Closing the Triangle


The Challenge


Rapa Nui Settlement

Rapa Nui Prehistory

Wind, Weather, Ocean Currents of the Pacific

Sailing Strategies

Geography, History, & Culture in the Eastern Pacific

Educational Curriculum for
Rapa Nui

Letter to Educators

History & Heritage

Virtual Voyage

I - Getting to know your Vessel
II - Sail Planning
III - Becoming a crewmember
IV - Provisioning the Vessel
V - Preparing for the Voyage

Research & Action Projects

I - Why We Explore
II - Meterology of the Pacific
III - Naked-eye Astronomy
IV - Sealife
V - Geography, History, Culture

How to Track Hokulea

Vision & Exploration

Exploring the Night Sky

Star Charts for Hawaii

Our Sacred Earth

Malama Hawaii Projects

Northwestern Islands



















Dear Educators

Aloha! We are happy to provide you with this educational packet to be used in conjunction with Hokule'a's current voyage "Closing the Triangle: A Quest for Rapa Nui."

Our voyages have value only when we are able to share with others what we learn along the way; so again, we have worked in partnership with others in the community to design educational materials and programs which allow all of us to sail together. The activities outlined in this packet are intended to bring you and your students along with us on this journey.

Our current endeavor is the most ambitious to date for the Polynesian Voyaging Society. With this journey to Rapa Nui we are attempting to retrace the only major Polynesian migratory route not yet sailed by Hokule'a.

The reason that we have not yet made the voyage to Rapa Nui is not that we didn't want to, but we didn't know how. We have to go 1400 miles directly into the prevailing winds, a journey that could have taken our ancestors to the very limit of their ability to remain healthy or survive on a voyaging canoe. Add the fact that Rapa Nui is very difficult to find--a small and isolated island, surrounded by a virtually empty sea. How in the world could our ancestors have found and settled this island? We are sailing in the wake of people who were the greatest ocean explorers of their time and the first to leave the safety of coastal sailing and venture into the open ocean. We go to Rapa Nui to honor those who had the courage, fortitude and vision to settle our vast Pacific nation of Polynesia.

This voyage will allow us to continue in our quest to explore, accept new challenges, and discover new things, and to work together to achieve a collective vision. By pursuing new and difficult challenges, we build on and expand our knowledge, skills, and abilities and strengthen and extend our traditions.

As we pay tribute to and learn more about the achievements of those in the past, our sights are set upon the future and finding a way to live well on small islands, in harmony with our natural world and with one another. These are the great challenges of the next century, and we hope that this voyage will draw attention to them and lead to discussions about solutions. Our inspiration comes from the ancient people who found a way to balance human needs with the resources of their natural world.

This then, is our next destination - Malama Hawai'i, to take good care of Hawai'i; we sail with this vision for the future:

Hawai'i, our special island home, is a place where the land and sea are cared for, and the people and their communities are healthy and safe.

The themes which we share in this packet--"History and Heritage," "Vision and Exploration," and "Our Sacred Earth"--represent the focus of Malama Hawai'i. We invite you to join with us as we journey together with a common mission: to make a meaningful and on-going contribution to the wellness, health, and spirit of Hawai'i and the planet Earth through education and community-building.


Me ke aloha pumehana,

Nainoa Thompson, Navigator