By Kimberlee Stuart. At 9:00 a.m. the crew was ready; the star compass was rolled out, the world map was prepared, and Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia glinted on either side of the pier in the bright Hanalei sun. Right on time the buses pulled up, and out stepped the nearly 150 students, parents and teachers of Hui Ikaika and Hui Onipa’a of Kapa’a High. One of 4 full days of working with students from Kaua’i schools, this was one of Hanalei’s biggest days.
Student watch captains were selected and groups dispersed for a day full of fun and interesting learning activities. While one group got to board the Hōkūleʻa and experience a bit about voyaging, Coral McCarthy traced her finger along a large beach ball globe to show another group where the Polynesian voyagers will have to turn to avoid pirates and how the wa’a will dip to round the Cape of Good Hope. Steve Soltysik had students assembling model sailing canoes and determining ways to navigate on the open ocean at night.
Meanwhile down the beach, over 15 stations organized by Lea Weldon of the Waipa Foundation, kept students active and engaged. Along the beach young people could be seen throwing net, watching traditional hale lashing, learning about net removal, monk seal protection, examining seabird bolus, tying knots, identifying plankton under the microscope, tossing buoys with the U.S. Coast Guard, and much more.
At the end of their visit, student representatives walked solemnly down Hanalei pier, chanting an oli and presenting a hae flag to be shared during the World Wide Voyage. As one smiling teacher, Nicole McKamey commented; “These students have had a full day of learning that engaged every student in a way that was both meaningful and fun. It is a day none of us will forget.” It was clear that these young people will be watching closely as the Hikianalia and Hōkūleʻa bring their message of Malama Honua around the world, and meanwhile they will surely do their part to malama their beautiful island of Kaua’i.
Youth Programs Director/Administrative Manager
Kapa'a High students experience the Hōkūle'a
The boys organize before throwing net.
Limahuli Gardens staff demonstrate traditional lashing for hale building.
Coral McCarthy shows the keiki how to sense your place on the earth.