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Canoe returns to Hawaii after epic 3-year voyage

HONOLULU — No modern navigation instrumentation guided a Polynesian voyaging canoe as it followed the horizon during a three-year journey around the globe. About a dozen crew members for each leg of the voyage relied only on their understanding of nature’s cues — ocean swells, stars, wind, birds— and their own naau, or gut, to sail across about 40,000 nautical miles to 19 countries, spreading a message of malama honua: On Saturday, thousands welcomed double-hulled canoe Hokulea home to Hawaii when it entered a channel off the island Oahu and tied up to a floating dock with Diamond Head in the distance. Mau Piailug, from a small island called Satawal in Micronesia, was among the last half-dozen people in the world to practice the art of traditional navigation and agreed to guide Hokulea to Tahiti in 1976. Disaster befell another voyage in 1978 when the canoe capsized off the Hawaiian island of Molokai in a blinding storm. Eddie Aikau, a revered Hawaiian surfer and lifeguard on the crew, grabbed his surfboard and paddled for help, but was never seen again.

Article by By Jennifer Sinco Kelleher (c) Page One News - Read full story here.