic island located in Polynesia under Chilean territory. Rapa Nui represents an opportunity for the crew to learn more about the island’s status as a World Heritage Site as well as the rich cultural history of its Polynesian ancestors.
The Mālama Honua voyage will cover over 60,000 nautical miles upon its return home to Magic Island estimated in June, 2017.