HANALEI — There was no need for canned air Tuesday as Kanana Kuhaulua put her lips to the conch shell in Hanalei.
Eyes riveted onto the young lady and the morning air was pierced by the sound of the shell marking the end of a session.
“More than 1,500 kids from Kekaha to Hanalei will have gone through the Hokulea by the time she leaves,” Kuhaulua said. “The school tours are totally sold out.”
Hokulea, the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s sailing canoe, arrived Sunday for a visit that will last until around Sept. 17 before it embarks on its four-year Malama Honua trip with its sister sailing canoe, the Hikianalia.
“Hokulea wanted to visit the Neighbor Islands before it left on the world tour,” Kuhaulua said. “This trip is for Kauai and the island’s kids before she leaves.”
Hokulea is scheduled to be at the Hanalei Pier through Sept. 7 before moving to Nawiliwili, where she will be moored from Sept. 9 through the 13th.
The Kauai visit is part of Hokulea’s 1,000-mile Malama Hawaii leg of the world tour, the Hawaii portion including stops at 30 ports before Hokulea departs for Tahiti in May 2014.
Canoe tours and dockside lessons will occupy the crew’s time during the morning hours from 9 a.m. to noon, Mondays through Fridays.
Following a break for lunch, the sailing canoe is open for public tours from 1 to 5 p.m.
Kuhaulua said Malama Honua is Taking Care of the Earth, and during the school tours, students get a session aboard the Hokulea, a lesson in celestial navigation and compass reading, and a brief geography lesson.
The lesson plans tie in with the mission of Hokulea’s world voyage of navigating toward a healthy and sustainable future new ways of learning.
• Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.