Captain Bruce Blankenfeld watches the sun rise for the first time in 2017 as the waʻa navigates its way to Panama.
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.
Thirteen days since departing Key West, Hōkūleʻa arrived in Colon, Panama, a seaport located by the Caribbean Sea near the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal. The crew is now preparing for their historic crossing through the 48-mile isthmus of Panama. Upon completion of the waterway, Hōkūleʻa will arrive in Balboa to re-enter the Pacific Ocean for the first time in nearly two years.
"It'll surely be a sight to see Hōkūleʻa travel through the Panama Canal," said pwo navigator and Hōkūleʻa captain, Bruce Blankenfeld. "Like Hōkūleʻa, the Panama Canal brings international communities together and serves as a bridge between the Atlantic and the Pacific."
The Panama Canal has been an international landmark for over 100 years. The unique geography of Panama has allowed for increased international trade, fortifying international relations through modern technology. The canal continues on a new purpose with the passage of Hōkūleʻa, where both the vessel and its mission to share a message of caring for Island Earth will travel through the stretch of man-made waterway.
It will take the crew about two days to make their way from Colon to Balboa through the canal. With her return to the Pacific as an ancestral homecoming, Hōkūleʻa will continue with the mission of engaging with local communities worldwide before she reaches Hawaii. The canoe will make stops in the Galapagos Islands, Rapa Nui and French Polynesia. Hōkūleʻa will conclude her Worldwide Voyage with a historic homecoming at Magic Island on June 17, 2017.
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 hokulea.com 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.