So, We Finally Meet

Yesterday, I had the privilege of hanging with six members of Kapu Na Keiki — young voyagers with the Polynesian Voyaging Society. We met at the Marine Education Training Center, operated by Honolulu Community College and where Hokule’a and two other canoes are docked.

Members of Kapu Na Keiki

We took a cab to the center after my sister wisely suggested we do so, rather than my plan of a two-hour bus ride (with a 40-minute walk in there somewhere).

“Noooo, I’m not getting on the stinking bus,” Julia whined.

Not after our debacle of a bus ride the previous day when we spent five hours on the bus (make that five different buses) roundtrip for three hours of kayaking in Kailua.

“You in the military?” asked our hotel bellhop, as we requested a taxi service to the center.

“No, I’m going to do an interview there,” I said. “You heard of the Polynesian Voyaging Society?”

Blank stare.

“Nainoa Thompson?”

“Oh yeah,” he said, shaking his head in agreement, smiling. “Oh yeah, Hokule’a.”

Turns out he’d been on the famous Hawaiian canoe, much to my envy, during a celebration a few years back after a successful sail. Later that day, at the center, I would finally come face to face with Hokule’a. I’d been waiting five years for this day.