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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, April 2, 2007

Palau gives voyagers warm welcome

 •  Hokule'a 2007 voyages to Micronesia and Japan
Follow the Hokule'a as they sail to Micronesia and Japan in our special report.

By Jan TenBruggencate
Advertiser Staff Writer

The voyaging canoe Hokule'a left Hawai'i in January on a five-month voyage to Micronesia and Japan.


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The voyaging canoes Hokule'a and Alingano Maisu are moored at Malakal Harbor in Koror, Palau, after a tumultuous greeting in which more than 1,000 people came out as the canoes arrived shortly after midday Saturday, Hawai'i time.

The crews are expected to engage in a range of educational programs during a stay of several days, and they plan to sail back to Yap island later this week.

At that point, the Hokule'a crew will begin watching the weather for a storm-free window for an estimated two-week sail to Okinawa, Japan.

The Alingano Maisu, which has been given by the Hawaiian voyaging community to the people of Micronesia, will remain in Yap, its new home port.

Spokeswoman Kathy Thompson said Hokule'a captain and navigator Nainoa Thompson reported that the crew spotted the lights of Palau at about 3:30 a.m. Sunday, Micronesia time. They had left Yap Friday afternoon.

The president of Palau was aboard Hokule'a for the journey from Yap. A Palauan coast guard ship met up with the canoes and stayed with them to the channel entrance, Muneno said.

At the entrance, traditional Palauan war canoes met the canoes with chanting and the blowing of a conch-shell trumpet. They then escorted the vessels to the dock, where the crews were greeted with traditional songs and dances.

Reach Jan TenBruggencate at jant@honoluluadvertiser.com.