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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Refurbished Hokule'a returning to the sea

Advertiser Staff

Alfred Smythe, right, grabs a line to stabilize the Hokule'a after it was blessed and launched at the Ke'ehi Marine Center yesterday.

Polynesian Voyaging Society president Nainoa Thompson drapes a maile lei on one of the Hokule'a's two hulls. The refurbished voyaging canoe was returned to the ocean at Ke'ehi Marine Center yesterday after nearly a year in drydock.

Richard Ambo • The Honolulu Advertiser

The voyaging canoe Hokule'a returned to the ocean yesterday after nearly a year in drydock.

During the drydock session, members of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and dozens of volunteers cut out dry rot in the hull and performed other needed repairs.

"Hokule'a has a lot of history and mana for everyone in Hawai'i," said Bruce Blankenfeld, restoration project coordinator. "When the canoe sails, she is an inspiration to everyone in our Islands."

During the coming year, the canoe's navigators plan a voyage through the Hawaiian Islands, traveling often from the Big Island to Mokumanamana, also known as Necker.

A second voyage goes beyond the island chain, all the way to Kure Atoll, with scientists and satellite communications equipment on board to communicate with children in classrooms statewide.

To celebrate the completion of the restoration and to thank its hundreds of volunteers and supporters, the Polynesian Voyaging Society is staging an event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 19 at the Marine Education & Training Center on Sand Island.

"E Ola Hokule'a — Hokule'a Lives" will be open to the public and feature tours of the canoe, video and slide presentations of her voyages and storytelling sessions by crew members.