The Journey

hokuleaI believe it is very exciting to follow the around the world journey of the Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia. Last May, they left from Hilo, Hawaii and, navigating by the stars, arrived safely in Tahiti. With all our technology, there is something wonderful with the ancient ways. On their website is a map showing a technologically laid out path from one destination to another; the line is overlaid with the actual path of the two canoes. The accuracy of their trip highlights the constant need of adjusting their course to align with the stars (constants). It’s an amazing dance between the ever-changing and constants. I believe there might be a lesson or two for us.

Constants (Knowns)

Question: What is the expected outcome? 

Before leaving Hawaii, the route was planned and carefully studied. Key: before implementing plans, envision the desired outcomes. A simple question that must be asked is, “Why?” The answer to this question clarifies its importance. The objective of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage is to join and grow the global movement toward a more sustainable world. When tough times come, it’s important to know why you are doing what you are doing.

Question: Is this the right time?

Not only is “why” important, but “when” is just as important. The launching was delayed a few days by weather. But, when the conditions were right, they launched and traveled to Tahiti with a record pace. Timing is critical to success.

Question: Who should be involved?

A team of more than 300 were carefully chosen; approximately 30 will be involved at one time with each leg of the journey. A blend of seasoned navigators are working with those who are learning this ancient art so they can pass their knowledge to subsequent generations. This raises the importance of impacting the future by passing on experience and wisdom.

Ever-changing (Unknowns)

Even with the careful planning, the journey began with unknowns. Ever-changing conditions in currents, airflow, weather, etc. required a diligent monitoring of their course. Getting off course is easier than we realize. Just one degree off the desired path can lead to failure.


When I think about the journey of the Worldwide Voyage, I think I can apply at least three lessons:

  1. Knowing where you are going, why you are going and who should join you.
  2. Monitor your course diligently. Don’t let the distractions of the unexpected lead you off course.
  3. Enjoy the journey – celebrate achievement!

One last thought…should not  joy be found in the journey as well as the destination? Should we not find joy in catching a fish for supper as well as sighting land?


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