Crew Profile: Keli Takenaga

PVS Member Since 1995

HOMETOWN: Honolulu, Hawaii
PRIMARY DUTY: Quartermaster
OTHER RESPONSIBILITIES: Cook and still photography
Keli Takenaga, originally from Oahu, has had Hōkūleʻa in her heart and dreams for many years, so much that Hōkūleʻa has become a family member to her. Keli first stepped on the deck of Hōkūleʻa in 1995 with a Tahitian cultural group at a welcoming ceremony in Long Beach, Calif. For Hōkūleʻa, Takenaga held “an admiration from afar,” which has manifested into a much more intimate bond between the two.

When asked to describe what she does during drydock, her reply is to “Get dusty, sticky, dirty and sweaty.” Keli has been known to say after dry dock sanding sessions, as she is covered in Hōkūleʻa dust, “Now I know why this is called Sand Island!”

Undeterred by layers of dust, dirt and sweat, Keli devotes her time and energy to the cause and the canoe. What keeps her staying here is her mana and the people around her. “Being a part of Hōkūleʻa is an honor, and it is not about me. I am beside myself to be by her side.” Takenaga said, “I find Hōkūleʻa has fit right into my life’s passions of love of of nature...compassion for others...and a need to contribute to the community and future generations.”

While aboard Hikianalia during this leg, she would love to see heart-to-heart connections made with others across the globe. She wants to build a more caring, sustainable and compassionate future. When this leg ends, she will miss the sea, sky and horizon the most.

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