Lift the Sails From Tahiti to Samoa: Hōkūle‘a’s World Wide Voyage

This article is the second installment in a series documenting the historic undertaking of the voyage of Hōkūle‘a around the world over the next three years.
Read this article in Hawaiian.

Much preparation is needed for each leg of the first legs of this voyage, there is much to prepare and much to test. So far, it is going very well. And for the times that there are bumps in the road, they are looked at as opportunities to learn and improve. As one of the most famous sayings on the deck of the canoe goes, “the only thing guaranteed is change!”

I am humbled to be a crew member on this leg of the voyage. As we prepare for the leg from Tahiti to Samoa, the first crew is on the canoes and has sailed from Hawai‘i to Tahiti. They arrived in record time, the fastest ever for Hōkūle‘a, and the second fastest of a Polynesian voyaging canoe, in just 15 days! Also, something that has never before been done was accomplished on this voyage: live video chats between crew members and classrooms from Hawai‘i and Tahiti, using Google and the newest technologies.

Preparing for a voyage is just as important as the voyaging itself. You need to prepare your body for the rigors of the voyage by constantly swimming, running, and exercising. Another important area to prepare is your family: they need to be able to bear your responsibilities while you are gone without your absence creating a great burden. If the voyager is constantly worrying about his or her family, he cannot concentrate on that which is the most important at the moment, which is safely sailing the canoe to its next destination. Another area to prepare is your career or your schooling. As crew members of this voyage are unpaid volunteers, they need to make sure their finances are in order and that they have adequate leave from work or school so that they can be away for up to two months at a time.

In order to prepare the voyagers that are living on the Big Island of Hawai‘i, the families of the Waimea community got together and hosted a send off in order to share their spiritual blessings and their love for all of the voyagers embarking on this journey. This is important because for every voyager that steps forth on the canoe brings with him his family, his ancestors, and his community to voyage with him in spirit. There was much prayer, song, and chanting in this celebration. The voyagers shared their voices, sharing in the voyage that is close at hand. It is a Hawaiian cultural practice to document special occasions and auspicious events through song and chant, and an impromptu chant was composed and shared with the audience. We share the chant with you below:

‘O Tautira ka ‘āina aloha, ka ‘āina ‘ohana,

ka ‘ohana hānai wa‘a, ka ‘ohana pili holo kai ē

Kau ka pe‘a, holo ka wa‘a,

i nālani ho‘olua, i ke komohana, pae i Mo‘orea

Kau ka pe‘a, holo ka wa‘a

i noio ho‘olua a pae i Huahine

‘āina o nā kupu‘eu ‘imi kū‘oko‘a

Kau ka pe‘a, holo ka wa‘a

i ‘āina kona a pae i Taputapuātea

i Ra‘iātea ka piko o ka honua

Kau ka pe‘a, holo ka wa‘a

i nāleo ho‘olua a pae i Taha‘a

Kau ka pe‘a, holo ka wa‘a

i ka ‘āina, i ka noio ho‘olua a pae i Borabora

I Borabora ke kilo kai, ‘imi i ke ala pono

Kau ka pe‘a, holo ka wa‘a

i ke komohana, i lā ho‘olua a pae i Maupiti

‘O Maupiti ka mole o ka honua

Ua pau ‘o Polapola i ke kipa ‘ia

Kau ka pe‘a, holo ka wa‘a

Puka i ka moana uli

i noio kona a pae i Avatiu ka ‘āina o nā kuki

ka ‘āina Lalokona ē

Kau ka pe‘a, holo ka wa‘a

pi‘i i ka ‘ākau a pae i ‘Aitutaki

Kau ka pe‘a, holo ka wa‘a

i nālani ho‘olua a pae i Suarrrow, pae i Pukapuka

Kau ka pe‘a, holo ka wa‘a

‘imi i nā kona, ‘o Lā, ‘o Manu a pae i Manu‘a

‘O Manu‘a ‘āina ali‘i, ‘āina Kāmoa

Kau ka pe‘a, holo ka wa‘a

i ke komohana nō a pae i Pagopago

Ua pae, ua kō!

Tautira the land of love, the land of our family, the family that adopted the canoe, the family of the voyagers

Lift the sails, and the canoe ventures forth to the direction of nālani ho‘olua, then komohana, and arrive in Mo‘orea

Lift the sails, and the canoe ventures forth to the direction of noio ho‘olua and land in Huahine the land of the independence warriors

Lift the sails, and the canoe ventures forth to the direction of ’āina kona and land in Taputapuātea, in Ra‘iātea the center of the earth

Lift the sails, and the canoe ventures forth to the direction of nāleo ho‘olua a pae i Taha’a

Lift the sails, and the canoe ventures forth to the direction of ‘āina and noio ho‘olua and arrive in Borabora Borabora where we observe the seas looking for a window, a path

Lift the sails, and the canoe ventures forth to the direction of komohana, of lā ho‘oluaa and land in Maupiti Maupiti, the root, the origin of the earth

All of French Polynesia has been visited

Head to the deep ocean

Lift the sails, and the canoe ventures forth to the direction

of noio kona and land in Avatiu, the land of Rarotonga

Lift the sails, and the canoe ventures forth to the direction of ‘ākau and land in ‘Aitutaki

Lift the sails, and the canoe ventures forth to the direction of nālani ho‘olua and land in Suarrow and Pukapuka

Lift the sails, and the canoe ventures forth to the direction of the kona’s to lā and manu, and land in Manu’a

Manu’a the land of the chiefs, the land of Samoa

Lift the sails, and the canoe ventures forth to the direction of komohana, and arrive in Pagopago

We have landed, we have arrived

In order to have this article ready for the September print issue of the CSQ, I am writing this in the town of Hāna on Maui the morning of the wedding of one of our voyagers, and the morning before flying to Tahiti to start our leg of the voyage. As you read this, our crew should have returned to Hawai‘i and turned the canoes over to the capable hands of the next crew for the next leg. Lift the sails, and the canoe shall go forth!

To follow us on this world wide voyage, go to www.hokulea.com.

To read this article in Hawaiian, visit goo.gl/yzre7e. No ka hahai ‘ana i ke–ia holo ‘ana a puni ka honua, e kele ka iole i.

Read this article in Hawaiian.

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