Crew Profile

Shawn Kanaʻiaupuni


Pupukea, Oʻahu


Moananuiākea Voyage – Leg 5: Prince Rupert to Vancouver


It was through Shawn’s work in Public Education Support at Kamehemeha Schools that she got involved with the Polynesian Voyaging Society and experienced her first sail on Hōkūleʻa in 2010. Her first overnight sail was 5 years later in 2015, on Hikianalia from Oʻahu to Maui during Mālama Honua, the Worldwide Voyage. She would go on to sail many more legs on the Worldwide Voyage, including on Hōkūleʻa.

Now as President and CEO of Partners in Development Foundation, Shawn is voyaging on Moananuiākea, saying “I love that we are connected by oceans across the Pacific and beyond.” To her it is an opportunity to perpetuate “safe, impactful sailing that builds pilina, new and old, on board and on land.” And to Shawn, Hōkūleʻa means “living our culture as Kanaka Maoli.”

But there is one creature comfort she admits she misses most while at sea: “a cold beer.” And when back on land, it takes just one word for Shawn to describe what she misses most about being at sea: “Everything.”