This small sailboat is on a big mission in the Pacific: To remind us of the Golden Rule

Updated: Nov. 4, 2019 at 5:09 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The sailboat docked in slip 638 at the Ala Wai Boat Harbor sports a dark red sail with a large white peace symbol and an interesting name ― the Golden Rule.

“It’s 39 feet overall by the time you count the bowsprit,” said Helen Jaccard, of the Veterans for Peace “Golden Rule Project.”

The sailboat first sailed to Oahu in 1958.

Back then, manned by a handful of Quaker peace activists, the Golden Rule was on a voyage to the Marshall Islands to protest U.S. nuclear weapons tests.

"The United States had dropped 67 nuclear bombs in the Marshall Islands. They were headed there to stop it," Jaccard said.

Renie Lindley, the former director of Hawaii Peace and Justice, was a 14-year-old school girl when she and her father met the crew in Honolulu.

“They were responding to the things that happened in Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the Marshall Islands during that time,” she said.

The Golden Rule never made to the Marshalls. Before it could get underway, the Coast Guard arrested the sailors and sent the sailboat back to the Ala Wai.

Honolulu resident Bob Broderick helped guard the boat until the crew was released from jail..

“I can’t remember that we had any visitors other than the people from the Quaker meeting who were very supportive of the boat’s effort,” he said.

The incident drew global attention.

"The whole thing was pretty important because it led to all these protests against nuclear weapons," Jaccard said.

The Golden Rule would later sink during a storm in California. But a few years ago it was re-floated, restored and set back on its course.

Now the sailboat is homeported in Humboldt Bay in Northern California. It’s on a 15-month-long Pacific voyage that began in July in San Diego.

Veterans for Peace is sailing the boat to the Marshall Islands to complete the journey that started 61 years ago and to continue the vessel’s anti-nuclear efforts.

"We're promoting the United Nations treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons," Jaccard said.

The goal is to have the Golden Rule docked in Japan for next year's 75th remembrance of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Veterans for Peace is trying to raise $5,000 to support the sail to the Marshall Islands. Click here for more information and to help.

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