Mālama Honua Fair and Summit a Great Success!

The Mālama Honua Homecoming Fair and Summit was a great success.  For three days, local and global community members gathered together to discuss stories of hope inspired by or collected during the Worldwide Voyage, with the intention of developing a new sail plan for the islands of Hawai`i and our island Earth.  The Fair and Summit was open to the general public, and included canoe tours, information booths, film screenings, walk-through exhibits and hands-on activities, as well as opportunities to connect with individuals, groups and organizations taking actions both locally and globally to mālama honua.






The Homecoming Summit also included larger keynote events, like the World Youth Congress Summit.  Polynesian Voyaging Society, in collaboration with the World Youth Congress invited young people from across the World to celebrate mālama honua stories and to create a collective call to action to the next generation in coming up with a new sail plan for the future stewardship of the planet.




Another keynote event of the Summit was the International Speaker Series, which featured courageous and inspiring individuals who are navigating towards a more just and sustainable future for island Earth.  Featured speakers included: Nainoa Thompson, Megan Smith, Dieter Paulmann, Sylvia Earle, Jean-Michel Cousteau, Captain Don Walsh, Reverend Mpho Tutu van Furth, and Alaska Lt. Governor Byron Mallott.

On the final day of the Mālama Honua Summit, individuals from across the state, as well as the continental U.S. and Australia, came together to have an amazing conversation about the work they or their organizations were already doing to mālama honua, and what work they would like to be doing in the future.  The more than 100 attendees represented a mixed bag of public and private sectors, for profit and nonprofit organizations, and educational and governmental institutions.  And although they came from vastly different places, they came together with the common goal to connect with like-minded groups and individuals to find ways to support and accelerate current mālama honua initiatives, as well as to develop and initiate new ones.

Organizations like NOAA, DLNR, DOFAW, Surfrider, 808 CleanUps, the and the Hawai`i Nature Center were able to link up with local high school teachers and University of Hawai`i STEMS2 Program professors about their needs for volunteers and interns and talk about how they can better connect students to such opportunities.  Individuals from community organizations were able to sit with their governmental counterparts and have difficult conversations about moving forward together and how best to do that.  Leaders from independent and DOE schools, as well as other educational organizations such as Mindful Schools Hawaii and `Imiloa Astronomy Center, got together to brainstorm how they can collaborate to better support students and teachers, and how to change the conversation about the purpose of education.

Classroom Connections | C2C: Mr. Sugiyama’s Classroom

Last month, teachers from around O`ahu met at Wai`anae Intermediate School for a Canoe 2 Classroom Workshop that featured lessons developed by Gary Sugiyama, Special Education and Resource teacher at Waipahu High School.  Gary currently teaches higher level math courses like Geometry, Trigonometry, and Algebra 2.  Many of his students only take these upper level classes to satisfy a course requirement for graduation.  They often have a long history of struggle in mathematics and rarely see themselves as capable when they enter Mr. Sugiyama’s class.  And yet, Gary has found that making connections between the mathematical concepts he is trying to teach his students and the canoe helps the students to be more engaged with the subject, and as a result, find more success in learning.  Complex mathematical information and jargon is broken down and can be viewed through a lens of local knowledge and vocabulary.


In Geometry class, Gary teaches foundational concepts and core vocabulary through the Hawaiian Star Compass, developed by Nainoa Thompson and used by navigators to steer Hōkūle`a around the world.  In constructing their own Star Compass students learn about lines, segments, angles, bisectors, and circles.   In addition to theoretical and technical knowledge, students gain drawing and construction skills through hands on activities that utilize traditional classroom tools like rulers, compasses and protractors.


For his Trigonometry class, Mr. Sugiyama uses the sails, mast and rigging of a voyaging canoe to help students gain a foundation in SOH CAH TOA.  Otherwise known to the Math teacher or  engineer as the basic trigonometric ratios.  The right triangles created by the mast, stays, shrouds, and sails provide a perfect playground for exploring the ins and outs of the sine, cosine, and tangent functions.


Students gain insightful knowledge about ratios and congruence, while acquiring useful skills of measurement and construction.  They can see, touch and feel the importance of Math in their lives and in the world around them.


