Sailing in Nawiliwili

NAWILIWILI — Steve Soltysik said Sunday that he loves sailing on the Hikianalia, the sister canoe to Hokulea.

Soltysik was in the company of his grandson, Skye Bensaid, 7, and armed with a plastic sailing canoe of their own when they came to check out the Polynesian sailing canoe which was moored near the launch ramp at the Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor.

“I love sailing on Hikianalia,” Soltysik said. “It’s like gliding on the water. I was on board Hikianalia when they sailed out of New Zealand, almost exactly a year ago.”

Onboard the sailing canoe were participants, including nearly 30 students from Japanese maritime colleges, from the ‘Imi Naauao Crew Training program, a registration-only event taking place around Kauai Community College.

The Hikianalia, which arrived Friday at Nawiliwili, is part of that program. Students were engrossed in hands-on discussion and performance while raising and lowering the sails of the canoe.

“We have been following the worldwide journey in school,” said Maile Jumawan. “We follow the reports of Hokulea and visit their website where the students watch the video posting. When they were at one stop, the students made a comment about how yucky everything looked — if we don’t take care of our island, that’s how it’s going to look like.”

Jumawan was dockside Sunday looking for ways to bring the boat’s arrival to the students.

“She’s going to be here for a while,” Jumawan said. “She started her journey around the Hawaiian Islands in search of stories of hope here at home that are making a positive change for Hawaii’s future, inspired by Hokulea’s legacy. Kauai is the last stop after arriving here from the Big Island.”

Another portion of the Hikianalia crew was working with the Kauai Sailing Association junior sailors to sail dinghies in Nawiliwili Harbor.

“This is so different than sailing a big canoe,” said Leilani Josselin. “This little thing turns on a dime, but after the sixth, seventh, and even 10th time, I get the feel.”

The ‘Imi Na‘auao Crew Training is organized by the ‘Ohana Wa‘a organization which is comprised of the various voyaging organizations of Hawaii and is an opportunity for potential crew from various islands and communities to train together toward a common goal.

The public is invited to join the ‘Imi Na‘auao Crew Training participants today when the film “Papa Mau The Wayfinder” produced by Naalehu Anthony of Oiwi TV will be shown at the Kauai Community College Performing Arts Center. Also showing will be an update of Hokulea’s Worldwide Voyage Malama Honua and the story of Namahoe, Kauai’s own sailing canoe.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with the program starting at 6 p.m.

Information: Call 246-8727.

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