When the voyaging canoe Hokule'a and her escort Hikianalia leave Hawaii for their voyage around the world, they will be taking the rest of us along as well. The canoes are equipped with the latest technology to make sure we don't miss out.
Here's just a peak of what will be seen in the months and years to come.
The two canoes will carry dozens of members of the media when it sets sail from. Over the next 3 1/2 years the canoes will sale 47,000 nautical miles and join with coastal communities worldwide to spread the message: take care of our oceans and earth.
In the past Hokule'a has used everything from cell phones to email to communicate with communities and students, but this voyage is different. The vessel Hikianalia will play an important role in it all. It is the safety vessel and much more.
The Polynesian Voyaging Society has partnered with Hawaiian digital TV station OIWI TV who has equipped Hikianalia with all the latest technology
For the first time the crew of Hokule'a and her escort vessel will be able to share video and audio that's almost crystal clear thanks to technology inspired by the America's Cup; a yacht sailing race.
"We were watching the America's Cup last fall and I saw the video streaming coming off the racing boats in the middle of San Harbor and the light bulbs started going off," said Keoni Lee of 'OIWI TV.
They ended up installing long rage Wi-Fi on the top of the masts of the two canoes, so they now have high speed Wi-Fi up to two miles. Then there is a R2D2 that allows them to send the video, sound and live interviews via satellite to Hawaii.
"There's a lot that goes into figuring out the technical side of this," said Kaipo Akaka.
Crews from 'OIWI TV will shoot, edit and send the video between canoes and back to Hawaii, but they are also crew members of Hikianalia and Hokule'a.
"The most challenging part is being a sailor because I ran a camera for the first ½ of my life; sailing for only a few years," said Maui Tauotaha of 'OIWI TV.
Safety comes first. When a sail needs trimming, the camera is put down and the canoe is helped. Still, there is a lot of time to document a perfect pairing for Hokule'a.
"Because Hokule'a brings the tradition, the very indigenous native kind of history with it, but Hikianalia is the modern ship that brings all this technology and it's the blending of the technology with the ancient and the modern that's really the crux…if that is what will make this voyage successful," said Keoni.
The canoes are scheduled to leave Oahu May 17 and head to Hilo. They will set sail from Hilo May 24 for Tahiti on the first international leg of their voyage if weather permits.