Maunakea Speaker Series to Feature Hokule‘a Navigator

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Kalepa Baybayan. Photo credit: ‘Ōiwi TV, Kaipo Kī‘aha/Polynesian Voyaging.

The scholar-focused Maunakea Speaker Series will continue this month with an exciting presentation by distinguished navigator and Hokule‘a captain Kalepa Baybayan on Thursday, Nov. 30, at 7 p.m. The presentation, titled “He Lani Ko Luna, A Sky Above—In losing the sight of land, you discover the stars,” will be held in Wentworth Hall, room #1, at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo.

Baybayan recently circumnavigated the world during the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage. Sailing the iconic, double-hulled canoe Hokule‘a, he and his crew traveled 42,000 nautical miles over three years, visiting 150 ports in more than 20 countries. The Lāhaina, Maui native first sailed aboard Hokule‘a in 1975 and has been a part of all major voyages since that time. Baybayan has served as captain aboard the Hokule‘a, as well as the voyaging canoes Hawai‘iloa and Hokualaka‘i.

Currently, Baybayan serves as the Navigator in Residence at the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai’i, developing wayfinding activities, curriculum materials and conducting outreach events. In 2007, he was initiated into the order of Pwo, a two-thousand-year-old society of deep-sea navigators in Micronesia.


The Maunakea Speaker Series is a monthly presentation offered in partnership between the Office of Maunakea Management, ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, and the University of Hawai’i at Hilo Department of Physics & Astronomy. The event serves as a venue for the community to learn about ongoing research and education efforts on Hawai‘i Island. It also allows local scholars to share their stories and learn from discussion, while promoting understanding and collaboration throughout the community.

For more information visit or call (808) 933-0734.


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