Crew Profile

Chris Blake


Kapālama, Oʻahu


Moananuiākea Voyage – Leg 1: Juneau to Yakutat


Chris Blake, or “Balakay,” as crew members like to call him, has long had a love for the ocean, but he didn’t set eyes on Hōkūleʻa until 1995, upon her return from Tahiti to Kualoa, Oʻahu with the voyaging canoes Hawaiʻiloa and Makaliʻi. It would be another 17 years before the opportunity to sail on Hōkūleʻa would come knocking. Chris is a volleyball coach, kumu and Director of Pacific Innovations at Kamehameha Schools, and kumu were invited to get involved in preparation for Hōkūleʻa’s Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage.

Chris says ʻHōkūleʻa embodies the “greatness of indigenous wisdom and how our ancestors skillfully navigated Moananuiākea, our Pacific Homeland. She is our protector of our voyagers and carries the mana of all who have touched her.” He believes that she and the lessons she teaches us all “can help us to defend and protect our island Earth and navigate us to a sustainable future” by connecting us with “the language of nature,” the language of the sea, and emphasizing the importance of observing, listening, and making decisions based on that relationship. He hopes voyages also “inspire the next generation of navigators, both on ka moana and on ka ʻāina, to set their own destinations, embark upon their own journeys and face the challenges they meet head-on.”

As he ponders voyaging for weeks at a time, Chris says “when out at sea, I miss my ʻohana. I miss fresh fruits and salad. I crave li hing mui and when we get back to shore, a good teri-cheeseburger. And yet, when I am on land, I miss the sounds of Hōkūleʻa as she sails - the movement of the waʻa, the connections we have with our crew, and the immersion into nature.”