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Hōkūle‘a’s sister canoe Hikianalia will return to Hawaiʻi for a year before sailing to the west coast of the U.S. as part of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage. The new sail plan will allow for more educational engagement. ® Polynesian Voyaging Society image courtesy of ʻŌiwi TV. Photo by Kaipo Kiʻaha.

Wa‘a Wednesday: New Hikianalia sail plan will increase educational opportunities

Jan. 14, 2015

Contributed by Pakalani Bello

Wa‘a Wednesdays is a series of KSOnline stories about the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage and its relationship to Kamehameha Schools, the education sponsor off the voyage. Today's piece talks about the updated sail plan for Hikianalia, and how it will help in the voyage's educational mission.

The Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage announced a sail plan update that will further the voyage’s efforts to support and cultivate the next generation of navigators while connecting communities around the world that are caring for the planet in inspiring ways.

In spring 2015, Hikianalia, the sister voyaging canoe to Hōkūle‘a, will embark on a new sail plan that includes a one-year stay in its home islands of Hawai‘i before voyaging to the west coast of the United States. After sailing over 16,000 miles, Hikianalia will reunite with Hōkūle‘a in Panama, South America in 2017 so they can complete the journey together.

“Hikianalia has been an incredibly successful education and communication platform for the Worldwide Voyage thus far,” said Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS). “As Hōkūle‘a continues to thread together stories of hope on her voyage around the world, Hikianalia will bring these examples home and add our own Mālama Honua stories. This will build connections between children and communities around the globe as we work together towards a more sustainable Island Earth.”

Upon her stay in Hawai‘i in 2015, Hikianalia will work alongside education partners to engage local students and communities, bringing home lessons from ports around the world to learners of all ages. Hikianalia will also deepen crew preparation and train educators during expeditions to 12 Hawaiian islands, including Nehoa, Moku Manamana, and the French Frigate Shoals.

“I’m excited with the news of the expanded sail plan for Hikianalia,” said KS Hoʻokahua Cultural Specialist Mark Ellis, one of the voyage's crewmembers. “I believe it will allow for more engaging educational opportunities for us here at Kamehameha Schools.”

As she leaves the Pacific, Hōkūle‘a will be joined by an escort vessel that can tow her quickly in the event of an emergency while she is in the Indian Ocean. Escalated safety concerns, including rogue waves, increased marine traffic, and unpredictable storms, prompted PVS leadership to consult with local voyaging and education leaders about the best possible plan for both Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia.

“We were inspired by the work being done at home, and unprecedented collaborations between public schools, private schools, and university education leaders,” said Thompson. “Our safety decisions came at a time when we also wanted to do everything possible to support our visionary partners here in Hawaiʻi. This is an opportunity to come together at home and around the world to prepare the leaders and navigators of our future.”

For more information and resources and strategies to engage with the voyage, visit

We were inspired by the work being done at home, and unprecedented collaborations between public schools, private schools, and university education leaders.
Nainoa Thompson, Polynesian Voyaging Society president

Here is the updated sail plan from the Polynesian Voyaging Society, including Hikianalia's trip to the west coast of the United States.

malama honua voyage

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