‘Hikianalia’ Arrives in Time for Global Climate Action Summit

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VIDEO: Polynesian Voyaging Society President Nainoa Thompson and Hikianalia Captain and Navigator Lehua Kamalu delivered messages about the importance of caring for the oceans at the Global Climate Action Summit on Saturday morning, Sept. 15.

Polynesian voyaging canoe Hikianalia arrived in San Francisco’s Bay Area just in time for the Global Climate Action Summit, scheduled for Sept. 12 to 14, 2018

Host Gov. Jerry Brown of California invited Polynesian Voyaging Society President Nainoa Thompson and Hikianalia Captain and Navigator Lehua Kamalu to deliver a message about the importance of caring for the oceans at the summit on Saturday morning, Sept. 15. The voyagers received a standing ovation from the audience after their inspiring remarks.


“We made a special voyage… aboard Hikianalia,” said Thompson. “We chose to come here, to be here, to be active, to be a part of this movement. This is an extraordinary room of powerful people making broad decisions that impact all of us, especially our children.”

“We’re sailing across the ocean because thatʻs what we do,” said Kamalu, who served as captain and lead navigator of the Hikianalia voyage from Hawaiʻi to California. “Through that practice, we learn to be connected to the ocean, to everything that’s in it. To that fish that feeds us, to the wind that powers our sails, to the signs that guide us from one place to another. Through that, every single one of these crewmembers who sailed here have learned what it means to take action each day, to live a healthy and thriving life. We hope through continuing to sail, and continuing to share our story, that we can be a guide for others.”

The three-day Global Climate Action Summit is attended by leaders from around the world, including Hawai‘i Gov. David Ige, and endeavors for deeper worldwide commitments and accelerated action from countries that can put the world on track to prevent dangerous climate change.


Hikianalia made landfall at Half Moon Bay in California on Monday, Sept. 10, after sailing approximately 2,800-miles over 23 days. Powered by wind and sun, the 13-person crew demonstrated the important relationship between humanity and the natural environment as they navigated their way from Hawaii to California using cues from nature, rather than a GPS or other modern navigational instruments, to guide the way.

Hikianalia and her crew will make their official arrival at the San Francisco Welcome Ceremony and Celebration on Sept. 16, from noon to 5 p.m., at Aquatic Park. Thousands of people are expected to greet the canoe her crew. The canoe will first be welcomed 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 Kamalu will commence. The community celebration will feature entertainment by local Hawaiian performers and hula groups, cultural expressions from various local Native American tribes, and others, and voyage-inspired merchandise from Polynesian Voyaging Society and OluKai.

On Sept. 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 offer free entry to tour visitors.

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