Crew Profile

Cory Lau Ferris


San Francisco, California


Moananuiākea Voyage – Leg 4: Ketchikan to Prince Rupert


It wasnʻt until 2023 that lifeguard and farmer Cory Ferris sailed on a Hawaiian waʻa kaulua. It was at the Waʻa Fest at Kualoa. In her short time volunteering with PVS and Hōkūleʻa she has grown to see Hōkūleʻa as “a protector and a teacher.” “She protects not only crew, but knowledge and kindness. She invites those who want to learn to face danger and reach new horizons under her wing and teaches sailing, navigation, history and diplomacy.”

Cory hopes that through voyaging “more and more people will feel a sense of urgency to live in regenerative ways,” and “that voyaging can show people that we are safer and healthier if we coexist instead of thinking of ourselves as separate from nature. Many First Nations people around the world are working to keep us safe, I hope other Nations will be inspired to join.”

To Cory “The Moananuiakea Voyage gives me hope that humankind can explore with kindness. I was born in San Francisco at the Eastern edge of the Pacific. My grandmother was born on Oʻahu in the heart of the Pacific. My Great Grandfather was born in Guang Dong at the Western edge of the Pacific. I am the combination of so many people and so many miles of travel and I want to feel it and learn it.” She adds, “I want to see where I am going by the stars and swell and bad and good weather. I want to work together with a crew and experience first sight of land together. I want to stare at skies lit only by the sun, stars, and moon, and notice all the life teeming in the sea. I want to greet new friends and feel the excitement and apprehension of new ports and waterways. I am inspired by the connections people have worked so hard to make and keep with each other and the earth all these years and I hope to be a part of that family and carry on that tradition.”

And yet, as voyaging will be new to Cory, she imagines she would miss seeing land and “being able to swim on the regular. Also fruit.” And as she tries to imagine what she would miss about being at sea for days on end, she thinks probably “the crew, the motion of the waʻa, and the endless sea and sky.”