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Hokulea back in Pacific after Panama Canal crossing


HONOLULU — A Hawaiian sailing canoe on an around-the-world journey has passed through the Panama Canal and is back in Pacific waters for the first time in nearly two years.

The Polynesian Voyaging Society said in a news release that Hokulea and its crew made it to the Pacific side of the canal Wednesday. A ship had been used to tow the double-hulled canoe across the canal’s strong currents, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports (

Hokulea had arrived in Colon, Panama, on Jan. 2, about two weeks after leaving Key West, Florida. Canoe Captain Bruce Blankenfeld said they had been scheduled to start moving through the canal Monday, but a two-day journey across three sets of locks caused the delay.

The crew is expected to stay in Balboa, Panama, for about a week before heading out to the Galapagos Islands, the voyaging society said. That trip is estimated to last about 10 days and will be the first of about seven more legs on the crew’s worldwide voyage.

Hokulea is expected to return to Oahu in June.

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