In less than two weeks, the voyaging canoe Hokule'a and her sister vessel Hikianalia will set sail from Hawaii. It's the first international leg of the Polynesian Voyaging Society's Malama Honua sail.
All this week we'll take you behind the scenes of Malama Honua from food preparation to meeting the crew.
The journey will be a four-year voyage starting with Tahiti, Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga and New Zealand.
In 2015 they will sail to Fiji, Australia, Bali and Madagascar.
2016 will find the canoes sailing to South Africa, crossing the Atlantic to Brazil and then a tour up the U.S. east coast.
2017 will be the voyage home through the Panama Canal with stops including the Galapagos, Rapa Nui and back home to Hawaii.
But what led to this journey you could say was destined in the stars.
In a historic three-way call between Hokulea, the space shuttle Columbia and Hawaii student in 1992, the late Hawaii astronaut Lacy Veach compared the Hokulea to the Columbia shuttle.
"Well the similarities are both voyages of exploration. Hokulea is exploring the past. Columbia is beginning the exploration for the future.
It would be on a night not long after speaking with late PVS leader Pinky Thompson that Veach would plant a seed that would sprout 22 years later.
"He kept saying you need to take Hokulea around the world. It needs to see the Earth and Earth needs to see it. And you go around the world and bring gifts back to Hawaii. Hawaii needs to become the laboratory and the school of living well on islands. All the concepts and ideas that shaped not just the voyage and actually Malama Honua," said Veach.
Malama Honua -- taking care of mother earth -- the seed has taken hold.
"We've been training for six years. We've sailed over 50,000 miles in just north of the equator and Hawaii just to ready for this voyage," said Nainoa Thompson of the Polynesian Voyaging Society. "It's time to go. It's time to go."
After an intensive dry dock Hokule'a is now lighter, faster and more watertight than ever before. Her sister vessel Hikianalia is loaded with the latest technology.
The ambitious voyage has been years in the making as organizers looked at where the winds would allow Hokulea to sail and how to keep it safe from mother nature and human violence.
"Hurricanes define our sail schedule. We sail in the non-hurricane season in those parts of the world and we don't compromise them," said Thompson. "Part of it is avoiding human violence. The piracy issue in East Africa, West Africa, Indonesia, the Philippines; we knock out places specifically because the risk was too high."
The mission of this voyage focuses on the Earth's cultural and national treasures, how we can all work together to protect them and highlight the good stuff that's being done by communities all around the world. It brings it all together on a global platform using technology to bring everyone together.
"We sail on the belief that at the commonness of all of us is a people who care about their children, care about their home and they care about a world that they deliver to their next generation. That's our fundamental belief and so we sail for it," said Thompson.
Our Hokulea series will continue Tuesday when we show you the plan to feed two dozen people for a month at sea.