As the first international leg of the Worldwide Voyage quickly approaches, Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia are undergoing final preparations for their most ambitious journey to date.
“This is actually the third dry dock we’ve done in preparation for the voyage. As we went around Hawai’i, we put a lot of miles on the canoe. Of course she’s made of wood, so we’ve got to do a lot of revarnishing, finishing up of the wood pieces, any lashings that may have been worn or show any give. Cleaning up the bottom of the hulls, maybe making a couple structural modifications to optimize her for what is going to be the longest voyage she has ever taken,” said Lehua Kamalu, an apprentice navigator.
Hōkūleʻa’s sister canoe Hikianalia also received modifications to better serve the technological needs of the voyage.
“Being that platform of communication, documentation, education, and science, she [Hikianalia] really needed a lot of components that were going to work together with the systems on board. We upgraded the electrical system to have more capacity and being able to host all these engaging media stories that we’re trying to produce. Just to make sure she’s absolutely solid before we head out. Because she is going to be out in the Pacific for about six months now before we actually have another opportunity to bring her out and do any more serious modifications,” said Kamalu.
“Everyone’s really dedicated to this voyage. And they’ve put in all this time. Not just right now as we get closer to the departure, but for the last five years we’ve been heavily preparing. And it’s such a strong group of people. Everyone’s getting ready to go, everyone’s excited. So it’s really amazing to see everybody out here,” said Kamalu.