Crew Profile

Ask the Crew | March 23, 2015

Ask the Crew | Kalepa Baybayan: How many levels of Pwo do you need to know to become Pwo? 

Aloha, this is Kālepa from onboard the sailing canoe Hikianalia. The next question is from John from Nå Kålai Waʻa o Kauaʻi. So how many levels of pwo does a person need to know before he becomes pwo, and how many documented sea miles does a person have to have before he becomes Pwo? Well I’m not sure exactly how many levels one has to know. But we were brought into the hierarchy of pwo navigators in 2007 by Mau Piailug, and he must have thought that we were well qualified to be recognized as pwo. There is no set limit of miles that you need to have to become pwo. But trust me, it’s substantial. Each pwo has about 20,000 to 40,000 miles at least under his belt before becoming pwo, and I will have several more thousand miles under my belt by the time I get done with this voyage. Anyway, tell me how you mālama honua, John, and you can follow us on Hōkūleʻ A hui hou.

Ask the Crew | Tara O’Neill: What items did you bring to help you travel? 

Aloha, this is Tara O’Neill from Te Mahurehure Marae in Auckland, Aotearoa. I’m answering a question that comes from Chelsea at Radford High School. The question is “what items did you bring with you to help you travel?” Chelsea, that is an awesome question and actually one that I had to think a lot about when I was packing because we have a slightly different leg. For this portion of the voyage, we’re primarily a land-based crew. For this month, we are doing educational outreach and community activities around the North Island of Aotearoa. So we had to bring a bunch of different things. We do day sails, and then we also do outreach and community activities. Some clothing for outreach kinds of things are jeans and mālama honua t-shirts and then some clothing for sailing. For example, when it gets chilly, my rain pants, and maybe a rain coat to get myself nice and warm for when the winds breeze up and the rain comes in. Then, if it gets a little chilly at night, when the winds are really coming in off the water, just slide on a rain hat or my winter hat. And of course for the sun, you gotta have your shades. So Chelsea, thanks so much for your great question, please continue to follow the voyage, at and join our community. Thanks so much!

Ask the Crew | Tara O’Neill: What has been the most memorable moment of the voyage so far? 

Kia ora, this is Tara O’Neill from Te Mahurehure Marae in Auckland, Aotearoa. Today’s question comes from Kiono from Innovations Public Charter School. He’s in the eighth grade there. The question is what “has been the most memorable moment of the voyage so far?” So this crew, for this month of the voyage is primarily a land-based crew. We do day sails with smaller groups and then we do have a lot of education outreach. So one of my most memorable moments so far has just been the extraordinarily awesome people that I’ve gotten to meet when we go and visit different communities and different schools, around the North Island. Really, just the amazing grownups and parents and children that have come through to do some of the education outreach activities, like play with the cell scope where we do a plankton tow. We drag a net behind the canoe and then put a sample of the water on a microscope slide and then we use this cell scope thing which is a super cool microscope that works off your iPhone. It helps to really engage with folks and see the little tiny plankton critters that swim around in our oceans and help us put oxygen in the atmosphere to keep our food chain running. That’s really been the most fun. I would say, meeting cool new people, learning about the culture here, learning about the kinds of things they’re trying to do to mālama honua, and some of those “Oh wow, look at those little swimmer guys in our waters” moments. Thanks so much Kiono for a great question, and please continue to follow the voyage at

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