Renowned voyaging crew launches greatest journey yet in Hawaiian canoe: four-year, worldwide trek

The Polynesian Voyaging Society famed traditional Hawaiian sea vessel Hōkūle’a began the first portion of a planned worldwide voyage this week with a "Malama Hawai'i" sail around the islands of Hawai'i. Of the 22 total portions of the canoe's trip around the world, the first and last are in Hawai'i.

The trip is expected to take four years, and will cover over 45,000 nautical miles, 26 countries, and stops at more than 60 ports.

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In keeping with Polynesian tradition, they will orient themselves with no man-made tools. Only their natural surroundings. No GPS, no compass, not even a paper map. Just stars, clouds, land masses, wind and water currents, and a keen ability to read that data.


Bruce Blankenfeld from the Polynesian Voyaging Society says the theme of the journey will be 'Taking Care of Island Earth'. "We want to be able to capture the stories of all the unique wonderful things of the stories happening through the world in hundreds of thousands of communities," he said. "It will be mainly about learning and gathering stories from places and being able to share what we've been gathering along the way."

The name of this voyage is Mālama Honua, a Hawaiian term meaning “Caring for Island Earth.”

More: Hawaii News Now, National Geographic,