Te Mana o Te Moana - the great sailing canoes in Hanalei Bay. Photo courtesy of Heather Meyer.

“The Spirit of the Sea”  crew arrived in Hanalei Bay on Wednesday, July 5th.  These are seven great voyaging canoes, called vaka moana, from the Polynesian islands representing Aotearoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Tahiti, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Soloman Islands, Tonga and Vanatu.  They are voyaging throughout the Pacific Ocean using only the stars, the ocean and surrounding wildlife to navigate. 

 The purpose of their voyage is to bring awareness to the plight of the ocean.  They are renewing their “ties to the sea and its life-sustaining strength”.  “Sailing together, we seek the wisdom of our ancestors and the knowledge of scientists to keep the Pacific healthy and give our grandchildren a future.”

 They have chosen the “voyage on a vaka as a metaphor for a sustainable way of living and a respectful treatment of the ocean.”  The canoes were built following a traditional model and traditional materials were used to build them, apart from the hulls, which were made of fiberglass.  The vakas are very simple.  They have no running water and do not have fossil fuel burning engines.  They voyagers use the energy of the sun and wind to power their movement.

 Te Mana o Te Moana is scheduled to depart Hanalei Bay Monday, July 11th, depending upon conditions.  Head down to the Bay and see these amazing vessels and meet these even more amazing voyagers.

 For more information on the voyage, check out their website:

 http://www.pacificvoyagers.org/

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