Mr. Sugiyama, with the guidance and support of Linda Furato and graduates of her Ethnomathematics course at the University of Hawai`i, has also developed a lo`i design project.  Inspired by the notion of the use of aquaponics systems to address issues of sustainability and food production, Gary challenges his students to design a lo`i or loko (fishpond).  Initially, students work in pairs to research the different types of lo`i and loko used by the indigenous Hawaiians.  Once the students have decided on the type of system they want to design and where they would like to build it, they must then base their ideas on the general tide, wave and current patterns that exists in their chosen location.  The students must also consider the mauka and makai conditions that may affect the lo`i or loko environment, as well as the surrounding coastal environment.  Through this student driven STEAM project, students are able to integrate a variety of subjects and skills including from art, design, reading, writing, critical thinking, and public speaking to name a few!

Do you want to connect with Mr. Sugiyama and try one of his lessons? Do you have great ideas on how to connect your classroom to the canoe and mālama honua through activities, lessons and units?  Come on down and jam on lesson plan ideas with us!  Contact education@pvshawaii.org for more information on upcoming C2C workshops and other educator opportunities!

We also hope to see you at Homecoming on June 17th and the Mālama Honua Summit to follow!

(Photo Credits: Gary Sugiyama)

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Hōkūleʻa Update | June 05, 2017

Naalehu Anthony     Crew Blog by Nāʻālehu Anthony

The Turn

Tonight brought the kind of gifts that our navigators have been waiting for for days. Thankfully it came right at the right time. If you have been reading the blogs before this you know that the weather has not been as kind to us as we would have liked, but we also know it could have been a lot worse. The 100% cloud cover for days was one of the biggest challenges for all of us, as there are less visual clues for navigators and steerspeople to hold our course. One of the blessings, however, was wind. We had a tremendous amount of wind all the way through this trip, which we are grateful for. We have heard the stories of previous crews trying to make it through the ITCZ or doldrums and getting stuck there for two weeks, as the region is known to have very little wind at different times in the year. While that didn’t happen to us, we still needed to see the stars at some point to reinforce what the dead reckoning was telling the navigation staff.

Seeing the Southern Cross wasn’t as important to us a week ago. We knew that we were sailing as far east as we could each day so we are confident that we are to the east of Hawai’i, but what we needed to know was how far north we are and when is the right time to turn west to Hawaiʻi. In the lessons taught to the navigators by both Nainoa and Bruce they learn that the two best ways to know your latitude in going to Hawaiʻi is measuring the North Star and the Southern Cross, with the cross being much more useful than Hoku paʻa (the North Star) because of the really neat thing that happens in the cross. At the latitude of the middle of Hawaiʻi, the Southern Cross at meridian (at its highest point) is the same distance from the top star to the bottom star as it is from the bottom star to the horizon. And so this morning after a dead reckoning (DR) estimation of 2076 miles along the reference course line and 17.5 degrees of estimated latitude, it was critical that we got to see the cross to confirm the estimations.

Sunset came with the moon high in the sky. We had some cloud cover but the southern sky was opening. As the sun sunk lower and lower, taking with it the light on the horizon, the stars slowly emerged. The anticipation was an easy read on the faces of the entire navigation staff. Just a little darker and the cross slowly appeared just before meridian. Immediately, we had 5 sets of hands up in the air trying to measure the distance between the bottom star and the horizon. The naked eye could tell that the distance was more than the distance of the stars in the cross but the critical part was just how much, so that we could know if our DR was close to the actual latitude as told by the stars. After many minutes of discussion, and measuring and re-measuring, it was agreed that the cross was between 8 and 9 degrees off the horizon. This confirmed that we were between 18 and 19 degrees North latitude.

No sooner than the cross turned out of meridian did the clouds come in and cover up our stars. While short lived, the gift was there just long enough to make sure our navigators got the confirmation they needed to move forward with confidence. These are some of the makana we have had along our way that give us just what we need to find our way out here. Mahalo ke Akua. We are humbled and grateful.

Me ka haʻahaʻa,


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Hōkūleʻa Update | June 04, 2017

Naalehu Anthony     Crew Blog by Nāʻālehu Anthony

Aloha kākou,

Today brought us good wind and diminishing seas. This morning we were at a total distance of 1944 nmi along our reference course line and 49.5 mi west of reference course. The latitude fix last night put us at about 15 degrees north latitude; that’s within a degree of the dead reckoning numbers that our team has been calculating. The conditions have shifted in a number of ways – most notably the swell has come down even further, and the wind has gotten colder but softer. Kanaloa blessed us again with a small Mahimahi that made for great curry ramen. It was the perfect end to another day on the ocean.

