Hōkūleʻa Arrives in Monterey Bay
Over the last week, the crew of the legendary Polynesia voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa has been connecting with communities in Half Moon Bay and now in Monterey Bay, California where the canoe arrived on October 5, 2023. Hōkūleʻa will remain docked at Old Fisherman’s Wharf until October 13, 2023 when she departs for the next destination: Morro Bay.
The visit to Half Moon Bay, started with a traditional indigenous welcome of songs and prayers by the Ramaytush Ohlone tribe. Hōkūleʻa was also greeted by the area’s paddlers and local community. The crew spent about four days in Half Moon Bay conducting canoe tours and presentations. A few members of the crew also had an opportunity to put on some wetsuits and experience Half Moon Bay’s local surf. The whole crew was also invited to visit Mavericks surf shop by its owner, legendary California surfer Jeff Clark, known for surfing Mavericks before it was widely discovered by the big-wave surfing community.
On Thursday, October 5, Hōkūleʻa departed from Half Moon Bay. According to the crew, the ocean was calm, making steering very easy as several whales made an appearance to send them off to Monterey Bay, which took about 8 hours. About 10 miles from their arrival point, Hōkūleʻa and her crew, along with escort boat Kōlea, were greeted by several pods of whales, dolphins, and seals that were breaching and sending their harmonious sounds from the native waters of Monterey Bay, while the song “Tangaroa” by Masey Rika was playing in the background of the canoe.
A half mile from the Old Fishermanʻs Wharf, the canoe was greeted by several canoes from the Hiʻilani Outrigger Canoe Club along with other one-man canoes as they escorted Hōkūleʻa to the docks of the Wharf while the indigenous Rumsen Ohlone tribe sang a song of welcome. The crew secured the canoe to the dock, remained on board and asked permission to the Rumsen Ohlone tribe leaders to be in their native waters and come on land with a mele kāhea chant and Auē Ua Hiti Ē. The Ohlone leaders graciously accepted their request in their native tongue and the crew disembarked and shared honi and hugs with the native people of the land.
The Tahitian drums from the Nā Haumāna hālau echoed in the distance as the crew walked over to Del Monte beach to participate in a welcome ceremony with the Monterey Bay and Seaside community. Hōkūleʻa Captain Mark Ellis was invited to speak to more than 200 people in attendance, as he introduced the Leg 8 crew and shared his vision of the Moananuiākea Voyage along with his gratitude for the wonderful welcome from the community. The crew was also blessed with a lovely hula from the Hiʻilani o Ke Kai Hula Hālau as they danced to the nahenahe song, Ke Alaula, by the Makaha Sons of Niʻihau while the sun set.
The Monterey Bay welcome ceremony ended with short speeches from members of the community and the crew was treated to dinner at the Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club.