Using only traditional wayfinding techniques including observing the sun, stars, waves, and birds, both the Hōkūle'a and its sister ship the Hikianalia traveled a combined 60,000 nautical miles, visiting 150 ports and 23 countries. "This is so powerful".
Hokule'a means star of gladness.
It will highlight the voyaging, cultural, environmental, educational and health and well-being missions of the worldwide voyage, with one of the events being a public tour of Hokulea, where people can step on-board the historic vessel on the nearby the Ala Wai Promenade.
"Thank you, Hawaii. Thank you for the moment", Thompson said.
The Polynesian Voyaging Society, the organization helping man the voyage, had one goal - to showcase traditional Polynesian voyaging as well as highlight methods early settlers used to get to Hawaii.
He was among the last half-dozen people in the world to practice the art of traditional navigation, and he agreed to guide Hokulea to Tahiti in 1976. "Mau was the only traditional navigator who was willing and able to reach beyond his culture to ours". Eddie Aikau, a revered surfer and lifeguard on the crew, grabbed his surfboard and set out to paddle for help, but was never seen again.
Crewmembers hope to inspire other indigenous cultures to rediscover their traditions and how they can help with modern day problems.
Native Hawaiian ancestors were not only skilled navigators but good stewards of the islands who farmed and fished sustainably. The coroner said the actress showed signs of having taken multiple drugs, but investigators could not determine whether they contributed to her death in December.
Fish they caught for meals never went to waste, even when they once landed a 49-pound ahi, crew member Naalehu Anthony, who participated in about half-a-dozen legs of the voyage, recalled in a blog post.
Crewmembers slept in plywood bunks covered with waterproof canvas and bathing was simple, recalled Russell Amimoto, a Hokulea crewmember for two legs.
Last week the crew spotted the 10,023-foot (3,055-meter) high Maui mountain Haleakala looming in the distance, signifying Hokulea's official return to Hawaii waters. "We are also looking forward to hearing Hawaii stories of malama honua".