This date today marks many important happenings in the history of Hōkūleʻa. I was reminded in a quick email from Aunty Deb that today, June 4th, marks the one-year anniversary of Hōkūleʻa arriving in Manhattan – that in itself is worth writing about, but it is also the anniversary of Hōkūleʻa landing in Papeʻete some 41 years ago. This, with the fact that at this writing we are more than 2000 miles along our course, merely days away from bringing our sacred vessel home after being gone for more than 3 years on this voyage, really shows the mana of this canoe.

Today is a great reminder in the power of vision and persistence. I remember when we interviewed Herb Kane – now more than a decade ago – he talked about all the people that doubted that Hōkūleʻa would even be built, let alone make it all the way to Tahiti. Even now, as we are certain that Hōkūleʻa and her first crew changed everything for Polynesians and certainly Hawaiians, many of us are still in awe that they actually did it those 40 years ago. They take their place in the fabric of the kūʻē history that our kūpuna are so well known for as we celebrate those who were brave enough to sail into the unknown in search of a new destination. Still the tenacity of that first voyage and crew is something that we will all look back on and continued to be humbled by. All the unknowns, all the missing pieces, all the chaos that came from resurrecting the ʻOhana Waʻa after being asleep for many hundreds of years really set us up for what was next. At the time, I don’t think anyone knew it involved this tiny canoe sailing all the way around Island Earth but here we are.

And so we found ourselves in Jamaica Bay a year ago today, staging Hōkūleʻa to sail past the Statue of Liberty to get another island, the one with the giant buildings that defy gravity and reach for the highest of highs, Manhattan. Dwarfed by this background, Hōkūleʻa reminded us that as far-fetched as these two images were together, only the kind of audacity and vision that brought that first voyage could meld these realities. I don’t think we would have even realized that day we sailing into Manhattan that it was the 40th anniversary of the landing in Papeʻete but for the fact that one of the original crew members from the first trip, Billy Richards, was on board. Somewhere in that New York sail he reminded us that today was the day. Another amazing first landfall, 40 years later.

It took us another year to get to this far. Not quite home, but over the last 12 months since departing NYC we went up and down the Eastern seaboard, then to Panama, Galapagos, Rapa Nui and Tahiti. As we get ready to turn West to head home, I’m reminded that we are standing on the vessel that made it all happen. And so we literally keep sailing for the next ones, just as those before did for us. As our crew gets to close out the international portion of the Worldwide Voyage, we all want to honor and mahalo those that came before us, who dreamt impossible dreams, and backed it up with the kind of determination in life that took our little canoe around Island Earth.

We’ll see you all soon.

SB 72,

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Crew Blog | Nāʻālehu Anthony : Believing isn’t necessarily Seeing

Crew blog by Nāʻālehu Anthony.

Naalehu Anthony

Believing isn’t necessarily Seeing

The navigation team works really hard. The intensity at which they must persist everyday is really interesting to observe because they take such pride in the work and because they are so serious about it. And why shouldn’t they be? They are responsible for tracking our canoe some 2400 miles across the ocean. So this team has to watch and be alert with all of their senses. That requires them to be present at all times. When we describe navigation to groups just getting on the canoe for the first time, we talk about how this system is about observation and that the keenness of our observation is what will determine what can be used as a clue to find direction. On this journey, the way the canoe changes pitch against the waves is a clue. The wind getting louder (or softer) relative to our speed is a clue. A star peeking out of the black night is definitely a clue. But one has to be aware of and ready to react to these clues to keep the course, as every deviation needs to be accounted for as we make our way home.

Bruce is really interesting to watch. He might be asleep on the top bunk on the deck, but when the canoe slows down because we turned too high into the wind, his naʻau will wake him up. He will sit up in that dark night and say, “You guys gotta come down;” and as we steer down off the wind, he will be lulled back to sleep as the course settles down inside him. That’s the bar — Bruce is really the bar that everyone on board sets as the goal to be like, but no one more than the navigation team. They are in charge of the course, and Bruce is here to make sure that everything is safe and that the team is successful.

