Hōkūle‘a: Making a Grand Entrance in Auckland
After several exciting weeks of traversing the Northland of Aotearoa (New Zealand) and interacting with incredible communities all throughout, our leg of the Worldwide Voyage finally concluded with a sail into Auckland, the capital city, and a day of ceremonies.
The day started at 4:30 a.m. on Motutapu, an island within sight of the Auckland skyline that is now set aside for conservation. This island was the intended meeting place for eight sailing wakas of the voyaging family, including Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia, before sailing into Auckland Harbor together. These wakas were: Haunui (New Zealand), Hine Moana (New Zealand), Aotearoa 1 (New Zealand), Marumaru Atua (Cook Islands), Gaualofa (Samoa), and Uto ni Yalo (Fiji). The latter three had sailed in from Sydney, Australia after having represented the voyaging family at the World Parks Congress meeting a few weeks prior. Unfortunately, due to light winds, only Marumaru Atua was able to make it to the arrival ceremony on time. Still, the image of six Polynesian voyaging canoes sailing into Auckland was a powerful one for all who were there to witness it.