Storytelling & Stargazing with Maui Navigator Kalā Tanaka

July 22, 2017, 8:44 AM HST · Updated July 23, 7:20 AM

Mākena Golf & Beach Club invites the Maui community to an evening of storytelling and stargazing with the crew from Maui’s own traditional double-hull voyaging canoe Mo‘okiha o Pi‘ilani.

Mākena has a proud history of welcoming Hawaiʻi’s voyaging teams to its shores. This would be the second voyaging canoe that will anchor overnight at Maluaka Beach in Mākena. The Hōkūleʻa was welcomed to Mākena in August 2013 prior to her worldwide voyage as seen in above photo. Photo courtesy of Mākena Golf & Beach Club.

The event will be led by Maui captain and apprentice navigator, Kalā Baybayan Tanaka, who is also the Education Coordinator for Hui o Wa‘a Kaulua, a non-profit dedicated to the practice and perpetuation of Hawaiian canoe building, wayfinding and voyaging arts.

The event will be held on Mākena’s lawn fronting Maluaka Beach on Wednesday, July 26, 2017, starting at 8 p.m.

“This event celebrates the importance of experiential educational opportunities, intergenerational community events, and the call to live in balance with our island Earth,” said Leahi Hall, Mākena Golf & Beach Club’s Community Engagement Manager.


“We are inspired by Hōkūle‘a’s story of revival, and by the sister voyaging canoes that now find their home all across Hawai‘i’s waters. We could not be more proud or thankful for the great work of Hui o Wa‘a Kaulua and the Mo‘okiha crew to restore these practices on Maui and to assure that this knowledge will continue to be passed on to future generations,” said Hall.

Kalā Baybayan Tanaka with her dad, pwo navigator,
Kālepa Baybayan. PC: ʻŌiwi TV/Polynesian Voyaging Society. Photographer: Nāʻālehu Anthony

Just over a month ago, Maui’s voyaging canoe, Mo’okiha o Pi’ilani, and all of Hawai’i welcomed back Hōkūle‘a following her Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage. Among those on the worldwide voyage was Maui’s Kalā Baybayan Tanaka, a second-generation navigator. Tanaka captained Hōkūle‘a’s sister canoe, Hikianalia, to Tahiti in mid-April to join Hokule’a on her final leg home to Hawai’i.

The evening will delve into Hawaiian lore, explore traditional navigational techniques and provide an intimate look at the relationship between the celestial bodies and history. The event will be held under the stars on Mākena’s oceanfront lawn adjacent to Maluaka Beach and will begin promptly at 8 p.m. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on, a light jacket and flashlights. This is a free event. Parking is limited and available at Maluaka Beach parking lots located at the north and south end of the beach. Reservations are recommended.

For reservations or more information on Mākena’s Storytelling and Stargazing event contact [email protected] or visit

The Moʻokiha O Pi’ilani will be docked at Maluaka Beach from July 26 to July 27. The crew will join in on the last two dates of Mākena’s Kiaʻi Kai Keiki Academy, a complimentary summer ocean safety and stewardship program for Maui’s youth ages 8-18. Academy participants will get the unique experience of boarding the voyaging canoe, as well as receive navigational and sailing instruction from Moʻokiha O Pi’ilani crew.

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