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Polynesian canoe on around-the-world journey crosses equator

A traditional Polynesian voyaging canoe on an around-the-world journey has reached a milestone by crossing the equator on its way back to Hawaii.

Hawaii News Now reports that the Hokulea crossed the equator on Friday, after it left Tahiti.

"It's a pretty huge deal," Pua Lincoln Maielua, Hokulea's apprentice navigator, tells Hawaii News Now. "To be in this space, and be able to confirm where we are based on what we're seeing in the sky...has been gratifying."

Hawaii News Now says crew members have been at sea for 10 days since they left Tahiti.

The Hokulea is scheduled to return to Hawaii on June 17.

Hokulea crew members are sailing without modern navigation equipment and have traveled through at least five oceans. The crew is teaching people in other countries about traditional navigation, Native Hawaiian culture and caring for the ocean.