Crew Profile

Kalani Kahalioumi


Hilo, Hawaiʻi


Moananuiākea Voyage – Leg 2: Yakutat to Juneau, Moananuiākea Voyage – Leg 7: Tacoma to San Francisco


Kalaniʻs first encounter with Hōkūleʻa was in 1997 when she was in Makua Bay for Israel Kamakawiwoʻole’s Celebration of Life. Kalani swam to Hōkūleʻa and a crew member asked him to check the anchor. “I havenʻt let go of the rope yet; still hanging on,” he says. To him, Hōkūleʻa means “rebirth, new life, joy.”

Kalani says his first time sailing on a waʻa kaulua was at home in “Kiaʻi i ka Hilo Bay,” where he is now Director of Ocean Recreation Programs for Hawaiʻi County. He has since served as Watch Captain, Safety Officer, Rescue Swimmer and crew member on many voyages and several legs of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, both on Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia. For every voyage he wants to see “safe passage, always, and the passing on of knowledge.” And itʻs no different now on Moananuiākea, as he looks forward to gathering and sharing “knowledge for my community.”

When voyaging, there is one thing Kalani misses: ʻohana. But when back on land in his everyday life, he has a long list of what he misses most at sea: “the stories, fishing, nice windy days, snack time.”