Hikianalia Arrives Home in Hawaii – Welcoming in Hilo Bay Tomorrow

Hikianalia, a new state-of-the-art voyaging canoe, is expected to be in Hilo Harbor by dawn tomorrow morning, Sunday, November 18.  She will have traveled more than 4,000 miles to come home to Hawai‘i since her launch in early October.

Hikianalia is scheduled to arrive on the Big Island tomorrow.

It has taken Hikianalia 17 days to sail from Papeete, Tahiti (French Polynesia) to Hawai‘i, and it took 16 days to sail her from her launch site in Auckland, New Zealand, to Papeete.

After clearing customs at Hilo Harbor, Hikianalia will make her way to Radio Bay, where Hikianalia and the entire crew will be formally welcomed by the Keaukaha Community Association.

“We expected them in the afternoon, but now that they are arriving in the morning, it will be a quiet welcome,” explained master navigator Chad Kālepa Baybayan, who has co-organized the Hilo reception.  “Still, we know the community will come out to see her.”

Baybayan navigated Pacific Voyager canoe Faafaite from Auckland to Tahiti, escorting Hikianalia during the latter’s maiden voyage.  Master navigator Bruce Blankenfeld captained Hikianalia during that first leg of her voyage home to Hawaiʻi.

Most of the Hikianalia crew changed in Papeete.  Captain Bob Perkins and master navigator Chadd ‘Ōnohi Paishon are part of a crew of 15 bringing the canoe to Hawai‘i in a portion of the voyage that included crossing the equator.  Overall, for the course between Tahiti and Hawai‘i, the skies have been clear and the winds fair, except for a brief passage through the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone, where they experienced quirky weather.

Hikianalia will accompany Hōkūle‘a during the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s 2013-2016 Worldwide Voyage as her sister vessel, providing a second floating classroom, and the main platform for communication and technology.  The two wa‘a will partner in messages of sustainability.  Neither uses fossil fuels; both rely on the wind in their sails and solar energy for their lights, communication and – in Hikianalia’s case – engines.

Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia are Hawaiian names for stars Arcturus and Spica, respectively, which break the horizon together in Hawaiian skies.

“It’s been a privilege to bring Hikianalia home to Hawai‘i,” says Perkins.  “She will finally meet her sister Hōkūle‘a.”

Hikianalia is expected to sail directly from Hawai‘i Island to O‘ahu next weekend.

To track Hikianalia, or to learn more about the upcoming Worldwide Voyage, visit our website http://hokulea.org.

To follow the educational objectives of navigator and Makali‘i senior captain Chadd ‘Ōnohi Paishon, go to http://www.nakalaiwaa.org/student-qa-hikianalia.

The Polynesian Voyaging Society was founded in 1975 on a legacy of Pacific Ocean exploration, seeking to perpetuate the art and science of traditional Polynesian voyaging and the spirit of exploration through experiential educational programs that inspire students and their communities to respect and care for themselves, one other, and their natural and cultural environments.

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