Crew Blog | Hina Keala: Familiar Sights Along the East Coast

Hina KealaWritten by Hina Keala

This past week I have been living a dream of mine since I was a 1st grader on the dock of Kaunakakai, Moloka’i. Fast forward about 14 years, and here I am on wa’a kaulua (double-hulled canoe) Hōkūle’a in a place I least expected: Cape Cod. It has been surreal and filled with a bunch of firsts. The first time I have ever been to the East Coast, let alone past California, experiencing fog, eating lobster with claws on it, and waking up to the sound of seagulls instead of mynah birds. One of my favorite first experiences happened yesterday as we were under tow down the Cape Cod Canal. It was such a surreal moment for me when we saw a steam engine train go by. I would’ve never thought that I would be on a waʻa and see a huge train steaming past me. It was an awesome moment for all on the crew. 


I am amazed by the other individuals aboard with me, privileged to call my fellow crew members, because to me they are much more than that. They have been the watermen and waterwomen that I have been looking up to since I took my first steps into PVS headquarters at Sand Island. Being able to sail and witness them in their element has been such an honor. From hearing the many stories of adventure to the stories that came from Papa Mau. I am surrounded by so much ʻike and it is my kuleana to learn and reciprocate down the road as their legacy will be a part of mine. 


As we have been traveling, it quickly came into perspective how much this wa’a and the mālama honua movement not only means to Hawai’i, but beyond as well. From meeting people who drive 2 1/2 hours in a days notice to those who randomly show up on the banks as we pass by waving signs and Hawaiian flags, all to catch a glimpse of the canoe. There has been so much aloha along the East Coast, it feels like we’re never too far from someone with connections to Hawai’i. The East Coast is a huge boating and sailing community, and seeing their faces when a waʻa kaulua passes by is priceless. Experienced mariners and fishermen of these areas just flock to the canoe with curiosity and excitement. Mahalo nui to everyone who supports us from the communities full of aloha here on the East Coast to the loved ones back at home.

Me ke aloha,
Hina Keala

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Hōkūle‘a’s visit to the eastern United States is a historic milestone in her 40 years of voyaging.

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