Everyone knows about the famous World Wide Voyage made by Hokulea and its crew. The target of this Polynesian canoe is to make a 37-month voyage, visit 28 countries, stop in 82 ports and cover over 50,000 miles.
The goal of this journey is to spread the message “Malama Honua,” which means the importance of caring for island Earth. It seems that the work of the courageous crew has already paid off thanks to the fact that the United Nations officials (UN) acknowledged Hokulea efforts to preserve and protect the priceless ocean resources.
According to Kalepa Baybayan, Hokulea captain, and Pwo navigator, this is a great honor for Hawai’i and the Polynesian Voyaging Society. What makes it so special is that crew members have already sailed through five oceans to deliver this message, raise awareness and encourage the initiative of protecting the ecosystem of our oceans.
According to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, during World Oceans Day, e new promise was made to protect the marine treasures and to make sure that future generations will understand the importance of this mission.
The next destination of Hokulea is across the East River to Queen’s. During the World Ocean Day, the pier was crowded with crew member’s friends and family, and Hawai’i community and political leaders. Even if our marine environment seems so vast and unlimited, human excess has brought this fragile ecosystem on the verge of becoming a victim of ignorance and greed.
The courage and wisdom of island people and traditional navigation is making its way in such a difficult period, when oceans need our help the most. Nainoa Thompson, Pwo navigator, and Polynesian Voyaging Society President confessed that the crew is aware of how dangerous the voyage is, but that their mission is way too important to make them back away.
The real risks are people’s ignorance and lack of initiative in front of such important problems. The Hokulea crew hopes to make governments understand that they need to focus on this situation and to send experts who will find strategies and develop programs that will protect the marine environment with its vast resources, mammals, and fish.
Hokulea is not only a canoe, but it is also the symbol of hope that drives its crew and the ones supporting them one step further to accomplish their goal of making people more conscious on how they should behave regarding the oceans.