2007 Voyage Weblog > What a beautiful departure it was

January 23

Under clear skies and with a rising swell, the voyaging canoes Alingano Maisu and Hokule’a began pulling anchor in Kealakekua Bay at about 4:45 this afternoon. About 40 friends, family and community members stood on shore waving good-bye, while kahu Kaniela Akaka volleyed the blowing of the pu, or conch shell, with those on the canoe, first Hokule’a, then the Alingano Maisu.

What a beautiful departure it was. With the repaired sweep on board and nai'a, or dolphins, swimming next to the canoes, they rounded the corner of Kealakekua bay at about 5:30 tonight, meeting up with the escort vessel Kama Hele. They are headed to Ka Lae, or South Point, where they should pick up some good wind.

From there they will then head west-southwest, sight Johnston Atoll, then sail on to Majuro. This first leg of the journey is about 2,200 nautical miles and is estimated to take about 22 days.

President of the Polynesian Voyaging Society Nainoa Thompson, who is not on this first leg of the voyage, said “It is a powerful day, the two canoes have begun the voyage. The cracked sweep at first would seem to be a problem but on the other hand the cracked sweep was a gift, bringing us home and spending time in Kealakekua, with its beauty and sacredness and allowing leadership the time to grow even stronger - a vital and key element to the success of this voyage. I understand the complexities and challenges that we will face on this voyage but I feel confident and strong about the departure this evening because, primarily, of the extraordinary leadership on these canoes – captain and navigator of Hokule`a Bruce blankendfeld, Captain of Alingano Maisu Shorty Bertelmann and navigator of Alingano Maisu Chadd Paishon - great leaders in their own right but together they strengthen each other. I’m just very proud to have been with them and to have witnessed the unified strength."

The voyage will take the canoes to Kosrae, Pohnpei, Chuuk, Pulap, Satawal, where the Alingano Maisu will be gifted to our teacher master navigator Mau Piailug, Woleai, Ulithi, Yap and Palau.

From Palau, the Alingano Maisu will go back to Yap, its permanent home. Hokule’a will then sail to Okinawa, followed by 7 other stops in Japan to honor the cultural and historical ties between Japan and Hawai’i and the historic journey of King David Kalakaua to Yokohama in 1881, which lead to the start of Japanese immigration to Hawai’i.

Thank you for your love and support for this voyage and these amazing crews.

Aloha, Kathy

Wind Map for area south of the Big Island


FORECAST FOR HAWAIIAN OFFSHORE WATERS BEYOND 40 NAUTICAL MILES OUT TO 240 NAUTICAL MILES: http://weather.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/fmtbltn.pl?file=forecasts/marine/offshore/ph/phz180.txt
January 23, 2007 | Registered CommenterPVS
We pray and wish them a safe and successful voyage. Thanks for the updates.
January 23, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSharon
The voyage will take a lot less than 22 day. Enjoy the fishing. Aloha
January 23, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCapt. Blackie
My wife and I have decided that we are Polynesian Voyaging Canoe junkies!!

After spending twelve hours on January 19 waiting for the Hokule`a and the Maisu to sail out of Kawaihae Harbor, yesterday we drove down to Kealakekua Bay to see the Hokule`a and the Maisu anchored there is the bay waiting for the sweep to be prepared!! Several hours later Kahu Danny Akaka arrived. We knew there would be a sailing soon. Not only did we witness the Hokule`a and Maisu depart, we drove down to Honaunau and saw them come into view and then disappear into the sunset and darkness.

Another chicken skin day in this historical area!
January 24, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMichael F. O'Brien
Well you guys are off to an experience you will never forget. Have a great journey and take care. You guys all have our full support and blessings. Can't wait until you guys return and tell us how your trip was. "A HUI HOU HOKULE'A"
January 24, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterlei'ui
Mau and all the island groups, including Japan, will be very happy. Best wishes for fair winds and following seas. Watch out for those big ships out there. All my former students wish you all well.


