Blog module icon

Newport News Now

N3 Blog header

Newport News Now is a daily e-newsletter that launched in March 2016. Articles that ran in our newsletter between March 2016 and March 2018 are available on these pages. Newsletters produced beginning in April 2018 can be viewed on our new daily newsletter page.

View All Posts

Nov 10

Newport News Hosts Unique Polynesian Sailing Vessel

Posted on November 10, 2016 at 8:46 AM by Communications Department

Newport News was graced by an important layover of the Polynesian sailing canoe Hokule’a. The 62-foot double-hulled canoe, built for the Polynesian PolyBoat1_SCVoyaging Society of Hawaii to honor Polynesian sailing tradition that all but disappeared from Hawaii 600 years ago, is nearing completion of a four-year Worldwide voyage. The entire trip by the Hokule’a, a vessel that resembles a modern day catamaran, will have covered 60,000 miles when they return to their homeport of Hawaii in June 2017.

In partnership with the Mariners’ Museum, Hampton Roads Crane and Rigging, and Davis Boat Works/Fairlead, the Hokule’a was lifted from the water on October 17th to tend to routine maintenance at the Mariners Museum before continuing South on the last leg of their journey. The massive vessel was carefully transported, by trailer, in the early morning hours from Davis Boat Works at the City’s Seafood Industrial Park and staged outdoors at the PolyBoat2_scMariners’ Museum. Visitors to the museum were treated to a special glimpse into Polynesian sailing history.

Like their ancestors, the crew of the Hokule’a operates without modern navigation equipment – not even a compass on board. All navigation is done by reading the stars, otherwise known as celestial navigation. While hard at work in Newport News, the crew of the Hokule’a learned that National Geographic named them one of ten nominees for the 2017 People’s Choice “Adventurer of the Year” Award.

The City of Newport News, with its own renowned maritime heritage, is honored to have hosted and supported the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s efforts to re-establish and sustain the early sailing tradition of the Polynesian islands.