Crew Profile: Nainoa Thompson

PVS Member Since 1975

HOMETOWN: Niu Valley, Honolulu
PRIMARY DUTY: Pwo Navigator
OTHER RESPONSIBILITIES: President of the Polynesian Voyaging Society
Nainoa Thompson is the President of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and a master in the traditional Polynesian art of non-instrument navigating. Inspired by his kupuna, his teachers, he has dedicated his life to exploring the deep meaning of “voyaging.” Among many other important mentors, Yosio Kawano took him at an early age to tide pools to explore the mysteries of the inshore ocean; Herb Kane introduced him to the stars his ancestors used to navigate great ocean distances; and pwo navigator Mau Piailug taught him to see the natural signs he would use to guide Hōkūleʻa, a replica of an ancient Polynesian voyaging canoe, throughout Polynesia. Nainoa’s father taught him the universal values of voyaging – of having a vision of islands rising from the sea, of self-discipline, preparation, courage, risk-taking and the spirit of aloha that would bind a crew on arduous journeys.

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