Crew Profile

Mark “Keala” Kimura


Manoa, Hawaiʻi Kai and Kailua, Oʻahu


Moananuiākea Voyage – Leg 1: Juneau to Yakutat, Moananuiākea Voyage – Leg 2: Yakutat to Juneau


Keala has been involved with Hōkūleʻa so long, he can hardly remember. Since “1998? Out of Honolulu,” he says of his first time ever sailing on Hōkūleʻa. Keala knows boats inside and out having long been an instructor/APT of HCCʻs Small Vessel Fabrication and Repair Program and he is an avid fisherman, so he is always getting a good dose of the ocean whether Hōkūleʻa -related or not. Leadership knows they can rely on his expertise and so he has been on countless sails and several legs of Hōkūleʻa’s Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, as well as serves as captain of the waʻa’s escort boat and voyaged from Hawaiʻi to California aboard Hikianalia.

For Keala, Hōkūleʻa means “hope for the next generation of Hawaiians and for keeping the navigation alive.” And he believes in the importance of ensuring the canoes continue to voyage to “prove we, as a people, have the skill of our ancestors.” His hope and plan is that through Moananuiakea he can “pass my knowledge and skill set on to the next generation.”

He can quickly rattle off the creature comforts he misses when voyaging: “soft seats, my bed, surfing and a beer.” But he just as quickly points to the deeply meaningful experiences he misses about being at sea: “my waʻa family, the quiet of the moment, and the raw power of nature.”