HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - On the dock by Hikianalia, a native shearwater has lost its way and navigator Lehua Kamalu is there to care for the bird.
It’s this love for the Earth that she carries with her on land ― and at sea.
“I think those probably are the ones that I notice when I’m thinking about the ones that need protection because they are the ones that help us find islands,” she said.
Kamalu sailed around the world during the last voyage, which ended in 2017, and she’s preparing for the next journey around the Pacific starting in 2022.
It’s a 42-month, 41,000-mile journey to 46 countries and archipelagos.
“I am looking forward to this next voyage. I am kind of a decade away from when I first started voyaging and we’re looking at a whole new generation of young navigators who will carry us on for the next decade,” said Kamalu.
During training, navigators are challenged to face their fears.
“Every voyage is a risk. The first one was a risk and I’m sure they had challenges as well,” she said.
This time, a global pandemic adds to the uncertainty and many challenges.
“Health concerns have always been a part of maritime voyages whether those are here in Hawaii, the Pacific, all over the world so we’re taking it very very seriously,” she said.
While 100 navigators are needed for Hokulea and sister Hikianalia, the Polynesian Voyaging Society is focusing on training the next generation.
“It’s really exciting to see almost how fearless they are just tackling these challenges,” she said.
To learn more about voyaging, watch latest Hokulea documentary: He Wa`a, He Honua – The Earth is Our Canoe. It airs Sunday at 9 p.m. on KHNL.