Hikianalia set to arrive in San Francisco on Sunday, Sept. 16


After a 25-day, 2,800-mile voyage from Hawaii to California using traditional non-instrument navigation, the solar- and wind-powered Polynesian voyaging canoe Hikianalia and her crew will sail into San Francisco Bay for a cultural arrival ceremony and celebration at Aquatic Park Cove on Sunday, September 16, noon to 5 p.m.

The public is welcome to attend the free event, which will feature Hawaiian music, hula, voyage-inspired merchandise, and an opportunity to meet the Hikianalia crew members. 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.

Interested spectators can expect to see Hikianalia sail under the Golden Gate Bridge and cross the San Francisco Bay Sunday morning before she sails into Aquatic Park Cove at noon escorted by local canoe clubs. In keeping with traditional voyaging protocol, the canoe will 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.

The day prior to the arrival ceremony and celebration, the Hawaii 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 ignited 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 stop in San Francisco is the first public stop and engagement on the Alahula Kai o Maleka Hikianalia California Voyage. After the four-day stop 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 a crew presentation. Below is a tentative port schedule for the California Voyage. Please check www.hokulea.com for the latest updates:

Tentative Hikianalia Port Schedule (subject to change)

  • San Francisco – Sept. 16-19
  • Half Moon Bay – Sept. 19-26
  • Monterey – Sept. 27-Oct. 2
  • Santa Barbara – Oct. 6-13
  • Santa Cruz Island – Oct. 14-16
  • King Harbor (Los Angeles) – Oct. 17-23
  • Dana Point – Oct. 24-30
  • San Diego – Oct. 31-Nov. 5

Hikianalia, which departed Hawaii on August 18, is currently 400 miles west of Northern California (as of Sept. 17, 11 a.m.) and is expected to make first landfall early next week. In keeping with cultural protocol, the canoe and crew will remain under “kapu” until the official arrival ceremony on September 16. Until then, the crew will rest and prepare the canoe for the next leg of the journey and will participate in a few, private engagements, focused on ocean protection including the Global Climate Action Summit and Ocean Elders meetings.

The Alahula Kai o Maleka Hikianalia California Voyage is a continuation of the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Malama 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 Hawaii 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.

Because the West Coast of the United States was not part of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage, the Polynesian Voyaging Society and crew are looking forward to engaging with the California communities. While Hikanalia is sailing to California, Hokulea will remain in the Hawaiian Islands to complete the Mahalo, Hawaii Sail.

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