Mālama Honua Summit | Inspirational Speakers Series: Part 2

Advocating for Our Oceans

Eric Co

Eric Co
Senior Program Officer, Marine Conservation for the Harold K.L.Castle Foundation

Eric Co is the Senior Program Officer for Marine Conservation for the Harold K.L.Castle Foundation, the largest private foundation in Hawaiʻi devoted to our ocean. He has spent 20 years in marine management and has served as crew aboard Hōkūleʻa since 2002. He sees living on a canoe as a metaphor for our home—how we care for our place is a direct reflection of how we care for each other. Consequently, inspired by Mālama Honua alongside PVS, Eric has led the Promise to PaeʻĀina collective impact effort, a broad collaboration on ocean management targets to accomplish during the WWV.

Don Walsh
Ocean Elder
Honorary President, Explorers Club; Member, U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE), President, International Maritime Inc.

Don Walsh, Ph.D. is an oceanographer, explorer and retired Navy captain whose career was in submarines. In 1960, Lieutenant Walsh and Jacques Piccard dove to the deepest place in the ocean in the Navy’s Bathyscaph Trieste. After naval service he was a dean and faculty member at the University of Southern California. Since the late 1970’s his company, International Maritime, Inc. has done ocean-related consulting work throughout the world. He is the Honorary President of the Explorers Club. In 2001 he was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in recognition of his work in undersea engineering.

Don Walsh

Jean-Michel Cousteau

Jean-Michel Cousteau
Ocean Elder
President, Ocean Futures Society

Explorer. Environmentalist. Educator. Filmmaker. For more than five decades, Jean-Michel Cousteau has dedicated himself and his vast experience to communicate to people of all nations and generations his love and concern for our water planet. Since first being “thrown overboard” by his father, Jacques Cousteau, at the age of seven with newly invented SCUBA gear on his back, Jean-Michel has been exploring the ocean realm. Honoring his heritage, Jean-Michel founded Ocean Futures Society in 1999 to carry on this pioneering work. With Jean-Michel’s lifetime of achievements and exemplary public service in ocean conservation through education, awareness, and diplomacy, he was honored with the highest French civilian order of distinction, the Chevalier de la Légion D’Honneur, Knight of the Legion of Honor from the President of France, François Hollande in May 2016.

Sylvia A. Earle
Ocean Elder
President and Chairman, Mission Blue / The Sylvia Earle Alliance

Sylvia A. Earle is a National Geographic Society Explorer in Residence, Founder of Mission Blue, Founder of Deep Ocean Exploration and Research Inc. (DOER), Ocean Elder, Advisory Council Chair of the Harte Research Institute and former Chief Scientist of NOAA. She has been called Her Deepness by the New Yorker and the New York Times, Living Legend by the Library of Congress, and first Hero for the Planet by Time Magazine. She is an oceanographer, explorer, author and lecturer with experience as a field research scientist, government official, and director for several corporate and nonprofit organizations.

Sylvia Earle

Tommy Remengesau Jr

His Excellency, Mr. Tommy Remengesau Jr.
President of the Republic of Palau

President Tommy Esang Remengesau, Jr., the ninth President of the Republic of Palau, is the first Palauan to be elected President four times. He was first elected President in 2000 and was re-elected in 2004. His election as President again in 2016 is a mark of his vitality and commitment to his promise to the People of Palau to work hard to “preserve the best, improve the rest” for Palau today and for generations to come. During his time in public office, Palau has been recognized for its financial stability and good governance. Remengesau has also amplified Palau’s international leadership and emphasized the importance of regional and global partnerships.

ʻAulani Wilhelm – Moderator
Senior Vice President for Oceans, Conservation International

ʻAulani Wilhelm has spent 20 years in natural resource management, primarily ocean conservation, leading the designation of what has become the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument and World Heritage site, the largest protected area on Earth and first of its kind to honor indigenous relationships to the sea. Wilhelm is Senior Vice President for Oceans at Conservation International. Prior, she was Director of Ocean Initiatives for NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and a Social Innovation Fellow at Stanford University. She founded Island Water, a social venture to provide clean water and reduce plastic pollution on islands, and Big Ocean, a global network of large-scale marine protected areas. She is Chair of the IUCN-WCPA Large-Scale Marine Protected Area Task Force. She was privileged to be a crew member on Leg 27 of the Worldwide Voyage.

