Hokule'a arrives in Seattle for 4-day visit

Aug. 27—The Hokule'a arrived in Seattle on Saturday morning where it will remain for four days as its crew conducts tours of the canoe and participates in public engagement activities throughout the city.

The canoe sailed from Suquamish and arrived in Elliot Bay, where it was greeted by a flotilla of outrigger paddling canoes and the city's fire boat. The Suquamish and Muckleshoot Indian tribes also held a welcome ceremony after the canoe docked, as the Hokule'a and its crew enter into the 10th week of their four-year Moananuiakea Voyage.

"The Port of Seattle welcomes the crew of the Hokule'a and the message they bring from indigenous voices across the Pacific Ocean — protect our most cherished values and places from disappearing," said Port of Seattle Commissioner Fred Felleman in a written statement. "The importance of their message is underscored as we lament the tragic losses from the devastating fire in Lahaina."

The ceremony consisted of remarks by the Polynesian Voyaging Society's CEO Nainoa Thompson, Seattle city officials and an Indigenous arts and culture group, Unkitawa.

Today the Hokule'a crew will be at the Seattle Aquarium, where aquarium attendees can meet crew members, learn about traditional Polynesian voyaging, navigation, nautical knot tying and the Moananuiakea Voyage, according to the Hokule'a website.

Later today, captain and navigator Bruce Blankenfeld will present the history of Hokule'a, traditional navigation and the Moananuiakea Voyage, also at the aquarium.

This evening, the public has the opportunity to meet the Hokule'a crew members at Patagonia Seattle.

The public also is invited to participate in afternoon dockside tours of the Hokule'a today and Monday.

On Tuesday, Thompson is scheduled to give a presentation at the Burke Museum.

Following the Hokule'a's four-day stay in Seattle, it is scheduled to depart from Bell Harbor Marina on Wednesday morning. Weather permitting, it is scheduled to arrive in Tacoma at noon at the Foss Waterway Seaport Museum.

To learn more about the Hokule'a's arrival into Seattle, visit hokulea.com.


Linsey Dower covers ethnic and cultural affairs and is a corps member of Report for America, a national service organization that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues and communities.