Crew Profile

Jay-R Kaawa


Molokaʻi, lives on Maui


Moananuiākea Voyage – Leg 9: Ventura to San Diego


It's been more than 20 years since Jay-R first stepped foot on a waʻa kaulua and that was in Hilo. Now on the Moananuiākea Voyage, Jay-R says “Beyond the connection to self, kūpuna, and our elements,” she appreciates “being able to contribute to a larger purpose and mission that honors everyone that came before and those that will come after.”

To her, Hōkūleʻa means “Kuleana, Aloha, ʻIke Kupuna, Kūpono” and she hopes “to carry our moʻolelo to the world, highlighting the expertise of our kupuna, their aloha for this important practice,” and “how important kuana ʻike is in solving issues locally and globally.”

Jay-R will miss family, friends and students at Kamehameha Schools - Maui, where she is principal, but when sheʻs at home, there is also much that she misses about being at sea: The enjoyment of “connecting spiritually to our kūpuna, the elements and other kānaka seen and unseen,” and the “solitude, reflective spaces, and just voyaging!”