Voyaging Polynesian canoe to visit Port Townsend

Welcome on Tuesday; tours on Wednesday

The Hōkūle‘a arrives in Auke Bay on June 11, when it was welcomed by hundreds of Juneau residents and tribal leaders. The wind-powered traditional Polynesian voyaging canoe began a scheduled 47-month global voyage. (Clarise Larson/Juneau Empire)

The Hōkūle‘a arrives in Auke Bay on June 11, when it was welcomed by hundreds of Juneau residents and tribal leaders. The wind-powered traditional Polynesian voyaging canoe began a scheduled 47-month global voyage. (Clarise Larson/Juneau Empire)

Editor’s note: The Hōkūleʻa has had its visit to Port Townsend delayed and its arrival date on the North Olympic Peninsula has yet to be determined. Below is the story that originally appeared in Monday’s online edition.

PORT TOWNSEND — A voyaging canoe that revised the lost art of Polynesian voyaging and navigation will arrive in Port Townsend on Tuesday.

Hōkūleʻa is expected to dock at the Northwest Maritime Center between noon and 3 p.m. Tuesday to be welcomed by Jamestown S’Klallam Tribal Council member Dana Ward and Tribal elder Celeste Dybeck. Public tours of Hōkūleʻa will be available from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday.

This visit by Hōkūleʻa is part of its four-year, 43,000-mile Moananuiākea Voyage around the Pacific.

Hōkūleʻa has been sailing south from Southeast Alaska since the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) held its global launch of the Moananuiākea Voyage in Juneau, Alaska, on June 15.

It is traveling to unite the hundreds of Indigenous communities that are connected by the Pacific Ocean, and amplify the importance of oceans and Indigenous knowledge.

Leg 5 started in Prince Rupert, B.C., July 16 then sailed to Klemtu, Bella Bella, Hakai, Port Hardy, Alert Bay and Campbell River, Salt Spring and Victoria, with the crew engaging with First Nations communities at each stop.

On its new leg, it has re-entered U.S. waters by traveling to Washington state.

The Moananuiākea Voyage, led by PVS, is visiting 36 countries and archipelagos, nearly 100 indigenous territories and more than 300 ports, according to its website at https://hokulea.com.

Moananuiākea is Hōkūle‘a’s 15th major voyage in her first 50 years, according to the website.

Hōkūle‘a sparked a cultural renaissance in Hawaiʻi, organizers said.

“At the core of Hōkūle‘a’s creation was exploration — to uncover, recover, and reclaim. Reclaim our culture, traditions, and our relationship to home and our island earth,” the website said.

“Moananuiākea is no different, but we are now guided by what the worldwide voyage told us — that we must deepen our values in the voyage and move from exploration and understanding to mālama, or caring, and kuleana, or taking responsibility,” it continues.

“This is our most difficult voyage yet because the destination is not ours. It will be the most difficult island yet to find, because it is the future of island earth,” the website said.

The website contains updates from the crew. On Aug. 9, the posting was of the grief those aboard the Hōkūle‘a felt when seeing the destruction of the Lahaina fires.

“We know that these storm winds and the extreme droughts in many areas of our islands that enabled and fueled this devastating fire are a part of extreme weather changes brought on by global warming and are indicative of the climate catastrophe we now live under,” it continues.

“So what is to be done now? … No one of us has all the answers, but perhaps we give ourselves a fighting chance when we work together and approach these issues first with indigenous knowledge and wisdom that have stood the tests of time,” the posting said.

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