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Lei Kaʻapuni Honua is the theme for Hōkūleʻa's homecoming.

Waʻa Wednesday: Heading home in June

Dec. 20, 2016

Kamehameha Schools is proud to be the education sponsor of the Hōkūleʻa Worldwide Voyage. The perpetuation of Polynesian wayfinding continues to be a source of pride for students, the organization and the entire Hawaiian community, adding strength to a collective sense of Native Hawaiian identity.

On Saturday, June 17, Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) and its crew members will conclude the three-year sail around the globe and make a historic arrival at Magic Island since departing Hawaiian waters on May 30, 2014. Themed Lei Kaʻapuni Honua, meaning "A Lei Around The World," Hōkūleʻa's homecoming celebration will include a cultural welcoming ceremony followed by a hoʻolaulea at Magic Island.  A series of additional homecoming events are being planned during the week following the June 17 arrival event.

"When Hōkūleʻa first set sail on the Worldwide Voyage, our mission was to seek out and share stories of hope that would inspire a movement to strengthen the health and well-being of Island Earth," said Nainoa Thompson, PVS president. "Our vision is that this Voyage of a 1,000 stories will launch 10,000 voyages needed to protect and care for Hawaiʻi and the world," he added.

On Sunday, December 18, Hōkūleʻa departed Miami's waters and headed for Key West for a brief stop before sailing to Panama to transit through the Panama Canal. After the canoe's transit through the Panama Canal, crews will make stops in the Galapagos Islands, Rapa Nui and French Polynesia.

During the two-week stay in South Florida for re-provisioning, the crew hosted public canoe tours and reconnect with schools to share the environmental and cultural mission of the Voyage. Nā Kelamoku, PVS' youth leadership group, also joined the crew in Miami to visit with schools and learn from other Miami organizations studying the environment.  Both groups also visited the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Hurricane Center and Weather Service and heard from local experts on how they track weather, forecast storms and collaborate with the Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu.

"We are incredibly grateful for the opportunities we've had to work with Florida's people, fulfilling our hope of inspiring and strengthening more communities throughout Island Earth" said Kalepa Baybayan, pwo navigator and captain for Hōkūleʻa's sail throughout Florida. "Hōkūleʻa has been prepared for a successful crossing back into the Pacific Ocean and we look forward to welcoming her back home to beautiful Hawaiʻi Nei."

Leading up to the homecoming in June, PVS will be highlighting stories of schools, organizations and local individuals that have taken lessons from the Worldwide Voyage to launch efforts that further care for the world's natural and cultural environments.   

At the completion of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia will have covered approximately 60,000 nautical miles, over 150 ports, 27 nations and approximately seven of UNESCO'S Marine World Heritage sites. Along the way, over 300 experienced volunteer crew members have helped to sail the vessel and connect with more than 100,000 people throughout the world in communities across the South Pacific, Tasman Sea, Indian Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, and the Caribbean Sea, including Samoa, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Australia, Indonesia, Mauritius, South Africa, Brazil, U.S. Virgin Islands, Cuba, the East Coast of the United States and Canada.

Along the route home, KS students and staff will be participating in significant events, fulfilling the tradition and duty of representing the Lāhui Hawaiʻi, honoring the voyage, its message and the communities the waʻa visits with protocol.

The themes for homecoming and organization of protocols are being coordinated by Dr. Randie and Jamie Fong.

After returning to Hawaiʻi, the crew will sail Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia around the Hawaiian Islands to visit communities and share stories and lessons learned on the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage.  For updates on the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage homecoming, visit


Kamehameha Schools is proud to be the Education Sponsor of the Hōkūleʻa Worldwide Voyage. For more information about the Polynesian Voyaging Society and the Worldwide Voyage, visit or find the society on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Google+. To see more Wa‘a Wednesday stories and much more about the Mālama Honua Voyage, go to the KS Online Mālama Honua page(if you are on a KS Network) or see related articles below.



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