On Friday June 25, 2011, the 7 Pacific Voyagers canoes arrived on the shores of Kualoa, Oʻahu. ʻŌiwi TV was allowed to document this significant event. This half hour program captures the welcoming ceremony for the 7 crews.
One canoe named Hokulea was sent out to bring the wisdom back to the people, the knowledge about navigation and the knowledge about how important the sea is to us all. This vaka planted the seed in the Pacific. And now the offspring, seven vaka crewed by people from the whole Pacific, were coming back to this place… acknowledging the place where all has started, acknowledging their teachers, their elders and ancestors.
We arrived at Kualoa early Friday afternoon, the place where Hokulea was launched in 1975. It is an honour to be welcomed here. When you arrive from the ocean, you see the lush green mountains rising directly behind the shore, the top of the mountain covered in white thick clouds. On the sandy beach are palm trees slanting in a gentle breeze. A place so beautiful you can only remain silent in awe.
On Friday we were warmly welcomed with an internal ceremony, followed by dinner then a bit of spare time on shore or on the canoe.
Today, Saturday, was the official welcoming. This day has been proclaimed as “Te Mana o Te Moana day” by the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor of the State of Hawai’i.
Nainoa Thompson talked to us about the importance of our mission to save the ocean and that we are pushing him and our other elders and teachers in this. He said, the ocean, as the most important part of our climate, of our world, needs to be saved first, to save mankind and every single living being. Even though we will always consider ourselves humble students of Nainoa and the other elders and navigators, this talk did something to us. It was as if everything fell into place, as if everyone knew why we were sailing, that we indeed must reach out. This was unifying.
Following this, we received more honour and acknowledgment To name a couple of them:
Dieter Paulmann for his strength to make his impossible dreams real;
all seven skippers for their leadership;
the student navigators for their progress;
Hoturua Kerr for his spiritual guidance;
Tua Pittmann and Jacko Thatcher for their guidance in navigation
and Magnus Danbolt for his unifying leadership of the whole fleet.
And then something extraordinary happened surprising most of us. Peia Patei received his Pwo from Kaumatua Hector Busby and all attending navigators. He was supposed to receive it from Papa Mau himself, but Peia couldn’t attend the ceremony. Now he received it in a new way, in a different country, in Hawai’i, from other master navigators. Peia is now a guiding light for the rest of us. One of the few, who can take us safely through a moonless night and a cloudy day. One whom we will follow.
We are grateful for having been able to share this.
Mahalo to all of you being with us the whole time,