"We really are sailing in their (the ancestors') wake," says Ka'iulani Murphy, 38. "We had to re-learn what our ancestors had mastered." Murphy says the toughest part of the journey was dealing with cloud cover and trying to maintain the proper speed so the boat escorting the canoe could keep pace.
She says she enjoyed eating the fish that the crew caught during the journey.
Thousands are welcoming the double-hulled canoe Hokulea home to Hawaii after it entered a channel off the island of Oahu and tied up to a floating dock with iconic Diamond Head in the distance.
"Just being here and feeling the mana that's here, it's something to enjoy which brings tears to my eyes," said Bert Wong, who came to Ala Moana Beach Park to celebrate Hokulea's homecoming — and to celebrate his son, Kaleo, a Hokulea navigator, according to Hawaii News Now. "This is so powerful."
The crew held a formal homecoming ceremony on Magic Island, which is in Honolulu, that was to include welcoming remarks from Gov. David Ige and Mayor Kirk Caldwell and a short speech by Nainoa Thompson, a well-known master navigator, the Honolulu
A Polynesian voyaging canoe returned to Hawaii after a three-year journey around the world guided only by nature.
No modern navigation was used by those aboard to guide the canoe named Hokulea across 40,000 nautical miles (74,000 kilometers).
Instead, the canoe's navigators used only ocean waves, stars and the wind to find their way.
Thousands welcomed the double-hulled canoe powered by two main sails to Oahu on Saturday.
The voyage perpetuated traditional navigating methods that brought the first Polynesians to Hawaii.
Navigators also spread a message of caring for the Earth.
Polynesian Voyaging Society President Nainoa Thompson notes that the ancestors who discovered Hawaii were good stewards of the islands.
The Hokulea will next embark on an eight-month journey throughout the Hawaiian islands.