October 5, 2023 | Leg 8, Day 5

October 5, 2023 | Leg 8, Day 5. 
Half Moon Bay to Monterey, CA. 

We left Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay at 7:30am. The ocean was mālie making steering very easy for the crew as several whales showed up to send us off to our next destination of Monterey Bay which took about 8 hours.

About 10 miles from our arrival point, we and our 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 Whakamautai” by Masey Rika was playing in the background of the canoe.

A half mile from the Old Fishermanʻs Wharf, we were 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 to Hōkūleʻa and crew. We 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 our request in their native tongue and our 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 our crew walked over to Del Monte beach to participate in a welcome ceremony with the Monterey Bay and Seaside communities. We again did a mele kāhea and was again acknowledged by the Rumsen Ohlone tribal leaders and other Ohlone tribal leaders. Hōkūleʻa Captain Mark Ellis was invited to speak to over 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. We were then blessed with a lovely hula from the Hiʻilani o Ke Kai Hula Hālau as they elegantly danced to the nahenahe song, Ke Alaula, by the Makaha Sons of Niʻihau while the sun set upon us.

The welcome ceremony ended with short speeches from members of the community and the crew was treated to dinner at the Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club. Mahalo for everyone who came up to support the crew both physically and spiritually. We are humbled to be here in Monterey Bay.

-ʻIliahi Doo