Crew Profile

Keli Takenaga


Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi


Moananuiākea Voyage – Leg 1: Juneau to Yakutat, Moananuiākea Voyage – Leg 7: Tacoma to San Francisco, North Pacific Gyre


Keli Takenaga is an administrative assistant and yet finds time to be among Hōkūleʻa’s most dedicated volunteers, on land and at sea. She’ll never forget the first time she stepped foot on Hōkūleʻa’s deck. It was “Wednesday May 19, 2010,” she says, “evening sail, Māmala Bay.”

Her source of fierce dedication is clearly evident when you ask Keli what Hōkūleʻa means to her: “Hōkūleʻa is a guiding light and a constant source of inspiration. She helps us to be better humans and has an unconditional open heart to all.” She hopes Hōkūleʻa’s voyages “inspire all generations to focus on good intention, share the beauty of culture and Mother Nature. Create a path to healing our Island Earth and its people.”

So it’s no surprise that when she’s not sailing, Keli feels the tug, and misses “being with Mother Nature in her purest.” And she shares an interesting perspective that when she is voyaging for days or weeks surrounded by ocean, what Keli misses most is being “in” the ocean. That, and being with Kiki, who she says is her “better half.”