After returning from the Vietnam War, John was introduced to Herb Kawainui Kane when Hōkūleʻa was still two hulls yet to be lashed together. John began helping in Hōkūleʻa's construction - glassing the hulls and crafting the sweep - under such mentors as Wright Bowman and Wally Froiseth. Once Hōkūleʻa was seaworthy, John was a crewmember on her maiden voyage to Tahiti in 1976. He co-founded Nā Kālai Waʻa o Kauaʻi (The Canoe Builders of Kaua'i) in 1992 which has been building the voyaging canoe Nāmāhoe. After sailing many years, John is glad to be back sailing on the Worldwide Voyage with many of his old mates.
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