As a photographer I have trained to be a very careful observer of people. I watch these navigators concentrate on the rhythm of this leg of this voyage, to the point where they stand at the stern of the canoe to take it all in and actually feel their way across this massive body of water. They are vigilant at night, always scanning the dark sky for any visible clue to give truth to what their other senses are whispering. Part of the test that I have witnessed the navigators partake in is being blind and having to find their way. We have had night after night of near 100% cloud cover block their eyes from the simple clues: the stars and planets. They are forced to look into the wave and to read the wind, not with their eyes but with their feet as the canoe rocks through their body, and with the feeling of the wind on their skin as they stand on the back of the deck, all the while waiting for a sign that the path is true. Then there comes that moment Venus will poke through a cloud, sometimes for a mere 30 seconds – but Venus shows up right where Venus is supposed to be. The direction is confirmed, and the team becomes a little more confident. Night after night now this is how it goes, seeking in the darkness for what cannot be seen.

I guess sometimes you gotta be blind to really see.

SB 72

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Hōkūleʻa Update | June 03, 2017

Naalehu Anthony     Crew Blog by Nāʻālehu Anthony

Aloha kākou,

Today was a transition day in the weather and therefore one for us as well. We have moved through this region with an abundance of caution as the wave heights and wind strength have both been high for the past few days. With 100% cloud cover much of the time, we’ve seen just a few patches of stars or other celestial bodies as clues for sometimes just minutes. Hoku paʻa or the North Star has been especially shy. We use Polaris to measure our north latitude progress as we make our way back to Hawai’i to confirm our dead reckoning, so it is a really important star to see and measure as we sail mostly North.

This morning, however, brought us some sunshine, breaks in the clouds and some calmer seas. All of these are a plus for all of us. The sun beating down helps to dry out our drenched souls. The wind is getting colder and colder as we head North, and the Sun also helps to combat the cold wind. The clouds are starting to give way to blue sky, allowing the navigators to get a better mark on the all elusive sun and Mahina the moon. But the swells calming down are especially important. We have been literally covered in salt spray for days and getting around our small canoe has been real work without getting tossed around. Sleeping in the bunk is more like trench warfare, as we cling to the walls of our bunk for cover on what I swear on the big bumps feels like we’re up at 45 degree inclines. All of this takes energy and effort 24/7. The calmer weather lets us get back to the normal stuff; showering without a safety harness on, or washing clothes that now may have a chance of drying.

The meal tonight deserves a mention. While every meal is a gift, the one tonight may have topped the one I said was the highlight of the trip, the last one about the big ahi. J-Boy had pumpkin and onions already prepped for a night of curry and rice. All of a sudden, both port lines hit! Kawai made quick work of the short line with a 10 lb. ahi and the long line with a 15 lb-er. The boys rushed through the cleaning, and J-boy did a 180 on the meal now that fresh fish was on the menu. Somehow he took 26 ahi steaks, seared them, and whipped up an onion, ginger shoyu sauce in the same amount of time it would have taken for the curry. Poke with inamona was prepared as an appetizer, and the whole meal was served with pumpkin and rice as the vegetable and starch for the meal. Meanwhile, Kealoha was playing with our last cake mix, whipping up a pineapple upside-down cake for the crew. He’s still working out the logistics of getting these cakes to pop out of our pot that he cooks them in, but what was lacking in the precision of the upside-downing of the mea ʻono was more than made up for in flavor of the dessert. Dishes were cleared and washed as the whole crew worked to clean up before the darkness of the night, which makes things infinitely harder.

All in all today was a great day of being on the water.

SB 72,

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Hōkūleʻa Update | June 06, 2017

Naalehu Anthony      Crew Blog by Nāʻālehu Anthony

Aloha all,

Lots of action today. The anticipation of getting closer to land is fueling the energy on board the canoe today. The weather has stabilized, so we are now in the groove as we make our way these last few miles on this part of the course.

We had a pretty rare event occur today – all four lines went off at the same time. We sailed through a pile of fish, and they went for all four of our lures. The two port lines landed a pair of ahi, the starboard line got a small mahi, and the long starboard line must have gotten hit by something big cause it took the whole lure. The mahi was made into chowder and served up for lunch, and the ahi was marinated for dinner. Dinner was miso ahi, rice and vegetables. At this point I won’t chime in about which fish dinner was better than the last, as they have all been pretty incredible.

J- Boy, Parker, Kealoha, and Kawai have worked together to make some really great, creative, and nourishing dishes as we make our way home. Heavy discussion takes place every time we catch a fish to make sure they come up with the best way to use it. It has been great to watch this side of the cooking emerge as each dinner is a culinary step up from the one before. That process would not be complete without some pretty awesome desserts too. Kealoha brought back the crepe station for a hana hou – it was the perfect way to close out this segment of the course.

