Visited by honor – welcoming Hōkūle‘a to Alexandria, VA

We wrote back in September, 2014 about an epic voyage that had then started, a round-the-world voyage, using only traditional wayfinding navigation, of the replica Polynesian voyaging canoe Hōkūle‘a. across the southwestern Pacific, over Australia, across the Indian to Mozambique and South Africa, and up and across the Atlantic to the eastern U.S. Most recently, Hōkūle‘a took her crew up the Chesapeake Bay to Chine bLog’s very home port, Alexandria, VA.

Fireboats welcome Hōkūle‘a to Alexandria, VA
Fireboats welcome Hōkūle‘a to Alexandria, VA

We visited twice, once for the welcoming ceremony, wherein we discovered that there are twelve – TWELVE! – hula clubs in the Washington, DC area, all of whom were on hand to perform. Yours truly and Ms. Chine bLog jr. were able to enjoy the show, but not get aboard, on account of the long line and pressing commitments. I was left with no choice but to cut out of work for a bit the next day to fulfill the longstanding need to get aboard this magnificent wa’a.

I have to say, it was beyond worth it. A crew member gave a group of us a lovely introduction to the boat and the voyage. She began by saying that all of the visitors lent a bit of energy – I believe she used “mana” – to the boat by coming aboard. I tell you, I felt it. The boat has a power about her that was beautiful. She is also full of stories and tokens to honor those in her past. There are amazing details everywhere.

Below is a collection of pictures I took across the visits, with what information I can provide in the captions.

Hōkūle‘a is an amazing boat. Do yourself a favor and read more about her history in Sailing in the Wake of the Ancestors: Reviving Polynesian Voyaging by Ben Finney. Follow the rest of the voyage at her main website (picture below from there).

Hōkūle‘a, from her website

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