It was quite a feeling watching Hokualaka’i enter Hilo harbor, a sight witnessed by hundreds at Hilo One. She was accompanied by Hokule’a, and greeting by the chants and songs of students from Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke’elikolani College of Hawaiian Language, Ke Kula ‘O Nawahiokalani’opu’u, the Punana Leo O Hilo, and many others. It was pure chicken skin, and the weather was gorgeous. It held that way until Larry Kimura announced the end of the formal program and we were able to eat. Only then did our normal Hilo weather (a strong downpour) returned. I’ll post more pictures later.
Hokualaka’i is quite different from previously constructed open-ocean canoes, in that it is heavily made from composite materials (fiberglass, foam, etc.), and not from wood. It makes it ligher, faster, and safer as a laboratory for our school programs.
I didn’t get any pictures during the actual arrival ceremonies as I got recruited to paddle a smaller canoe carrying the photographer from the Hilo Tribune-Herald into the harbor so he could get some better shots.