Hawaiian voyagers to honour Māori navigating legend

By Jessica Tyson

The Polynesian Voyaging Society crew is set to hold a sunset sail in Hawai'i this weekend to honour Māori navigator and waka builder Sir Hekenukumai (Hector) Busby who passed away earlier this month.

As part of the ceremony, members will sail out to sea on Sunday (NZ time) with two canoes, Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia, to scatter flowers and reflect on the extraordinary legacy of Busby.

Polynesian Voyaging Society president Nainoa Thompson attended Busby’s tangihanga and said Busby had a huge influence on the people of the Pacific.

"It's impossible to be able to try to measure his impact on, not just me, but every Hawai'ian in the world," says Thompson.

Busby's epic quest to revive ocean voyaging was sparked by the arrival Hōkūle'a to Aotearoa in 1985.  At the time, Thompson was the captain.

"Hector helped me find courage when I was most afraid because I didn't believe. He taught me to believe."

 

The Dutch perform haka to honour Sir Hekenukumai Hector Busby. (Source: Waka Gezelschap der KSRV/YouTube)

Since Busby’s passing, thousands of people around the world have paid their respects, including navigators from America and the Netherlands.

The ceremony in Hawai'i will take place on Sunday at 2.30pm (NZ time).