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Ka’upena Wong

On March 8, 1975, below the peak of Kanehoalani (“Kane, Heavenly Companion”) and the broad cliffs of Mo’o Kapu o Haloa (“Sacred Section of Haloa”) at the north end of Kane’ohe Bay, Hōkūle’a slid down a coconut log ramp and floated calmly at sea. The site in Kualoa Regional Park in windward O’ahu, at the border of the ahupua’a of Kualoa and Hakipu’u, was chosen for the launching because of its importance to the voyaging traditions of Hawai’i. Kualoa was the home of the voyaging chief La’amaikahiki (“Sacred One from Tahiti”), and Hakipu’u was the home of the voyaging chief Kaha’i, perhaps La’amaikahiki’s grandson.