Aulani Wilhelm

Mālama Honua Summit | Inspirational Speakers Series: Part 1

Legacy and Future of Voyaging Panel


Nainoa Thompson
President, Polynesian Voyaging Society

Nainoa Thompson is the president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and a master in the traditional Polynesian art of non-instrument navigation. Through his voyaging, he has opened a global, multi-generational dialogue on the importance of sustaining ocean resources and maritime heritage. Thompson is the first person in 600 years to practice Polynesian wayfinding: long-distance open-ocean voyaging on a traditional double-hulled canoe without the aid of modern instruments. Nainoa has dedicated his life to exploring the ocean, advocating for a healthy planet, and ensuring that the ancient marine heritage and culture of Polynesia remain vibrant into the future.

Bruce Blankenfeld
Voyaging Director, Polynesian Voyaging Society

Bruce Blankenfeld became involved with the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) in 1977 by volunteering on Hōkūleʻa training sails and with construction and repair of the wa‘a kaulua in drydock. Since then, he has voyaged thousands of miles throughout Polynesia, Micronesia, Vancouver, Alaska, and Japan. Through extensive training and experience, while sailing more than 100,000 nautical miles, he became a master navigator – using traditional, non-instrument methods. He led Hōkūle‘a’s recent extensive renovation, and is currently the Voyaging Director for PVS’s Worldwide Voyage, as well as the Vice Chair of the PVS Board of Directors. Mr. Blankenfeld is a popular and inspiring lecturer on Polynesian navigating, voyaging and wayfinding.


Hekenukumai Ngaiwi Puhipi

Hekenukumai Ngaiwi Puhipi 
Pwo Navigator

In 1992 the waka hourua, Te Aurere, built by Dr. Hekenukumai Ngaiwi Puhipi OMNZ, MBE (also known as Hector Busby) sailed to Rarotonga for the South Pacific Arts Festival. Since then Te Aurere has reconnected Aotearoa with the other points of the Polynesian Triangle with voyages to Hawaiʻi (1995) and Rapa Nui (2011-12). First involved with waka in 1973 with the relaunching of the waka taua Ngatokimatawhaorua, the Voyage of Discovery of Hōkūleʻa in 1984-5 started a new chapter in Hekenukumai’s life. Hector has built over 30 waka and led the revival of waka building, sailing and traditional wayfinding in Aotearoa. This service to Māori has been recognized by the award of one of Aotearoa’s highest honors, the Order of Merit of New Zealand. In 2008 Mau Piailug presented him the award of Pwo, as a master navigator.

Neil J. Kahoʻokele Hannahs – Moderator
Founder & CEO, Hoʻokele Strategies LLC

In 2016, Neil J. Kahoʻokele Hannahs concluded four decades of service to Kamehameha Schools where he managed a portfolio of 358,000 acres of agriculture and conservation lands and founded the First Nations Futures Program and Hawaiʻi Investment Ready.  Hannahs subsequently launched Hoʻokele Strategies LLC, a consulting enterprise to engage inspiring wayfinders in building a thriving society. A graduate of Kamehameha Schools with BA and MA degrees from Stanford University, he serves on the State of Hawaiʻi Commission on Water Resources Management and boards of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, MAʻO Organic Farms, Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, Aloha Kuamoʻo ʻĀina and Awaiaulu.


Dieter Paulmann

Dieter Paulmann
Founder and Chairman, Okeanos Foundation for the Sea

Dieter Paulmann is the founder and chairman of the Okeanos Foundation for the Sea. Since 2007, Dieter has been working with navigators and voyaging societies across the Pacific to develop and build a fleet of traditionally designed double hulled sailing canoes outfitted with modern technologies including solar panels and coconut oil-fueled engines. Today, Dieter and Okeanos are actively taking steps to implement a pan-Pacific network of fossil fuel-free sailing canoes to support the region’s culturally-grounded sustainable development while providing much needed inter-island transportation of passengers, food, medicine, supplies and disaster relief.

Pomai Bertelmann
Alakaʻi Waʻa

Pomai was born and raised on the island of Hawai’i. Her family has been part of Hōkūle’a’s legacy since her inception. Her family and the community of Hawai’i are responsible for the building of the double-hulled voyaging canoe Makali’i as well as the Alingano Maisu, the voyaging canoe built to honor Papa Mau and his people. Pomai is a middle school instructor at Kanu o ka ʻĀina Charter School where students are reared through the cultural lense of project-based learning where they solve real world issues as 21st century stewards. The environment they live in is their classroom; their community, their advisors; their intuition, a guide on their course to solutions.


