Honolulu Community College to host Pacific voyagers

Seven South Pacific vaka to moor at METC during Oahu stay

Honolulu Community College
Posted: Jun 24, 2011

HōkūleĎa at the Marine Education and Training Center (2010)
HōkūleĎa at the Marine Education and Training Center (2010)
HONOLULU  -- In advance of the APEC Conference in November, another important international gathering is taking place on June 25 on Oʻahu’s Windward side that will eventually lead them to Ke‘ehi Lagoon on Sunday, June 26. Seven South Pacific voyaging canoes have embarked on a Pan Pacific Vaka Voyage that began in New Zealand and has now arrived in Hawai‘i, completing the long first leg of their journey to raise awareness of ocean preservation and sustainability.
Honolulu Community College in partnership with the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) will be hosting an anticipated 125 visiting voyagers at the college’s Marine Education and Training Center (METC) at Ke‘ehi Lagoon. During their 10-day stay on O‘ahu, the METC facilities will be the home for rest, repair and maintenance as the crewmembers prepare for the second phase of their journey to the West Coast of North America. The Pacific Voyagers, as they call themselves, are a group of seven vaka crewed by 14 Polynesian nations, that include: Tahiti, Cook Islands, Aotearoa, Fiji, Samoa, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu. 

“On behalf of Honolulu Community College as well as the University of Hawai‘i System, we warmly welcome the visiting vaka to the college’s Marine Education and Training Center. This magnificent convergence of voyaging canoes from across the South Pacific is a first of this magnitude," said Michael T. Rota, chancellor of Honolulu Community College. "The college shares in the responsibility to extend our support alongside our friends at the Polynesian Voyaging Society to ensure their stay on O‘ahu is successful."

The Honolulu CC Marine Education and Training Center is a state-of-the-art training facility ranked as one of the premier training facilities in the United States. The college’s vessel fabrication students were instrumental in the refurbishment of the Hawai‘i Loa, Hōkūle‘a’s sister, melding traditional and modern methods. 

Honolulu CC continues to honor the well-established partnership with the PVS that began in 2003. The college is playing an important role in the training of over 2,000 people in preparation for the upcoming World Wide Voyage of the Hōkūle‘a led by master navigator and PVS Executive Director Nainoa Thompson.