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Hikianalia’s Voyage To California


After a more than two-week delay due to weather and final canoe preparations, Hikianalia and her crew are scheduled to depart Sand Island for California tomorrow (weather permitting).

“The current winds are good for the canoe to set sail and go north towards San Francisco, however, we will continue work with the National Weather Service to watch this approaching tropical storm closely,” said Nainoa Thompson, president of Polynesian Voyaging Society. “If the potential hurricane poses a risk to Hikianalia and the crew, we will postpone, so we will be monitoring the structure of the path and the intensity of the storm. The crew is ready to go, and now it depends on nature,” he added.

Hikianalia was originally scheduled to depart Sand Island on Monday, July 30, but was delayed due to unfavorable weather conditions caused by Hurricane Hector and final canoe preparations. The departure of Hikianalia will launch Alahula Kai o Maleka, Hikianalia’s California Voyage. After an approximately 30-day sail across the Pacific Ocean, the canoe is expected to arrive in Northern California in mid- September, weather permitting. The welcome ceremony and celebration has been rescheduled to Sunday, September 16, at Aquatic Park in San Francisco due to the delayed departure. After engagements in San Francisco, Hikianalia will sail down the coast of California to San Diego and connect with communities along the way. The canoe is expected to return to Hawaii in December 2018.
Canoe to Sail Through Great Pacific Garbage Patch and Arrive in San Francisco During Global Climate Action Summit

Hōkūlea’s sister canoe Hikianalia will depart Hawaii soon to launch the Alahula Kai o Maleka California Voyage, an estimated 2,500-mile voyage across the Pacific Ocean to California. The voyage will continue the Mālama Honua campaign to inspire action toward an environmentally and culturally thriving world. The wind and solar-powered canoe, which will be captained and navigated by next-generation voyaging leaders, is scheduled to arrive at the coast of Northern California by early September 2018. The timing of the arrival of the traditional voyaging canoe is planned to coincide with the Global Climate Action Summit in
San Francisco among other California events.

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.

While making the approximately 30-day sail to California on a vessel powered by wind and sun, the crew will demonstrate the important relationship between humanity and the natural environment as the crew navigates their way to California using cues from nature, rather than a GPS or other modern navigational instruments, to guide the way. As the issue of climate change is at the forefront in the Bay Area as San Francisco hosts the Global Climate Action Summit, Hikianalia and crew will bring a message from Hawaii about the importance of caring for the oceans and Island Earth. Polynesian Voyaging Society president and pwo navigator Nainoa Thompson has been invited by California Governor Jerry Brown to speak at the Summit’s session focused on “Healthy Oceans.” The Global Climate Action Summit, Sept. 12-14, 2018, will bring together leaders from around the world and endeavors for deeper worldwide commitments and accelerated action from countries that can put the world on track to prevent dangerous climate change.

Additional purposes of the voyage are to connect, learn and share the Mālama Honua message with schools and communities in California; 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.
Captained by Lehua Kamalu, the crew is planning to sail Hikianalia through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a gyre of marine debri particles in the central North Pacific Ocean, to bring attention to the critical need to protect the world’s oceans. The crew will take water samples and track the marine debris in this area. The canoe will also sail into San Francisco Bay under the Golden Gate Bridge and will be participating in events in the Bay Area throughout the month of September. After engaging with communities in the Bay Area, the canoe and crew will head to San Diego, making stops along the way before returning to Hawaii in December 2018.

Below are the canoe and crew engagements that have been scheduled to date. All events are subject to change, so please check for the latest updates:

Mid Sept. — San Francisco Arrival Ceremony & Celebration, Aquatic Park Cove
Mid Sept. — Docking and Community Engagement, Aquatic Park
Sept. 15, 4:00-5:30 p.m. — Presentation by Navigator Nainoa Thompson, Capuchino High School’s Samuel Johnson, Jr. Performing Arts Center in San Bruno. Sponsored by Hawaii Chamber of Commerce of Northern California, Pacific Islanders Cultural Association, and Northern California Outrigger Canoe Association. Ticket information to be announced.
Late Sept. to Dec. — To be announced — Community engagements along the California coast, between San Francisco and San Diego
Because the West Coast of the United States was not part of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, the Polynesian Voyaging Society and crew are looking forward to engaging with the California communities. While Hikanalia is sailing to California, Hōkūlea will remain in the Hawaiian Islands to complete the Mahalo, Hawaii Sail.

About Hikanalia
Hikianalia is the Hawaiian name for the star Spica, which rises together with Hōkūlea (Arcturus) in Hawaii. They are sister stars because they break the horizon together at the latitude of the Hawaiian islands. Launched on September 15, 2012, Hikianalia was designed specifically for the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage. The canoe started as an escort vessel to Hōkūlea and is now used as a floating classroom blending ancient wisdom with modern solutions. Hikianalia specializes in scientific exploration of marine resources and training for the next generation of voyagers. Values and behavior practiced on the deck of the canoe including how to conserve resources, care for our oceans and fellow crewmembers are shared as a model for how we can live sustainably on islands or anywhere in the world. She combines the latest ecological technology with the heritage of voyaging tradition: each of her hulls contains an electric motor powered by onboard photovoltaic panels that convert sunlight to electric propulsive energy. With a zero carbon footprint, her design supports the “Mālama Honua” (care for Island Earth) mission.

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