Crew Profile

Mark Ellis


Nuʻuanu, Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi


Moananuiākea Voyage – Leg 2: Yakutat to Juneau, Moananuiākea Voyage – Leg 3: Juneau to Ketchikan, Moananuiākea Voyage – Leg 7: Tacoma to San Francisco, Moananuiākea Voyage – Leg 8: San Francisco to Ventura


Mark first sailed on a waʻa kaulua nearly 20 years ago, in 2007. He has given of his time to PVS in a variety of capacities on and off Hōkūleʻa over the years - helping in dry dock, organizing Hōkūleʻa’s day sails, as a crew member, apprentice navigator and now captain. He also spearheads many PVS education initiatives and programs, and is the Director of Voyaging Experiences for the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Mark sailed on Hikianalia’s voyage to California, and on Hōkūleʻa during the worldwide Mālama Honua voyage, including the legs from Samoa to Aotearoa, Florida to Virginia, New York to Virginia and in the Galapagos islands.

“To me Hōkūleʻa means potential,” Mark says. When you sail on Hōkūleʻa, you have the opportunity to learn and grow “the capacity to become or develop something in the future” that makes a difference in your own life and that of your family, community, and our island earth. And he would love to see “my grandchildren voyaging on Hōkūleʻa.”

While voyaging, Mark says he craves ice cream. And when he’s back in his everyday life on land, what he misses most about being at sea is one word, “nature.”