Crew Profile

Lohiao Paoa


Kawela, Molokai


Moananuiākea Voyage – Leg 4: Ketchikan to Prince Rupert


Lohiao says “Iʻve been around sailing since before I can remember.” He grew up sailing the south shore of Molokai with his family, the son of legendary voyager Mel Paoa who had decades of voyaging on Hōkūleʻa. Crew members remember Mel moving with the canoe as she pitched and rocked, all with a joyful quip that would bring laughter on board. Clearly that voyager blood runs through Lohiao.

For Lohiao, he says “Hoʻokele waʻa has been a part of my lineage for many generations. Because of our waʻa kaulua, Hōkūleʻa, the responsibility and respect of sailing will continue for many more generations.” And the stories and connections made through voyages like the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, when he sailed many legs including across the Atlantic from Africa, and now on Moananuiākea, “act as a pillar for native Hawaiians and the progression of Hoʻokele Waʻa.” Lohiao looks forward to learning from a different lens while voyaging to other island cultures and countries, saying “there is nothing better.” He says “Communities around the Pacific are going through the same struggles we have on Molokai. If I can make a positive impact at home from what Iʻve learned out at sea, I know that Molokai and the rest of Hawaiʻi will be a better place.”

When Lohiao, who is a firefighter on Molokai, is voyaging, he misses just “cruising in Kawela with family.” And when he is back at his everyday life, he misses “being around a group of people that share the same drive, discipline and motivation to achieve something bigger than ever imagined.”