Hōkūleʻa Update | June 6, 2017

Total distance travelled along reference course: 2193.5 nmi, 68 mi west of reference course

Distance along Haka Hoʻolua reference course (Haka Hoʻolua- 670 nm from 9N to 20 N): 641.5 nmi, 68 nmi west

Average speed: 5 knots

Wind: Manu to ʻĀina Koʻolau. Wind was kind of shifty throughout the day with speeds at about 12 -15+ knots

Heading: Haka Hoʻolua

Lee drift: 1 house b/c we are pointing high, and reduce speed repeatedly to pace with our escort vessel

Swell: NE, Noio Koʻolau swell 4 ft.

Course made: Nā Leo Hoʻolua. We turned down a house at sunset to start cutting away at our distance east of Kumukahi.

Clouds: Numerous mild squalls filled in throughout the day and into the night increasing cloud coverage to 80-100%. For the most part cloud coverage averaged between 20-40%, predominately cumulus and cirrus clouds. The crew was able once again to steer off of Kūmau (North star) for hours at a time up until midnight. After midnight the clouds start to fill in reducing visibility of steering stars to small patches in the sky.

Moon- Lā Kona at sunset. Rose as Huna and transitioned to Hua by sunset.

Wildlife: ʻEwa ʻewa, boobies, ʻiwa, and ʻuaʻu kani. Caught a small mahi; J-boy made mahi tacos!

Latitude: Kūmau (North star) was measured throughout the night at about 18+ degrees. Our dead reckoning put our latitude at about 18.5 degrees at sunset. Throughout the day the southern horizon was cloudy but after sunset it began to clear, revealing the rising and setting of Newe (Southern cross) during the golden hour. Ka Mole Honua was measured at about 8.5 degrees, suggesting 18.5 degrees just after sunset. Shortly after, the southern horizon again filled in with clouds.

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.

Hōkūleʻa Update | June 3, 2017

24 hour navigation update from June 2, 2017 6 am to June 3, 2017 6am
Total distance travelled along reference course: 1840.5 nmi, 49.5 mi west of reference course

Distance along Haka Hoʻolua reference course (Haka Hoʻolua- 670 nm from 9N to 20 N): 282.5 nmi, 49.5 nmi west

Average speed: 5 knots

Wind: ʻĀina Koʻolau, 20 knots

Heading: ʻĀkau

Lee drift: 1 house b/c pointing high and reduced speed

Swell: NE, Noio Koʻolau swell 6-8 ft

Course made: Haka Hoʻolua

Clouds: 80-100% cumulus cloud cover up until midnight. High cloud coverage resulted in limited star visibility. For brief moments in time we saw Keoe, Manaiakalani, Ka Lupe, Gemini. The rising and setting ʻOle moon was a blessing throughout the day.

Wildlife: ʻEwa ʻewa, boobies, ʻiwa, and ʻuaʻu kani. Caught a 20 lb aku around 9 am – fish stomach was pretty much empty with a few shrimp fragments.

Latitude: Kūmau (North star) was only visible for a few seconds after sunset. High cloud coverage did not allow for a latitude fix off Kūmau or any of the southern pointers. Instead latitude was calculated to be approximately 13.5 degrees using dead reckoning.

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.

Worldwide Voyage | Tahiti Arrival Celebration

Legendary voyaging canoes Hōkūleʻa, Hikianalia and their crews were welcomed by the Mahina community on April 14, 2017. The crews enjoyed performances of traditional song and dance from people of all ages during the arrival celebration hosted on the shores of Mahina, which is near Papeete in Tahiti.

The arrival was filled with the true meaning of aloha. “You could feel it from the canoe. The community here was overwhelmingly happy and thrilled with love in their hearts that Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia were there,” says Kalā Tanaka, captain and navigator of Hikianalia. Adorned with welcome wishes and lei, the crews were treated to a front row celebration of traditional song and dance.

The arrival in Tahiti marks the reconnection of Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia. The sister canoes were last together in Aotearoa (New Zealand) in the spring of 2015. “We started his voyage together and now we end this voyage together,” says Bruce Blankenfeld, master navigator of Hōkūleʻa.

View the entire celebration from TNTV:

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.