Voyaging Canoe Hikianalia Reaches Northern California
Polynesian voyaging canoe Hikianalia has made landfall in Northern California. After sailing approximately 2,800-miles over 23 days, the 13-person crew arrived in the Half Moon Bay area at approximately 9:00 a.m. (PST) this morning.
“I am extremely proud of this crew for completing this long and challenging journey,” said Nainoa Thompson, president, Polynesian Voyaging Society. “This was one of the most difficult, deep-sea ocean voyages in more than 43 years, and our crew demonstrated strong leadership, navigation skill and teamwork to make it a success,” he added.
The Alahula Kai o Maleka Hikianalia California Voyage was led by captain and navigator Lehua Kamalu. The navigation team was made up of young crewmembers from four different countries: Tamiko Fernelius (Japan), Hye Jung Kim (Korea), Arii-Matatini Tamaehu (Tahiti), Kalani Asano (US). Senior crewmembers include Archie Kalepa, Keala Kimura, Timi Gilliom, Kimo Lyman, Kalau Spencer, Keli Takenaga and Gary Yuen, as well as the ship medical officer, Dr. Seren Tokumura.
As part of voyaging protocol, the canoe and crew will remain under “kapu” until the San Francisco Welcome Ceremony and Celebration on September 16, noon to 5 p.m., at Aquatic Park. Until then, the crew will rest and prepare the canoe for the next leg of the journey and will participate in local engagements focused on ocean protection including the Global Climate Action Summit and Ocean Elders meetings.
The public is welcome to attend the San Francisco Welcome Ceremony and Celebration, which will feature Hawaiian music, hula, voyage-inspired merchandise, and an opportunity to meet the Hikianalia crewmembers. The canoe will first be welcomed first and granted permission to enter Aquatic Cove by the traditional hosts of this region, the Muwekma Ohlone tribe. After an exchange of chants and ceremonial welcome rituals, a program including remarks by dignitaries, local officials, community members and Hikianalia captain Lehua Kamalu will commence. The community celebration will feature entertainment by local Hawaiian performers and hula groups including Mark Keliʻihoʻomalu: Academy of Hawaiian Arts, cultural expressions from various local Native American tribes, and others, and voyage-inspired merchandise from Polynesian Voyaging Society and OluKai. Download an event flyer here.
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.
The day prior to the arrival ceremony and celebration, the Hawaiʻi Chamber of Commerce of Northern California will present An Afternoon with Wayfinder and Master Navigator Nainoa Thompson at the Samuel Johnson, Jr. Performing Arts Center in San Bruno on Saturday, Sept. 15, 4 to 5:30 p.m. Thompson will speak about the 40-year journey of re-discovering ancient Polynesian voyaging and navigation, and how it has inspired a community of leaders, empowered youth, and created a worldwide movement of global sustainability to preserve planet Earth for generations to come. Event details and ticket registration are available through this Eventbrite link.
The port stop in San Francisco is the first public engagement of the voyage. After the four-day visit in San Francisco, the canoe will sail to Half Moon Bay Yacht Club where it will be docked for one week. During most stops (weather permitting), the Hikianalia crew will be offering free dockside canoe tours, educational materials and activities, and crew presentations. Below is a tentative port schedule for the California Voyage. Please check www.hokulea.com/events or our social media for the latest updates:
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, 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.