Changing Planet

Braving the Tasman Sea on a Hawaiian Canoe

After sailing the seas of Polynesia for 40 years, the traditional voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa has left home waters and ventured into the Tasman Sea for the first time, continuing her Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage.

Preceding this historic moment was a year-long journey through French Polynesia, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, and New Zealand. Hōkūleʻa’s arrival in Australia brings together one of the world’s oldest cultures (the Australian Aborigines’ ancestors arrived there perhaps 40,000 years ago) with one of the world’s youngest (Hawaiʻi was first settled less than 2,000 years ago).  

The Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines will cover over 50,000 nautical miles through June 2017. Track our traditional voyaging canoes in real time as we seek-out stories of hope around the world.

All images by ʻŌiwi TV.

Read All Posts From the Worldwide Voyage


Marisa Hayase works with the Polynesian Voyaging Society to support Hōkūleʻa’s journey around the world. While sailing 47,000 nautical miles, Hōkūle'a and her sister canoe Hikianalia work to string together a “lei” of stories--big and small--that bring people together and inspire a new pathway forward for the health of our oceans and planet. The Polynesian Voyaging Society preserves and strengthens the traditions, values and knowledge behind one of the greatest feats in human history. Thousands of years ago, Polynesians found and settled islands scattered over 10 million square miles of ocean, exploring unchartered waters and using only the stars, waves, and marine birds and animals to guide them. Hōkūle'a was built 600 years after the last of the Hawaiian sailing canoes had disappeared from sight but not memory. Hōkūle'a brought traditional Pacific exploration back to life and helped spark a revival of Hawaiian language, culture and knowledge. She is more than a voyaging canoe—she represents the hope shared by people of Hawai’i, the Pacific, and the world that we can protect our most cherished values and places from disappearance. Marisa has worked with nonprofit and government organizations nationally and internationally, conducting research in South America, Japan, México, and Europe. She graduated from Williams College with a B.A. and has a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Harvard University. A resident of Kailua, Hawaiʻi, Marisa is happiest when learning new things, building community, and spending time outdoors with her husband, son, and daughter.

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