After dinner we waited for darkness to try to measure the Southern Cross and the North Star. The clouds were not cooperating for the navigation staff to measure the cross, but Hoku paʻa emerged for a couple of minutes and they got a fix. From that bearing, the crew decided to turn down and head west. From dead reckoning we know that are a bit high on the latitude mark, and a little more than a couple hundred miles east of Kumukahi on the Big Island. Weʻll sail through the day tomorrow, and then make a decision from there.

On a side note, the Big Island is one of the first really high islands that has been a navigational target for any crew that I have sailed on. While the formula says that you can potentially see Mauna Kea from 120 miles out (two degrees of latitude), Bruce will tell you different. He says that every time he has been on a crew looking for the Big Island, they have been much closer before sighting. Once, the only thing they saw were the lights of Hilo as the rest of the Island was totally encased in clouds. So this is the challenge with this particular high island – we get to look for very high mountains, but those mountains are almost always locked away in the protection of the heavens.

Point being, this isn’t going to be easy. The next 225 miles are some of the most important and potentially the hardest. The crew recognizes this and we are all committed to work together in the steering and the navigation to pull land from the sea and finish strong. We have worked hard to get to this point, and now this is where we have to put away some of the math and theory and trust in the mana of our kupuna and their teachings and just look for the signs.

Pō malie, everyone.

SB 72,

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Crew Blog | Keli Takenaga: Notes from the Galley

Notes from the Galley by Keli Takenaga | June 4, 2017

During this voyage home from Tahiti, I am on the 2-6 watch and my kuleana is cook and quartermaster. Here is a glimpse at my daily routine – my “notes from the Galley”.

Get up and ready for 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. watch. Around 3:30 or 4 a.m. (time determined by stars or my best guess when cloudy) I start prepping breakfast. Once breakfast is set up and I am off watch, I can shower and do any waʻa chores. When the 10-2 watch starts I begin to prep for lunch. If able and especially when needed, I’ll try to find time to grab a nap before my next watch at 2 p.m. During this second watch, I work on dinner prep around 3 p.m. to have it ready for our crew meeting before sunset. I think about food all day and all night – every day, and every night!

With a 6-day menu rotation (which changes a bit when we catch fish) I don’t have to guess the next meal. However, I try my best to use the day box ingredients to make different meals that aren’t necessarily on the menu, thinking about how to be creative to provide a different taste or twist with the ingredients on board. Waʻa cooks tend to bring some extra stuff from home to add their little touch; I bring things for treats and surprises for crew.

Having fresh produce is great. It’s important to know how and where to store them and how long they will last. Most fruits and veggies last at least a week, they can be used in the meals and cut up for snacks. Other things like onions, eggs, garlic, potatoes and pumpkin will last through the voyage, if stored properly.

As you can imagine, you cannot please everyone. At the least I make sure I know about everyone’s food allergies and food restrictions. Other challenges are weather – storms, squalls, and swells. When things are rough – guarranz you’re gonna get wet by squalls or splashes from the sea. In excessively windy conditions the burners will periodically go out too. Luckily, on Hikianalia we have a galley below. This is a dry space for me to prep most of my ingredients or even cook if it is too crazy on deck. We have a little oven in this below galley – which is nice to bake some goodies too. Maybe the biggest challenge aside from just cooking for 15 people is cooking for 15 people with wa`a food fatigue. We all talk about what we wanna eat when we get home – nobody ever says they wanna eat soy crumble spaghetti or tuna crackers once they hit land. : )

I’ve said it before – the best thing about being the cook is being able to do something for my crewmates everyday. This kuleana is an honor.

Other responsibilities I have as quartermaster are keeping track of our drinking water and knowing where everything is on the wa`a. Before and after the voyage, it is my kuleana to inventory and organize everything on the wa`a. All food items and wa`a supplies need to manifested and accounted for.

The kuleana related to wa`a cook and quartermaster is actually shared with a lot of people at home. The logistics team are the real heroes to making it all happen on the wa`a. As always a big mahalo to Lita and her team, and many other helping hands. Also big mahalo to our Tautira ʻOhana for all their kōkua to help prepare us for our voyage.

Mahalo nui to my two-six watch (Kala, Hina and Scottie) for their support to my kuleana, mahalo to Miki`ala for always being there to assist and mahalo to all my crewmates on this voyage for their support – and for washing dishes in the splash zone. Love all you guys!!!!

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Hōkūle‘a Homecoming

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