The future looks bright as we begin to train our new captains and crew to continue the legacy of Polynesian voyaging. The Worldwide Voyage has been a key link to establishing the things that we recognize are essential for the future of Hōkūle’a and voyaging for the people of Hawai’i. Taking a moment to step back, I see it is like steering the canoe – those of us who were given great kuleana in previous years are now helping to steer our future captains and crew.
On this leg, we welcome Nakua Konohia-Lind to the family of first-time captains. As we discussed our sail plan a few days ago, it was apparent that the sailing conditions were going to provide us a great classroom for training our future captains. We talked about the things that are relevant to voyaging, weather, and captaining the canoe; and most importantly, keeping the crew safe. These were all things that I saw blossoming in Nakua’s leadership.
The first test for him was sailing from Lāhainā to Keoneʻoʻio (better known as La Perouse), the first of his two legs from Lāhaian to Hāna. Winds were stronger than normal, 20 knots occasionally gusting to 30. I saw that he has a knack for making everyone feel comfortable, while realizing the responsibility of making sure that the canoe and his crew are ready. Sailing in seas of 5 feet and very strong wind, he was quick to establish everyone’s strengths and assign them to positions which brought out the best in them.
It is often the things we say and do as leaders that make others comfortable to follow us. I’ve seen moments of great leadership in Nakua specifically. Not only his willingness to take on being a captain, but more importantly, his ability to seek knowledge, and to trust and empower his crew.
The people of Hāna and his ‘ohana, more importantly his grandfather, should be very proud of the person he has become. It is through the gift of Hōkūle’a that he has the skills to lead not only the Hōkūle’a ‘ohana, but also his community and his home of Hāna, Maui.
I look forward to sharing in the next coming day the expectations, the outcomes, and the emotions as we touch the shores of Hāna Bay. Stand by as the journey continues.