Bonnie's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Hawaii Roadtrip

BONNIE KAHAPEA-TANNER

Captain & Project Director
Kānehūnāmoku Voyaging Academy & Mana Maoli

“You have to know where 'home' is in order to know where you're going and how to get back.”

INTERESTS:

Environment & Nature Non-Profit Organizations

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Culture Self-Reflection Hobbies & Pastimes Passion Struggle Exploration Individualism Character Fear Instincts Education

FOUNDATION:

Teaching / Mentoring

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Grew up loving the water; in high school, she really developed her interest in paddling and kayaking.
  • Went to the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and was introduced to the art of traditional Polynesian navigation.
  • While she was in Hilo, she watched the Hōkūleʻa—a Polynesian double-hulled voyaging canoe—prepare for a voyage to Tahiti.
  • She joined the crew that took legendary Polynesian navigator "Papa" Mau Piailug back to his home in Micronesia.
  • She was also interested in education, and earned her master’s degree in transformative learning and change.
  • Says that even as she was going through that master’s program, she was always trying to “stay close to the canoe.”
  • Now teaches traditional voyaging and maritime skills at the Kānehūnāmoku Voyaging Academy.
  • Says her job blends her interests in sailing, traditional navigation, Hawaiian culture, and teaching people.

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