Todd Hendricks
Kailua High School
Marine Science, Boating and Polynesian Voyaging Program
January 24, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterTodd Hendricks
I followed the journey of the Hokulea, on a daily basis, during it's major voyage to Rapanui and back many years ago; bringing the Pacific Triangle to a close. I proudly shared your daily (GPS) progress with co-workers and friends. My heart swelled with pride then, as it does now. Mahalo and aloha ke akua from a Hawaiian living far from her birth home but who is never far from her heart, Hawaii.
January 24, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterNoelani
so i guess u guys left without meeh, nah just a joke, u know meeh and my jokes, well be safe and watch out for each other, tell everyone i said hi, haha A HUI HOU!!
January 24, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterHokujavani
Well the time has finally come, and we are all so excited to hear the daily scoops. Wish everyone a safe trip and will continue to keep you in our daily prayers. We should also remember our families of our crew members for it is with their support that this voyage is possible.

A hui hou, and malama pono!!
January 24, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKealoha Hoe
imua..........this is a wonderful vehicle you are providing to keep us up to date.....
January 24, 2007 | Unregistered Commentervinnie linares
Aloha a me malama pono ia oukou. The time is right for this departure. Our aloha goes out to all the crews of the canoes and Shorty, Onohi, and Bruce. May the winds be fair and the swells be moderate. Our mana goes out to you all and for the other crews that will be joining the voyage at various times. Bring our mana, respect, and gratitude to Mau and his family. A hui hou aku.

Na Kalai Waa o Kaua'i
January 24, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDennis Chun
All of you are truly inspirational, courageous and shining examples that Hawaiians were and are world class explorers. Just wish I could be there ;-) Have fun and stay safe.
A hui hou

PS. Thanks for the updates!
January 24, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBob
Kia ora koutou,

Awesome to hear you guys got away safely. Have been getting regular updates from Haki but I think this site is faster than he is he he. No doubt we will be on it all the time checking up on the sail. Anyway much aroha from here over in Aotearoa.

January 24, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKrista (Aotearoa)
God bless the 3 crews, 2 canoes, escort vessel, and everyone else across the globe. We are bounded together by the ocean...one ocean, one people. I wish the voyagers bountiful fishing and fresh nourishment to keep their bodies, minds and spirits strong. I wish the voyagers safety and Godspeed, fair winds and seas, starry skies and beautifully moonlit nights, some shade from the sun by the clouds (but not too much clouds), magical sunrises and sunsets, and memories and stories to fill everyone's hearts. Have fun out there. I will miss you as you embark on this incredible journey of peace and relationship building/celebration, and of course thanking our master kumu Mau for sharing his knowledge and heritage and lifestyle with us. KU HOLO MAU - SAIL ON, SAIL ALWAYS, SAIL FOREVER! I LOVE YOU!! Malama pono!
ps--who's the chef? Get plenny good cooks on your crews. I stay salivating just thinking about eating on the canoe. I miss your cooking, Russell!! And Timmy, and Bruce!! And da famous prune mui!
January 24, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLeimomi Kekina
It is now into God's hands of protection and guidance. V6AI
January 24, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSebastian F. Tamagken
Imua Hokule'a! Imua Alingano Maisu! Pule lava 'oe. Your time has come.

As Todd Hendricks (retired and highly respected Marine Science teacher of Kailua High School) said above, us former students send our kipona aloha a pule for a safe and memorable journey. Lawe pilahi!

Mahalo nui loa, Kathy, for all of your impressive efforts in keeping us informed of all of the voyage-related details! Will the ARGOS tracking soon be posted too? ( http://hokulea.soest.hawaii.edu/ ) MAHALO! *; )

Beth A. Saurer-Atuatasi
1995 Hokule'a Crew
San Diego, California
January 25, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBeth A. Saurer-Atuatasi