Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia Departed Wednesday on Training Voyage

As part of the continual training and preparations for the Moananuiākea circumnavigation of the Pacific, the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) crews are sailing Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia to a new training ground, toward the North Pacific Gyre. The canoes departed from the Marine Education Training Center at Sand Island Wednesday at approximately 3:00pm.

The deep-sea training voyage will take about one week round trip. The hope was to reach the gyre at about 31 degrees north. It is an area where warm air from the equator is cooled and descends, playing a vital role in the systems that allow this earth to be liveable.

“This trip is a different way to explore and it’s a shift to something new, and I think that’s what exploration is all about,” said PVS CEO and Navigator Nainoa Thompson. “We’ve been focusing on the climate significance of the convergence zone on the equator and now we will explore and learn about its relationship to the North.”

However, due to a low pressure system forming to the north, the National Weather Service forecasts the possibility of thunderstorms this weekend; therefore, the canoes will likely have to adjust their sail plan and turn back south sooner than expected.

Thompson added, “we are also looking at how we truly train and graduate the next generation of navigators. We have been focusing, over many of the last 49 years of learning and training, on knowledge, performance and skill, but navigation is more than that. It’s spiritual, and as Mau taught us, there is a code of conduct that includes respect, humility, being quiet.”

Sixteen crew members are part of this Training Voyage. Audiences can follow the voyage on Facebook and Instagram at @hokuleacrew and on the PVS web site at hokulea.com. Educational resources are available at waahonua.com.

Major sponsors of the North Pacific Gyre Training Voyage are Hawaiian Airlines and DAWSON.