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A Native Hawaiian Place of Learning for Voyagers of the World


Find Out Skills and Information That Crew Members Learn in the Training Process.


The traditional hālau wa’a was a longhouse, a covered structure near the shoreline dedicated to all matters related to canoes, and whose linear measure could provide ample shelter for vessels of sizeable length. 

Wayfinding: Modern Methods and Techniques of Non-Instrument Navigation, Based on Pacific Traditions

Before the invention of the compass, sextant and clocks, or more recently, the satellite-dependent Global Positioning System (GPS), Pacific Islanders navigated open-ocean voyages without instruments, using instead their observations of the stars, the sun, the ocean swells, and other signs of nature for clues to direction and location of a vessel at sea.

In the 20th century, this method was still practiced in some areas of Micronesia, although the traditional knowledge and techniques are in danger of being lost because of modernization and Westernization of the island cultures.

To learn more, check out www.hokulea.com


We got there a little before sunset and started on our task to build a star compass using just the sun as our reference point.
We have chosen to be a part of this voyaging family. We support each other. Watch as we swim together as one family from start to finish.

Learn the basic knots for sailing and wayfinding! View the video, grab a rope and practice tying these knots.

Voyaging Safety Training

Select a video from below to see how crew members train to stay safe on their voyage.

Voyaging safety training: staying safe on the waters means learning how to use safety equipment properly. Learn how voyagers use safety harnesses while sailing.

Voyaging safety training: life vest training is vitally important when sailing. Learn the basics of how to use this safety equipment.

Voyaging safety training: acting quickly can save lives, especially when a crew member goes overboard! Learn how voyagers handle emergency situations when sailing.

Voyaging safety training: fires can happen even on the ocean. Learn how to safely handle rogue fires.

Voyaging safety training: learn how to safely handle flares.

Voyaging safety training

Designing a Course Strategy
Before you set sail, a wayfinder must design a course strategy. This is a plan that will help you arrive at your destination quickly and safely. But be aware! A wayfinder’s course strategy will change along the way! You’ll need to determine your position (where you are) and chart your strategy as you sail!

To learn more, check out http://archive.hokulea.com/ike/hookele/course_strategy.html

Learning Activities

Video / Grades PreK – 12 / Math

Lesson Plan / Grades 3 – 6 / Math

Digital Activity / Grades 3 – 6 / Math

Worksheet / Grades 3 – 6 / Math

Kumu Resources

Integrate these lessons and activities in your classroom! Browse our lesson plans, digital activities, worksheets and videos.