Chad Kālepa Baybayan holds a Masters in Education degree, is fluent in the Hawaiian language, and is captain and navigator of the Hawaiian deep-sea voyaging canoes Hōkūle’a, Hawai’iloa, and Hōkūalaka’i. He has been an active participant in the Polynesian voyaging renaissance since 1975 and has sailed on all major voyages throughout the South Pacific, the West Coast of North America, Micronesia, and Japan.
Kālepa was the past Site Director of Honuakai, the Exploration Sciences Division of ‘Aha Pūnana Leo Inc., which teaches Hawaiian through an immersive environment to the crew aboard the Hōkūalaka’i. He currently serves as Navigator in Residence at the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaiʻi, developing wayfinding curriculum and conducting outreach activities.
In 2007, Kālepa and four other Hawaiian men were initiated into the order of Pwo, a two thousand year old society of deep-sea oceanic navigators by his teacher, Master Navigator Mau Piailug on the island of Satawal.