Thousands of people converged at Aquatic Park in San Francisco on Sunday to greet the Polynesian voyaging canoe Hikianalia and its 13-member crew.
The canoe was escorted through the cove by a flotilla of outrigger canoes and received a fireboat water salute.
In keeping with its traditional landing protocol, the crew members asked for and received permission to enter the cove by the indigenous people of the region, the Muwekma Ohlone tribe.
On hand were Gov. David Ige, Alaska Lt. Gov. Byron Mallot, local officials and members of San Francisco’s Hawaiian community.
The Hikianalia will remain at the Hyde Street Pier for three days before departing for Sausalito. The visit is part of the canoe’s Alahula Kai o Maleka Hikianalia California Voyage, a continuation of the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Malama Honua campaign to promote environmental and cultural awareness.
“Sailing the North Pacific provided our crew with a large amount of growth,” said captain and navigator Lehua Kamalu. “We had to learn about that ocean and, in the process, learn its value. When we arrived in Aquatic Bay today, it was amazing to see so many Pacific islanders here in San Francisco. To all those who may miss their island home, we hope the work and sailing we do not only makes them proud, but also connected to their land and culture.”
The Hikianalia is a wind- and solar-powered canoe built by the Okeanos Foundation for the Sea and is the sister vessel of the Hokule‘a.