Nearly three decades ago, it was a sail of rediscovery. Now, Hōkūleʻa returned, carrying the message of Mālama Honua.
Pwo Navigator Kālepa Baybayan says that, “Here we are in Whangarei. Weʻre going to be doing a number of outreach projects. We have an outreach program with the general community, and then we’ll be hosting schools groups. What we’re looking forward to over the next two weeks is really building and strengthening this relationship between us and the whanau here in Whangarei.”
“We’ll, have our stations out for science and education to talk more about the voyage and the mission and then we’ll also have canoe tours,” says crewmember, Daniel Lin.
Fellow crewmwmber, Kaʻohi Kamalu says that, “It’s very heartwarming to share the message of mālama honua with the people here in Whangarei, which is the port we are now at. I noticed that they have a lot of the same issues that theyʻre encountering with their own environment.”
“We want to hear about their stories of what theyʻre doing in terms about sustainability of the environment, of the ocean, of our ocean resources…and we just want to host this conversation, and record it, and collect it, so we can share it with the world,” says Baybayan.
And as can be expected, Hōkūleʻa attracted people from all walks of life, both young and old to the canoes. Some who are sailors themselves, as well as young learners who could very well be the next generation of wayfinders. By the end of the experience, the canoes were touched by over 700 people in Whangarei. In the coming months, the waʻa will visit more communities throughout Aotearoa.