"Ku Holo La Komohana - Sail On To The Western Sun"
The title of this post is the name given to this voyage by Hawaiian scholar and author, Lilikala Kame'eleihiwa. On the Hawaiian star compass, komohana, the western sun, marks the sailing direction from Hawai'i to Japan.
Following the visit to Palua and a brief return to Yap, the Polynesian Voyaging Society's double hulled sailing canoe, Hokule'a, is now well on her way to Okinawa. There was some delay to make sure that the weather enroute would not pose any extreme hazards (such as a cyclone). She is now less than 160 miles (296 km) from Itoman Harbor, Okinawa, making 4.3 knots.
Navigating by the sun and stars, Holuke'a will sail up to the latitude of Okinawa (26 degrees N) then turn west until landfall. At that latitude, the Southern Cross (Hanaiakamalama) sits right on the horizon indicating due south.
As the Southern Cross sets S by W, other stars - Alpha and Beta Centauri (Kamailemua and Kamailehope) transit the meridian about an hour and a half apart, at 3.5 and 3 degrees above the horizon respectively, offering more cues for Hokule'a to stay on course at 26 degrees N latitude.
The visit to Japan celebrates the ties between Hawaii and Japan which began in 1881 when King David Kalakaua became the first head of state to visit Japan after the Meiji Restoration. In 1885, King Kalakaua requested and Emperor Meiji signed an agreement which allowed for the immigration of Japanese workers to Hawai‘i.
"The voyage will nurture multi-generational, multicultural family ties and provide an opportunity for cultural exchanges, with Hawai'i sharing with the Japanese the story of Hokule'a and the renaissance of Hawaiian culture and pride. The voyage will also celebrate Hawai‘i’s cultural diversity, honor our ancestors, encourage stewardship of our environment, and contribute to global peace by fostering cultural understanding and appreciation." - Polynesian Voyaging Society
For the latest details, photos and navigation information about Hokule'a, visit: