Thousands of people were on hand Saturday on the island of Oahu to greet the vessel, which navigated the world’s seas relying mostly on the sun and stars, ocean waves and cloud movement.
The Hokulea was greeted in the harbor by other replica Polynesian voyaging canoes as well as modern ships, sailboats, wave runners and paddle boarders.
In the dangerous ceremony, spears are thrown toward one man — who either catches the spears or deflects them. It’s meant to challenge warriors entering a new land.
Hokulea crew member Sam Kapoi performed the task, fending off eight traditional spears.
“It was done for canoes that left the realm…basically in the hands of God. The spears show that the person catching is still a man, not a god,” Kapoi told the affiliate.
Kapoi slammed the last spear into the ground, symbolizing the Hokulea’s return.