PVS Announces Change to Moananuiākea Sail Plan

Polynesian Voyaging Society CEO Nainoa Thompson today announced a major change to the Moananuiākea Voyage sail plan. In the wake of the devastating fires on Maui, Hōkūleʻa will return home from San Diego, California in late December, before continuing on the circumnavigation of the Pacific.

Thompson said “The level of hurt thatʻs happening in our home is something I canʻt comprehend. All I know is that we have to come home because of it.” He also said “Lahaina is a voyaging powerhouse,” and “I believe the family is going to need the canoe and the canoe is going to need the family.”

Thompson said another contributing factor to leadershipʻs decision is the earthʻs unprecedented weather patterns including the current El Nino phenomenon, a period of unusually warm water in the Pacific Ocean, which has global impact.

Thompson said “This is the first time that I know of that we’re having to really make decisions about a really established hot earth plus the heat of El Nino. Add it together and we donʻt know what the risk is gonna be anymore.” He said “The job of the navigator is to protect that canoe and those who sail it and the way to do that is to watch nature, and make decisions on when it’s time to go and when it’s not time to go.”

It has not yet been determined how long Hōkūleʻa will be in Hawaiʻi, but Thompson said the Moananuiākea Voyage will be completed within the original timeframe, and commitments made to communities around the Pacific will be kept.