MYSTIC, Conn. — Crewmembers of Hawaii’s Worldwide Voyaging canoe Hokulea departed Rhode Island’s Block Island after sunrise on Thursday, and arrived at Mystic Seaport’s Mystic Harbor a few hours later about 9:04 a.m. EST. The crew from Hawaii was escorted up the Mystic River by paddlers in a mishoon, a traditional dugout canoe built by the Mashantucket Pequot people.
Representatives of the Mashantucket Pequot tribal nation, a community with deep ancestral ties to the whaling world, honored Hokulea’s arrival through welcome speeches, ceremonial chants, a friendship dance, and symbolic gifts of blankets and herbs.
Mystic Seaport Museum hosts also presented the crew with a house flag of the Charles W. Morgan, an historic American whaling ship.
“Pequot means people of the shallow water; we are coastal people. We rely on water for survival,” a Mashantucket Pequot representative shared with the Hokulea crew during the welcome ceremony. “We feel at home in the water, and it’s an honor to have you here to come share your culture with us, and for us to share ours with you.”
After the welcome ceremony, crewmembers were invited by tribal council members and elders to visit the world-renowned Mashantucket Pequot Museum, a facility that features Pequot history and culture through life-sized walk-through exhibits.
While in Mystic, the Hokulea crew will be participating in the 25th annual Wooden Boat Show. About 10,000 people were expected to attend the weekend boat show.
The Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage will cover over 60,000 nautical miles, 100 ports and 27 nations, including 12 of UNESCO’s Marine World Heritage sites. Voyaging from Hawaii in 2013 with an estimated sail conclusion date of June 2017, the Worldwide Voyage is taking the iconic sailing vessels Hokulea around Island Earth and her sister canoe Hikianalia around the Pacific and the Hawaiian Islands to grow a global movement toward a more sustainable world.