The USCG Cutter Kukui glides up to the pier in Sitka Channel, her new home. (USCG photo/Derek Mazur)

The US Coast Guard Cutter Kukui, a 225-foot buoy tender, arrived at her new homeport in Sitka today (Friday, July 13). The Kukui in June completed a mid-career refit in the Coast Guard’s Baltimore shipyard, and then set sail for Sitka via the Panama Canal. The Kukui was previously homeported in Honolulu, Hawaii. In fact, the Kukui — sometimes called the candlenut — is the official tree of the 50th state.

The Kukui’s predecessor in Sitka, the Cutter Maple, left almost exactly one-year ago for Baltimore — but took another route. Escorted by Canadian icebreakers, the Maple became the 6th Coast Guard ship ever to transit the famed Northwest Passage. The Maple’s crew has been reassigned to the Kukui. Following her refit, the Maple will report for duty at Charleston, South Carolina.

The 225-foot Kukui first entered service in Honolulu. “Kukui” is the state tree of Hawaii. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)