Students bid ‘aloha’ to Hōkūle‘a crew members


Noelani Kamalu and Maui Tauotaha are having the experience of a lifetime aboard the voyaging canoes Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia, as members of the crew for the Worldwide Voyage. While Kamalu and Tauotaha had different paths to joining the trip, they both enjoyed send offs from public school children.

​On May 9, about 120 students at Hālau Kū Māna Public Charter School bid farewell to their math teacher, Noelani Kamalu. Hōkūle‘a Senior Captain Billy Richards was also on hand for the ceremony, and encouraged students to study hard and pursue their dreams, just like Kamalu.

“Being able to voyage on Hōkūle‘a is the fulfillment of a lifetime dream for me,” said Kamalu. “I first knew that I wanted to sail on Hōkūle‘a as a fourth grader at Ke‘ehi Lagoon when I helped to greet her and several other wa‘a (outrigger canoe), including Makali‘i upon their arrival in Hawai‘i.” The oldest of Darren and Noe Kamalu’s six girls, Noelani is sailing to Tahiti with second-born Lehua; then third-born sister Nikki will be sailing aboard the wa‘a to Aotearoa later this year.

Kamalu has been a math teacher at Hālau Kū Māna since 2010, and she will soon begin teaching science. Being selected as a crew member has taught Kamalu about herself, as well as Mālama Honua, the message of caring for the Earth, that Hōkūle‘a is spreading through its worldwide voyage.

“I aimed to make small changes in my own life that would affect the greater population around me,” said Kamalu. “So, my hope is that if a lot of people can make a lot of small changes, then hopefully the impact will be large. We can all collectively help to Mālama Honua.”

On May 14, approximately 500 students at King William Lunalilo Elementary School presented Maui Tauotaha with the school’s mascot, a hawk, to take aboard the wa‘a. Principal Amy Katrowitz says the hawk’s journey aboard the vessel will be part of the students’ curriculum as they keep in touch with Tauotaha and their school mascot.

At the event, students learned about the voyage, and how crew members each play a role on the canoes. Tauotaha also showed students the rain gear crew members use while out at sea.

Like Kamalu, Tauotaha comes from a family with Hōkūle‘a connections. His paternal grandfather Puaniho Tauotaha was part of a previous voyage. He is with ‘Ōiwi TV and will serve as a media manager of the crew handling photography and communications.

On Saturday, May 17, Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia left Honolulu for Hawai‘i Island. They will sail for Tahiti in late May, beginning a journey of more than 47,000 nautical miles, visiting 26 countries and 85 ports of call over three years.

About Mālama Honua

The voyage of the Hōkule‘ā and Hikianalia is an invitation to students, educators, our Island community and the world to explore values that will “Mālama Honua” — care for the planet. If we can live sustainably and in harmony on a canoe, and on an island, we can and will extend those practices for “Island Earth.” The Department has teamed with the Polynesian Voyaging Society to help promote education about sustainable living for our Islands and the Earth as the voyaging canoes Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia tour the Pacific.

Connect with the Worldwide Voyage

Contact Information

Communications and Community Affairs Office

Phone: 808-586-3232


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