Hokuleʻa arrived in the Tahitian capital of Papeete on the morning of June 4. Unbeknownst to the crew, who had been out of radio communication with the rest of the world, the Tahitians had been avidly following Hokuleʻa's progress, posting the canoe's daily position on charts tacked up around the city and broadcasting updates in newspapers, radio, and TV. The Governor of French Polynesia had declared the day of their arrival a public holiday; schools and businesses were closed, and the harbor was filled with hundreds of paddling canoes, launches, and yachts. People had begun gathering at the harbor the previous night, and by the time the canoe arrived, wrote Finney, "they were everywhere, standing knee deep in the surf, surging over the reef, jammed along the shore, perched atop waterfront buildings and weighing down the limbs of shade trees lining the water's edge." More than 17,000 people—over half the population of the island—had come to witness Hokuleʻa's arrival. On shore there was cheering and the beating of drums, then as the canoe approached a silence fell over the crowd, and a church choir lifted up its voice in a Tahitian hymn of welcome composed specially for the day. The effect, as thousands joined in, recalled one eyewitness, was "spine-tingling."