Kanehunamoku Voyaging Academy

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Originally published In The April 2014 Issue

Kids learning the seafaring ways

What are you going to be when you grow up? A few kids are already headed in a direction which interests them – being around the ocean.

Kaneohe Bay is the setting for the Kanehunamoku Voyaging Academy (KVA), a program offered by Mana Maoli, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. The Kanehunamoku is a double hull canoe, a scaled down version of the Hokulea and serves as a floating classroom. It was built by Jay Dowsett and Jerry Ongies. KVA is a sailing program that teaches navigational skills, teamwork, and the cultural significance of the canoe in Hawaii.

At KVA students learn the skills that may lead them into jobs right here in the islands: like being the captain of a Matson container ship; working for NOAH to protect the ocean’s ecosystem; joining the Coast Guard or Navy; or becoming an experienced boat operator for the tourist industry or fisheries. The classes teach the basics of traditional navigation like the Hawaiian star compass, knots, songs and chants, sailing and seamanship.

Students take that background and apply 21st Century know-how to be better prepared to land a job here in the islands. KVA is also available to families, school groups, classroom visits, sailing experiences and corporate team-building workshops. For more information on Kanehunamoku Voyaging Academy, go to www.kanehunamoku.org, or search Facebook for kanehunamoku and “like” their page.

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