Worldwide Voyage: Celebrating 40 Years of the Hōkūle‘a

WWV 40 years of Hōkūle‘aIn 1976 the Hōkūle‘a weighed 26 tons.
After being refurbished for three years before the WWV began, it now weighs 12 tons.

The first trip in 1976 took 34 days.
In 2014, the first leg of the WWV, from Hilo to Tahiti, took only 15 days—the fastest trip ever.

Hōkūle‘a and Hawaiian Renaissance Timeline

1968    Herb Kāne calls Ben Finney about the idea for building Hōkūle‘a.

1973    Mau Piailug commits to navigating to Tahiti.

1975    Hōkūle‘a is launched for the first time, entering the water at Hakipu‘u/Kualoa in O‘ahu on March 8.

1976    Hōkūle‘a successfully voyages to Tahiti, Mau Piailug navigates Hōkūle‘a from Hawai‘i to Tahiti without modern instruments.

1978    Hawaiian becomes an official language of Hawai‘i.

1980    Nainoa Thompson becomes first Hawaiian since the 14th century to practice traditional navigation, sailing successfully to Tahiti.

1982    Aha Punana Leo language immersion preschool system founded.

1984    First Punana Leo Preschool opens.

1985    Hōkūle‘a voyages to New Zealand, venturing outside of tropical waters for the first time.

1986    Governor Waihee is elected (first Native Hawaiian governor).

1987    Hawaiian Immersion program introduced in Hawai‘i public school system.

1990    President George Bush Sr. orders a stop to the bombing of Kaho‘olawe.

1992    PVS sails to Rarotonga, while 30,000 students connect and talk with navigators aboard Hōkūle‘a and astronauts on the Columbia Space Shuttle.

1993    Hawai‘iloa, made of natural materials using traditional construction techniques, is launched.

1994    U.S. Navy conveys deed of ownership of Kaho‘olawe to the State of Hawai‘i.

1999    Hōkūle‘a sails to Easter Island, successfully visiting the three outer corners of the Polynesian Triangle.

2000    Hawaiian-culture-based charter schools open.
•    Governor Cayetano proclaimed Hōkūle‘a as Hawai‘iʻs first state treasure (on Hokule‘aʻs 25th birthday).

2004    Hōkūle‘a travels to the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.

2007    Five Hawaiian navigators (Nainoa Thompson, Bruce Blankenfeld and from Hawai‘i Island; Shorty Bertelmann, Chadd Paishon, Kalepa Baybayan) are initiated into the ranks of master navigator in a Pwo ceremony conducted by Mau Piailug.
•    Hawaiinuiakea School of Hawaiian Knowledge established.

2008    ‘Ohana Wa‘a commits to voyaging around the world.

2009    A month-long sail to Palmyra Atoll is completed as a training sail for the next generation of young PVS navigators.

2010    Hōkūle‘a restoration.

2013    The Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage is launched from Hilo, Hawai‘i. Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia travel the Hawaiian Islands and reach more than 22,000 school children and community members in Hawai‘i.
•    The 26th Legislature of the State of Hawai‘i passes education legislation that, for the first time, includes the phrase. “in Hawai‘i’s two official languages.”

2014    WWV crew adopted 96 schools in Hawai‘i.
•    Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia crew sailed 14,000 nautical miles collectively (7,000 each).
•    136 individual crew members sailed—totalling almost 1,000,000 collective nautical miles.
•    Leg 2: Hawai‘i to Tahiti (10 Apprentice Navigators).
•    Leg 3: Society Islands–Cook Islands–American Sāmoa (7 Apprentice Navigators).
•    Leg 4: American Sāmoa–Sāmoa–Swains Island (6 Apprentice Navigators, 4 New Watch Captains).
•    Leg 5: American Sāmoa–Tonga–Aoteroa (7 Apprentice Navigators, 1 New Watch Captain).

2015    Since May 2013, PVS reached more than 33,000 students and community members internationally via canoe tours, dockside outreach, presentations, community events as part of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage.
•    January: Hōkūle‘a sailed the farthest south of the equator she has ever been.
•    March 8: Hōkūle‘aʻs 40th Birthday.
•    April: Hōkūle‘a left the Pacific Ocean for the first time.
•    May-June: Hōkūle‘a sails around the coast of Australia and the Great Barrier Reef.

The Hōkūle‘a is currently sailing its way around the northern part of Australia. Next year it will go around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.

Photos courtesy of Polynesian Voyaging Society.
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