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Hōkūle'a departs Tahiti on May 17, 2017 with a next stop set for Magic Island on June 17 for a large homecoming celebration.

Wa‘a Wednesday: The Final Leg

May. 24, 2017

The final leg of the historic Worldwide Voyage has begun. Last week, the crews of Hōkūle‘a and sister canoe Hikianalia bid a warm goodbye to their Tahitian voyaging ‘ohana and departed on the voyage home to Hawai‘i.

Before the departure, the wa‘a had spent five days in the community of Tautira—a second home of the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) and legendary canoe Hōkūle‘a. The people of Tautira have been the Tahitian caretakers of the canoes and crews of PVS since Hōkūle‘a 's maiden voyage in 1976. Upon arrival in Tautira, the crew payed homage to the family ties so important to the shared voyaging heritage of Hawai‘i and Tahiti, visiting the grave sites of leaders who helped build the connection more than forty years ago. The crews were hosted at Mayor Papa Sane's home and welcomed as family in this voyaging community so closely held to Hawai‘i's own.

Then, on the morning of Wednesday, May 17, Hōkūle‘a, Hikianalia, and escort vessel Gershon II began the final leg of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage departing from Tahiti to head back home to Hawai‘i. This last, historic stretch of the sail plan is expected to take 3-4 weeks (pending weather). The canoes will make a celebratory return to Honolulu on Saturday, June 17 at Magic Island for a cultural welcoming ceremony followed by a grand celebration open to the entire community.

The week-long celebration will continue with the Mālama Honua Fair and Summit, a three-day event at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center , which will highlight the voyaging, cultural, environmental, educational, and health and well-being missions of the Worldwide Voyage by sharing mālama honua "stories of hope" and voyage-inspired initiatives and activities with the public. The event's inspirational speaker series will feature local and global speakers who have engaged with the Voyage including: Megan Smith, 3rd chief technology officer of the United States; Dieter Paulmann, founder of Okeanos Foundation for the Sea; and Ocean Elders Sylvia Earle, Jean-Michel Cousteau, and Don Walsh. Registration for these events is now open at

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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