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Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia set sail to Tahiti via Hilo after delays

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons
FILE - Hōkūleʻa in 2009

The Polynesian Voyaging Society canoes Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia departed from Oʻahu for Hilo on Monday — 11 days later than planned. The canoes had been stuck at Sand Island due to strong winds.

The departure was further delayed Monday morning after a crew member on a training voyage tested positive for COVID-19. The crews then tested negative and departed around 11:15 a.m.

If conditions are favorable, they should arrive in Hilo on Wednesday.

Polynesian Voyaging Society officials said they hope the canoes will depart for Tahiti as early as Thursday. The crews of both canoes will be traveling an ancient sea road known as Kealaikahiki.

The journey to Tahiti is expected to take about 20 days, depending on the weather.

Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia are scheduled to return to Oʻahu in June.

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