After 8 months in dry dock, Hikianalia is back in the water

Mahealani Richardson joins us live from Sand Island
Published: Apr. 4, 2023 at 7:55 PM HST|Updated: Apr. 4, 2023 at 8:50 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After eight months of repairs and renovations, the voyaging canoe Hikianalia is back in the Pacific Ocean tonight, getting ready for a four-year voyage with her sister canoe, Hokulea.

About 30 crew members and volunteers got under Hikianalia at Sand Island and, with dollies, gently pushed the canoe down the boat ramp.

This is all done with the help of Akana Trucking, which has volunteered for this operation for decades.

Some crew members got into the water with snorkel gear, while others went on to the boat, as the canoe was pushed down a boat ramp and then sailed and docked next to Hokulea.

“It’s emotional. I love when the kids can come out and see her go in and the amount of people who put all their aloha into it know that she’s starting a next journey. It’s overwhelming,” said Brandi Cutler of the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

“People don’t often get to see the canoes out of the water so it’s fascinating to see her from this angle. And knowing she’s getting back to where she belongs next to her sister, Hokulea.”

Improvements to Hikianalia included a new hale, solar panels, and deck boards made partly with recycled bottles.

All of this makes Hikianalia lighter, stronger, and better for sailing to move along the ocean waves.

The four-year voyage will begin June, when Hokulea will be put into a Matson container and shipped to Alaska.

Hokulea will officially kick off the voyage from Alaska, while Hikianalia will sail to Seattle in August, that’s where the two canoes will meet up to sail around the Pacific.