Crew Profile

Tamiko Fernelius


Okinawa and Ewa Beach


Moananuiākea Voyage – Leg 9: Ventura to San Diego


Tamiko is a long-time volunteer dedicated to dry dock and sailing, having first sailed on a waʻa kaulua well more than a decade ago. Her first deep-sea voyage was on Hikianalia under Captain Bruce Blankenfeld, from Hilo to Tahiti at the start of the international portion of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage in 2014. Tamiko is the captain of a catamaran, and she is now also a captain, on both Hikianalia and Hōkūleʻa.

“Hōkūleʻa connects people and ocean,” she says, while “also connecting people from different islands or countries.” She says that she “would like to see people realize, rediscover, and reconnect to their ancestors, culture, land, and the ocean through Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia’s journey, and take one step forward to taking action to navigate their island or community in a better direction.” And Tamiko says she would like to bring “this voyaging experience back to my home Okinawa and share it with the young generation, helping them to reconnect with their ancestors, culture, land and the ocean. I want to build a more profound relationship between Hawaiʻi and Okinawa, through the Moananuiākea Voyage,” she says.

Tamiko says when sheʻs out at sea she craves a “hot shower.” And when she is back in her every day life on land, she misses her “waʻa ʻohana (crew), Mama Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia, the deep sea ocean and sky.”