Hikianalia to Bring Message to Climate Change Summit

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Hikialani voyaging canoe. Photo courtesy of Polynesian Voyaging Society.

Hōkūleʻa’s sister canoe Hikianalia is slated to depart Sand Island pending favorable weather conditions to begin a 2,500-mile journey to California for the Alahula Kai o Maleka California Voyage.

The voyage is a continuation of the global Mālama Honua campaign and aims to inspire action toward environmental and cultural preservation. The name Alahula Kai o Maleka honors the frequented ocean crossing between Hawaiʻi and California.

Powered by wind and solar power, Hikianalia is expected to arrive on the northern coast of California by early September 2018. The arrival is timed to coincide with the Global Climate Action Summit to be held in San Francisco.


The crew of Hikianalia will bring a message underscoring the importance of caring for oceans and planet Earth during the summit. Polynesian Voyaging Society president and navigator Nainoa Thompson was invited by California Governor Jerry Brown to speak at the summit’s session focused on ocean health.

The Global Climate Action Summit will be held Sept. 12 to 14, joining leaders from countries around the world to deepen commitments and action to mitigate the accelerating impacts of climate change.

Crewmembers will also visit with schools and communities in California to inspire the next generation of voyaging captains, navigators and crewmembers, and to share the story of Hikianalia—a canoe that fuses Hawaiian tradition with modern solutions to address environmental and cultural issues.


Captained by Lehua Kamalu, the crew plans to sail Hikianalia through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch—a massive tangle of marine debris floating in the central North Pacific Ocean—to bring attention to ocean pollution. The crew will also take water samples in the area and track the debris.

During the roughly month-long trip, crew members will also demonstrate the relationship between humans and nature as they use the stars to navigate their course instead of GPS or other modern navigation technology.

Thousands are expected to greet Hikianalia and the crew when they sail beneath the Golden Gate Bridge and arrive at Aquatic Park in San Francisco for a welcome ceremony and celebration on Sept. 8, 2018. After engagements in San Francisco, Hikianalia will sail south to San Diego and engage with communities along the way. The canoe is expected to return to Hawai‘i in December 2018.


Hikialani events are scheduled as follows. Event dates are subject to change. The latest updates can be found at

  • Sept. 2 to 7: Community Engagement at Half Moon Bay;
  • Sept. 8: San Francisco Arrival Ceremony & Celebration, Aquatic Park Cove;
  • Sept. 9 to 12: Docking and Community Engagement, Aquatic Park;
  • Sept. 15, 4 to 5:30 p.m.: Presentation by Navigator Nainoa Thompson, Capuchino High School’s Samuel Johnson, Jr. Performing Arts Center in San Bruno. Ticket information to be announced;
  • Late Sept. to Dec. (TBA): Community engagements along the California coast, between San Francisco and San Diego.

While Hikanalia is sailing to California, sister canoe Hōkūleʻa will remain in the Hawaiian Islands to complete the Mahalo, Hawaiʻi Sail.

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