Two of Kauai’s modern-day adventurers who have sailed aboard Hokulea, navigating only with the tools that were available 1,500 years ago: the stars and planets, the sun, moon, wind, ocean swells, cloud formations and patterns of migratory birds, will talk story about their experiences on Saturday Oct. 5 from 10:30 a.m. to noon in the Kauai Museum Courtyard. Admission is free to Kauai residents; half price for visitors.
Dennis Chun and Keala Kai will share their adventures of sailing to Tahiti, the Marquesas Islands, Rapa Nui, Japan and Palmyra Atoll on the 62-foot double-hulled canoe using only Mother Nature’s guidance.
Chun, one of Kauai’s earliest Hokulea crew members, is an icon among younger sailors and students who learn about him in school. A professor of Hawaiian Studies and Culture at Kauai Community College, he is extremely humble, rapidly deflecting honor to others.
“I first sailed Hoku in 1976. I was a young squirt, just a crew guy, whatever needed to be done,” Chun says.
Keala Kai, born and raised on Kauai and a former County of Kauai lifeguard, joined the Hokulea crew in 2005 when he was 47 years old, a dream come true for him. After his first voyage, he was inspired to launch a new career as an artist, drawing intricate pencil sketches of sailing canoes of all shapes and sizes on canvasses and for his own line of canoe clothing.
“Whenever you go aboard the Hokulea, it’s magic,” Kai says. “Someone told me, ‘When you’re out there, the stars come down so low, it’s like Hokulea is lifting you up into the heavens, and you’re sailing among the stars.’ ”
The event will be facilitated by Pamela Varma Brown, her last talk story of the year. Brown is the author of the book “Kauai Stories,” a collection of more than 50 colorful, touching and humorous personal stories about aspects of Hawaii life, including Chun’s, Kai’s and also Kauai resident Nalani Kaneakua’s adventures sailing on Hokulea. The talk story will be followed by question and answer session with the sailors.
This event is part of the Kauai Museum’s “Author Series,” highlighting talented local writers, said Melisa Paterson, the museum’s public relations specialist. For more information, please call Brown, (808) 651-3533 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.