(WHTM) — It’s been said exploration is curiosity put into action. It was that very curiosity and ingenuity that brought the first Polynesians to hawaiʻI on canoes that ultimately disappeared.

Fast forward some 6 hundred years and the dream of rebuilding a double-hulled sailing canoe, similar to the ones the first Polynesians arrived on, became reality with the rebirth of the hokule’a.

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Since she was first launched in the 1970s, the hokule’a has traveled thousands of miles, navigating only by the stars. She continues to unite cultures while preparing the next generation of navigators.

“Our role the seniors is to support, move forward, and get them ready and they are. The Hokuleoa and the Hikianalia are ready to go,” master navigator Nainoa Thompson said.

Today it is master navigator Nainoa Thompson and the Polynesian voyaging society tasked with teaching the next generation the importance of the effort that brought the first Polynesians to the Hawaiian islands.

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“You never quite feel like you’re ready to do it. But, you do look around and you see that you’ve gone through this training, you’ve done the process, you have now over a decade of experience and they are trusting you and you trust their discretion in that you trust their judgment because they’ve been watching you as well,” Captain and Navigator Lehua Kamalu said.

The Hokule’a will soon make its ninth voyage. It will be a 42-month, 41,000-mile journey to 46 countries and archipelagos.