Junior Voyaging

This program is another extension of our Hawaiian cultural immersion program that is based on our floating classroom – the Hawaiian canoe. By way of a structured curriculum which includes handouts, movies, a handbook, and workshops, this course will teach our keiki’s the basics of wayfinding, which is non-instrument navigation. Wayfinding was a method used by the ancient Polynesians to navigate their way around the South and Central Pacific Ocean by observation using the stars, moon, sun, ocean swells, birds, cloud patterns, winds, rain patterns,

and ocean currents. Wayfinding had almost become extinct, but it has begun to make a comeback in the Pacific Islander community since 1975. In 1976 Mau Piailug, a master navigator from the island of Satawal in Micronesia, navigated the first double-hull sailing canoe known as the Hōkūleʻa from Hawaiʻi to Tahiti to prove that wayfinding was in fact possible and very much alive. In this course, our keiki’s will learn basic astrology including the star lines and constellations that ancient Hawaiians used for navigation, and ocean physics including wave and current dynamics. Upon course completion our keiki’s will be able to experience, understand, and appreciate the ancient skills of Hawaiian navigation. Some of the topics covered in our program are:

  • Basic wayfinding terminology
  • Introduction to constellations
  • How to recognize the winter constellation Orion
  • Hawaiian star lines
  • How stars move across the night sky
  • How to locate the North Star
  • Hawaiian moon phases
  • Movement of the sun
  • Wave dynamics
  • Ocean current dynamics
  • South Pacific Island geography
  • History of the sailing canoe
  • Sailing canoe constructionAs part of this program, we will have a field trip to Hawaiʻi to visit Hui O Waʻa Kaulua at 525 Front
    Street in Lāhainā, Maui. This is the location of two modern-built double-hull sailing canoes. There,
    our keiki’s will be able to experience these majestic sailing canoes first hand. This program is designed to introduce basic astrology, basic ocean physics including wave dynamics, and South Pacific geography. This course is also designed to augment a child’s understanding of basic science and geography as an applied science from a Pacific Islander perspective.

This program is a prerequisite for our “Mālama Maui Program”.