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Blog | Kaniela Anakalea-Buckley: Worth All the Blood, Sweat, and Tears

This post was written by Kaniela Anakalea-Buckley.

It’s a lot of work to earn the invitation onto the canoe, but it’s not impossible.  For me it has been worth all the blood, sweat, and tears.

As the youngest crew member on this leg I feel that one of my largest responsibilities is to set an example for the rest of the youth back home in Hawaii and even worldwide. On this voyage I have learned so many new things about sailing and the different places that we got to visit. As we sailed from place to place, I realized that the number of young crew members is very small. I know that one day the middle-aged crew members will get to the age of the legends, so when that day comes, the crew members that are in my generation are going to need to step up and fill in positions onboard the canoes. My hope is that people my age become inspired by this voyage around the world and make the move to getting involved. It’s a lot of work to earn the invitation onto the canoe, but it’s not impossible.  For me it has been worth all the blood, sweat, and tears.

Kaniela Anakalea-Buckley holds down the hoeuli, back sighting Moorea.
Kaniela Anakalea-Buckley holds down the hoeuli, back sighting Moorea.

I feel that the canoes are still growing into the modern day and age and that sailing double-hulled canoes from place to place can be a great means of traveling and visiting different islands around Hawaii. The only thing is that we need people to look at the canoe in that way.  Canoes are a usable way of transportation, not only a traditional way of preserving voyaging culture. One of the greatest things that I have gotten out of sailing on this leg is having the opportunity to sail and hear the stories from the legends of voyaging, like John Kruse and Billy Richards. I got to hear so many stories and lessons from them it seemed too good to be true. When I was growing up and training on Makali‘i, our voyaging canoe located in Kawaihae on Hawai‘i Island, those names were some of the big names that inspired young crew members like me. Now I get to sail to Samoa with them; it’s a dream come true.

So for me, I would like to inspire others the way those legends inspired me to become the best crew member that I can be. Even those who are interested back at home to join the voyage, I hope are inspired to make the move to their nearest wa’a. We need more young crew members to step up and take the helm from those who have held up the traditions of the canoe.  That is what keeps the traditions alive–not just knowing of their existence, but in the doing and perpetuating them. In conclusion I am honored to get this opportunity to sail my first voyage with some of my voyaging heroes, but I do strongly hope that more of us youth will jump on and share the amazing adventures and stories that are to be made at sea.

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