On Saturday, November 14, Ambassador Gaspard, Consul General Teddy Taylor, Archibishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, and Reverend Mpho Tutu welcomed the Hōkūleʻa to Cape Town. The Hōkūleʻa — a 40-year-old traditional Hawaiian sailing canoe – is in the midst of an epic around-the-world journey using no modern navigation equipment. Its Hawaii-based crew relies instead on a traditional Polynesian navigation technique called “wayfinding,” using the positions of the sun, moon, and stars to guide them as they navigate the high seas. The Hōkūleʻa’s arrival in Cape Town marked the half-way point on this historic voyage.
Reverened Mpho Tutu, Ambassador Gaspard, and the Hōkūleʻa’s captain discussed the many values and traditions shared in both Hawaiian and South African culture. Ambassador Gaspard highlighted the Hōkūleʻa’s role, especially in this modern age of reliance on technology, in reminding us of the importance of making the time to preserve the art forms, environment, people-to-people connections, and ancient traditions we hold dear.
The canoe is currently docked at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town and will be open to the public for tours again on Saturday, November 21st from 10 am to 1 pm. While in Cape Town, the crew is conducting a number of workshops throughout the city focused on protection of the environment, oceans, and preserving traditional cultures. Upon leaving Cape Town in mid-December, the canoe and crew will sail for Brazil. You can follow the canoe’s global voyage in real-time at www.hokulea.com.