Traditional sailing canoe ends round-the-world trip in Hawaii

Tens of thousands of people in Hawaii on Saturday turned out to welcome home a sailing canoe modelled on a traditional Polynesian design as it completed a three-year,round-the-world trip.
The double-hulled, 20-metre-long Hokulea was surrounded by swimmers and other smaller boats as she sailed into harbour on the Hawaiian island of Oahu after covering more than 70,000 kilometres since setting off in May 2014.
The boat’s 12-person crew – which was swapped out many times during the journey – navigated their way round the world using only ancient techniques, with the stars, the sun, the waves and the seabirds as their aids.
They put in at more than 150 harbours including in Australia, Brazil,Cuba and the United States.
The boat’s maiden voyage was in 1976 when it sailed to Tahiti. It was built as a bid by Hawaiians to preserve their traditional seafaring heritage as well as promoting environmental protection and sustainability around the world.
“The heart of all of this is exploration,” said Bruce Blankenfeld, a master navigator and the voyaging director for the Hokulea’s worldwide voyage, in comments quoted by Hawaii News Now.
“There is so much to learn, the big quantum leaps in knowledge happen when people look outside of the box.” — dpa