Crew Blog: Lesley Iaukea, June 26 (and June 20)

Maui (Lesley Iaukea) —

June 26

Tonight, the crew went to the Whale Sanctuary in Kihei to give a free presentation on the WorldwideVoyage for Hokule'a and were met with about a hundred smiling faces and a room full of positive energy. We also had a few kupuna crew members there to support and share their mana'o with us and the crowd.

Kaiulani Murphy started off the presentation with a powerpoint that gave the history of Hokule'a and Polynesian Voyaging Society; and the path that has led us here today with the WorldWideVoyage. Kaiulani talked about the founders of Polynesian Voyaging Society, along with known figures that are no longer here with us as a way to connect the audience to the wa'a.


Kala Babayan then spoke about the voyaging canoe on Maui and her experiences with being Po Navigator Kalepa Babayan's daughter. It was a great insight into her world where she is also very knowledgeable about the star compass as she recalls stories from her youth with her father.

Kala BaybayanKala

Kealoha Hoe completed the presentation by describing the typical life on board while on a voyage, the food that is being used and different food menus that is gearing the crew towards a healthier tomorrow; sustainability and prepping, as we prepare to grow our own food on board.

Kealoha HoeKealoha

We then had a Q and A period where the audience posed some really great questions and foresight to the voyage ahead. The education program was introduced and information on how to use Hokule'as voyages as part of a curriculum was discussed.

It was a great night amongst new friends and the crew would like to thank the community for coming out and showing their support; as well as share with us their great mana and 'ike. This island of Maui has been supportive and loving towards us while we are here and we leave soon knowing that there is definitely a huge presence of people that are living aloha and preparing the future for their keiki. Aloha…

June 20

In the afternoon, the crew went to “talk-story” with Uncle Leslie Kuloloio. A well known Hawaiian activist and knowledgeable kupuna in oral histories. To set the tone for the meeting, Uncle Les and 'ohana greeted us with their mo'oku'auhau kahea. The crew in response returned the greeting with the Hokule'a kahea.

Uncle Leslie Kuloloio. Photo credit: Lesley Iaukea Uncle Leslie Kuloloio. Photo credit: Lesley Iaukea

We were given a tour of the 'ohana property where there was once a living and thriving fishpond and village. This property is located across the street from 'Big Beach' in Makena and is a symbol of place for this 'ohana that has genealogical roots to Maui and Kaho'olawe. We were given the history of Kealakahiki, the pathway to Tahiti; as well as the oral history of how Maui and Kaho'olawe are and were connected. We felt very lucky to hear this mo'olelo from a kupuna, as he gave us all a visual of what once was in these islands.

Crew with Uncle Les Crew with Uncle Les. Photo credit: Leina'ala Kuloloio

As the Kupuna Representative of Kaho'olawe and Chairman to Aha Moku, Uncle Les sat the crew down in a circle where he proceeded to talk about culture, kuleana, and most important, the future for native Hawaiians. By the middle of our 'talk-story', we were all pretty much understanding the spiritual connection to our ancestors and the role that Hokule'a plays for many hawaiians and non-hawaiians in regards to perpetuation of culture. Needless to say, the 2 hour meeting lasted for 4 hours, and at the end of this spiritual and deep talk, the crew ended up at Big Beach, where we sat together looking out at Kaho'olawe and thought about our kuleana to our 'ohana and Hokule'a; and ultimately, our kuleana to 'Malama Honua'.

View of Kaho'olawe View of Kaho'olawe.

Mahalo nui loa to Uncle Leslie Kuloloio, Leina'ala Kuloloio, and keiki for their deep sense of kuleana and the humbleness he has in giving away his mana'o freely to the younger generations. We truly learned from our kupuna today as he gave us much more to think about while sailing the first year of our voyage in Hawai'i.

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