Changing Planet

Hokulea Visits the Pitcairn Islands

[From an official press release by the Polynesian Voyaging Society.]

After 11 full days on the ocean, Hawaii’s iconic sailing vessel Hokulea and her crew arrived yesterday on Pitcairn Island for the first time in nearly 20 years. During their one-day visit with the Pitcairn community, the crew engaged with one of the families the crew met when Hokulea last visited in 1998. The canoe departed Pitcairn last night and is expected to reach her next stop in the Marquesas Islands in about 10 days.

“To bring Hokulea back to Pitcairn was truly special. It was an amazing opportunity to rekindle relationships with people who have supported us for so long,” said Bruce Blankenfeld, Pwo navigator. “This occasion deepens our bonds as a community and network of island people.”

Nestled in the southern Pacific Ocean, the Pitcairn Islands dot the sea with clusters of volcanic islands and atolls. The islands form the last British Overseas Territory in the Pacific and remains one of the most pristine places on Earth due to its remote location. The island has only 39 permanent residents who showed their support and excitement of hosting Hawaii’s voyaging canoe and led the crew on an island tour.

Now back in the water, Hokulea is on her way to the Marquesas Islands. Hokulea’s last stop will be in Tahiti where she will meet up with her sister canoe, Hikianalia and sail back to Hawaii together on the final leg of the Worldwide Voyage.

The crews will be welcomed with a homecoming ceremony at Magic Island, on June 17, 2017.

  • Melua

    How right it is to revive and promote the traditions of our proud Polynesian ancestors! We were honoured by Hokule’a crew and her escort vessel for making the stop at Pitcairn, strengthening the bond between our islands and theirs. Salt water flows through our veins. We are bound by this great Pacific Ocean. One ocean. One people.
    Mahalo for the visit, Hokule’a. Family. Maururu roa.

  • A k robertson

    I visited pitcairn in the 70s I was in the royal navy doing nuclear tests on rfa Sir perceivable. Great experience we went to the home of Vernon young and I thiń it was Bob Christian who used to work the more code off the island with great quality. They had their own cinema and when you landed on island a hill took you to where the locals lived I remember getting quite drunk on Vernon’s long life coconut milk. A truly great experience I was radio operator robertson

About the Blog

Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

Opinions are those of the blogger and/or the blogger’s organization, and not necessarily those of the National Geographic Society. Posters of blogs and comments are required to observe National Geographic’s community rules and other terms of service.

Voices director: David Braun (

Social Media