San Francisco Community Welcomes Hikianalia and Crew
Thousands of people gathered at Aquatic Park in San Francisco today at noon (PST) to welcome Polynesian voyaging canoe Hikianalia and her crew with a cultural ceremony and celebration. The 13-person crew arrived on the canoe along with a few special guests including Hawaiʻi Governor David Ige and Alaska Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallot. As the canoe entered the Aquatic Park Cove from San Francisco Bay, it was escorted by a flotilla of outrigger canoe paddlers and was given a fireboat water salute.
The arrival started with traditional landing protocol conducted by Kamehameha Schools. The canoe was welcomed and granted permission to enter Aquatic Cove by the indigenous hosts of the region, the Muwekma Ohlone tribe. After an exchange of chants and ceremonial welcome rituals, remarks were made by local officials, San Francisco Hawaiian community members and Hikianalia captain Lehua Kamalu. Although California Governor Jerry Brown was unable to attend the ceremony, he presented a proclamation, which was delivered by representatives from his office, recognizing the California Voyage and its mission. The community celebration featured entertainment by local Hawaiian performers and hula groups, and cultural expressions from various local Native American tribes.
On September 17 and 18, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Hikianalia will be open for dockside canoe tours conducted by the voyagers at Hyde Street Pier, which will be offering free entry to tour visitors. After three days at Hyde Street Pier, Hikianalia will sail to Sausalito. (see tentative port schedule below)
“Sailing the North Pacific provided our crew with a large amount of growth. We had to learn about that ocean, and in the process, learn it’s value,” said Lehua Kamalu, captain and navigator of Hikianalia. “When we arrived in Aquatic Bay today, it was amazing to see so many Pacific Islanders here in San Francisco. To all those who may miss their island home, we hope the work and sailing we do not only makes them proud but also connected to their land and culture,” she added.
Hikianalia made landfall at Half Moon Bay on Monday, Sept. 10 after sailing approximately 2,800-miles over 23 days. Powered by wind and sun, the 13-person crew demonstrated the important relationship between humanity and the natural environment as they navigated their way from Hawaiʻi to California using cues from nature, rather than a GPS or other modern navigational instruments, to guide the way.
The crew arrived ijust in time for the Global Climate Action Summit, Sept. 12-14. Host Governor Jerry Brown of California invited Polynesian Voyaging Society president Nainoa Thompson and Hikianalia captain and navigator Lehua Kamalu to deliver a message about the importance of caring for the oceans at the Summit this morning. The voyagers received a standing ovation from the audience after their inspiring remarks.
About Alahula Kai o Maleka Hikianalia California Voyage
The Alahula Kai o Maleka Hikianalia California Voyage is a continuation of the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Mālama Honua campaign to inspire action toward an environmentally and culturally thriving world. The name of the voyage, Alahula Kai o Maleka, honors the “frequented pathway,” alahula, across the ocean between Hawaiʻi and California, kai o Maleka. Kai o Maleka, literally means “sea of America,” a traditional reference to the Pacific waterway connecting the Hawaiian Islands and the West Coast. Additional purposes of the voyage are to celebrate the Polynesian communities of California; connect, learn and share the Mālama Honua message with schools and communities; continue developing the next generation of voyaging captains, navigators and crewmembers; and to share the story of Hikianalia, a canoe that blends ancient wisdom and modern solutions to address the environmental and cultural issues of today.