Crew Blog | Nā’ālehu Anthony: The Wonderment of a New Port
As we sail from port to port, state to state, country to country for some, we are in a constant flux of emotion. There are times when we wish we could just stay a bit longer to investigate a place and learn more about the rich history of these extraordinary places; other times we know we have several more ports to get to in a short time and the anxiety builds as we await departure. The crewmembers who sign up and dedicate themselves to be part of the pool that are selected for the Worldwide Voyage are adventurous and inquisitive by nature; we take any opportunity to look around and explore whenever there is a scrap of free time between waʻa duties.
>What’s interesting to me is the variety of travel experiences our crew have had (or not) before the WWV. Some of us have jobs that have taken us to many different places, so life on the road is not necessarily a new thing (although doing it by canoe is new for almost all). And then there are other crewmembers who have not traveled a lot before joining the Voyage, if at all. On this leg, some of the younger crew who have not been to the East Coast before this, let alone some of these more remote places that we have been to like Mt. Desert. Just for myself, places like Apia or Cocos Keeling or Cape Town or more recently Yarmouth were never on my radar as possible places to visit but they became stops on the Voyage and therefore for me. No matter where we might go and how often we travel, everyone agrees that arriving and visiting a place via voyaging canoe is unique, humbling, and life-changing.
Twenty-two year-old crewmember Nakua Lind is a perfect example of a new crewmember that has seen the world because of the WWV. Currently on his 11th leg of the Voyage, he has now seen more countries and ports than any of his contemporaries in his hometown of Hana, Maui. As of his last days of high school a few years ago, however, Nakua had not yet ever even ventured outside of Hawaiʻi. After graduating, he went on a youth trip to Spain – and got the travel bug. Meeting up with Hōkūleʻa in dry-dock as we prepared for the Worldwide Voyage may seem like a happy coincidence, but we know it was more fate than accident – his great-grandfather Sam Kalalau, Sr. was one of the crewmembers on the original 1976 voyage to Tahiti. Now a veteran on Hōkūleʻa, Hikianalia and several of our escort vessels, Nakua has been to ports like Rangiroa, Bali, Natal, Mauritius, and many, many others between. Whenever he is called upon to support and crew any of the vessels and kuleana to support the Voyage, his answer is always yes.
Nakua will probably end the voyage in 2017 as one of the top 5 crewmembers in terms of most miles served, behind only the captains and navigators who are on board for multiple legs at a time. And why shouldn’t he? He is young and dedicated, a humble and gracious servant to the canoe and mission; he is also becoming leader in his own right in many ways, embodying the core values of servant leadership. He has the kind of laughter that is contagious, and so he keeps the mood light even when the weather is dark and foreboding. He has the moʻokūʻauhau that connects him directly to the canoe and her humble beginnings. But perhaps most importantly, he is a sound investment in the future of Hana and Hawai’i.
The point is this: Nakua and many of the now more than 250 crew will be forever changed by this voyage. These crewmembers will come back to Hawaiʻi in 2017 with a different worldview of what is possible for the places we call home. The idea of servant leadership will be embedded in them because of the examples we see in the leadership on the canoe. Our floating island, Hōkūleʻa, changes everyone she meets, and those most impacted know that the kuleana of passing on those values to their own communities will set a new course and sail plan for a better future for this island called Earth.
No pressure Nakua, but we’re counting on you.
Help fund the Voyage as we sail the East Coast
Hōkūle‘a’s visit to the eastern United States is a historic milestone in her 40 years of voyaging.
Celebrate with us by pledging your support to the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage.