Polynesian vessels to stop in Campbell River en route around Pacific Ocean

The Hokulea vessel docked in Campbell River's Discovery Harbour Marina on Aug. 3, 2023. Photo by Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror
The Hōkūleʻa or Hikianalia canoes are travelling down Vancouver Island as part of a trip around the entire Pacific Ocean. Photo courtesy Polynesian Voyaging SocietyThe Hōkūleʻa or Hikianalia canoes are travelling down Vancouver Island as part of a trip around the entire Pacific Ocean. Photo courtesy Polynesian Voyaging Society

Two Polynesian Voyaging Canoes will be passing by Campbell River and the east coast of Vancouver Island this month as part of a 43,000 nautical mile circumnavigation of the Pacific Ocean.

The vessel is currently docked at Discovery Harbour Marina and will be there throughout the day on Aug. 3. The crew will be offering tours of the canoe starting at 11:30 until 2 p.m.

Billed as “A Voyage for Oceans, A Voyage for Earth,” Moananuiākea (the name of the voyage)’s goal is to “ignite a movement of 10 million ‘planetary navigators’ who will pursue critical and inspiring ‘voyages’ to ensure a better future for the earth.”

The voyage started in Alaska, and will pass by B.C. through September. From there, the crews will continue south along the west coast of North, Central and South America, before they turn west early next year towards the Galapagos Islands and Rapa Nui. It will pass through Polynesia (Pitcairn Islands, Marquesas, Tuamotus) through next spring, and finish the crossing to Aotearoa (New Zealand) where it will travel through spring 2025.

The voyage will cover Melanesia and Micronesia into 2026, and then travel through Asia and up to Russia by September 2026. By the end of 2026 the voyagers will have crossed the Northern Pacific to Los Angeles, and will return to Hawai’i. It will make one final trip in the spring of 2027 to Tahiti.

Though the plan is subject to change, it will take the multiple crews around the world’s largest ocean, where they will visit over 100 Indigenous territories and stop in hundreds of ports. Including Campbell River.

The two vessels — Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia — will be crewed by 400 different people over the next four years, and the goal is to inspire people to work towards improving their impact on the Earth.

“We do so by developing young leaders and engaging communities around the world while amplifying the vital importance of our oceans, nature, science and indigenous wisdom,” says the Moananuiākea website.

“PVS and Pacific voyaging leadership are identifying important cultural, educational and environmental sites to visit during the Voyage. Each leg will have a specific purpose and lead to our ultimate goal of connecting Pacific communities for collective action around common challenges and a shared sustainable destiny.”

The vessels are expected to visit Browns Bay Resort on Aug. 2, from there they will make their way to Campbell River. People can track the voyage at hokulea.com/moananuiakea/.

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