Epic Polynesian Canoe Voyage Arrives In San Francisco to Honor 'Island Earth'
September 18, 2018 KPIX TV & Diane Ako / KITV Island News
After dodging two hurricanes along the way, a Polynesian voyaging canoe propelled solely by nature's power -- wind, waves, and sun -- arrived in San Francisco after completing a 23-day journey that began in the Hawaiian Islands. The native crew of 13 left Hawaii on August 18th and stayed on course for 2,8000 miles, using only their ancestors' ancient navigation techniques and arriving right on time for California's Global Climate Summit. They were met on shore by members of the indigenous Ohlone community.
Epic Polynesian Canoe Voyage
Arrives In San Francisco to Honor 'Island Earth' KPIX TV
SAN FRANCISCO (September 16, 2018) -- After dodging two hurricanes along the way, a Polynesian voyaging canoe arrived in San Francisco Sunday completing a journey that began in the Hawaiian Islands.
The Hikianalia arrived at SF's Aquatic Park after completing the 2,800-mile journey propelled by nature itself -- the wind, the waves, even the sun.
The canoe was created using an ancient design with some modern advances and while it takes its power from the Earth the intention is to give something back.
"It started when we had an idea to come all the way across the ocean to see the people on the other side, knowing that the problems, the challenges, but also the hope that we have for our earth is the same on the other side," said Lehua Kamalu, the Hikianalia Captain and Navigator
Centuries ago, Polynesian explorers set sail across the Pacific on vessels just like this, but without a solar-powered motor or modern communications.
"They were really the astronauts of our ancestors," said Nainoa Thompson, President of the Polynesian Voyaging Society. "They were the greatest explorers on the face of the Earth."
The crew of 13 left Hawaii on August 18th and stayed on course using only their ancestors' ancient navigation techniques and arrived right on time after 23 days and 2,800 miles at sea. It was a real test of faith.
"You really gotta learn to trust in yourself, trust in your knowledge, trust in your ancestors," said Kalani Asano, an apprentice navigator. "And don't doubt. Never doubt."
Much of the landing ceremony was shared with members of the local Muwekma Ohlone tribe. It was one indigenous people to another coming together to express their concerns for what they refer to as "Island Earth."
"Yes, indigenous people are on the forefront of that because they know what if feels like when things are starting to disappear," Kamalu said.
HONOLULU (July 29, 2018) -- Polynesian Voyaging Society says that Hokulea's sister canoe Hikianalia will depart Hawai'i as early as Monday at approximately 2 p.m. 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 Malama 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 Hawai'i about the importance of caring for the oceans and Island Earth. Polynesian Voyaging Society president and 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 Malama 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 debris 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.
The canoe and crew have scheduled many engagements to take place during the visit along the California coast, between San Francisco and San Diego. All events are subject to change, so please check www.hokulea.com for the latest updates.
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, Hokule'a will remain in the Hawaiian Islands to complete the Mahalo, Hawai'i Sail.