Canoe sailing, ocean safety at Makena event

The Maui News

A free ocean stewardship program for children, Papa Holokai, hosted by Makena Golf & Beach Club, will be held from 7 to 11 a.m. Saturday at Maluaka Beach.

The ocean safety and stewardship program is for Maui youths ages 8 to 18. Guided by Hui o Wa’a Kaulua’s crew members, participants will get the opportunity to learn traditional sailing and navigation practices and build conservation awareness through beach and ocean activities.

At the helm of the program is Hui o Wa’a Kaulua’s Educational Director Kala Babayan Tanaka. Tanaka is an apprentice navigator, who captained Hikianalia, Hokule’a and Mo’okiha o Pi’ilani’s sister canoe, to Tahiti in mid-April 2017 to join Hokule’a on its final leg home to Hawaii on the Malama Honua around-the-world voyage.

Hui o Wa’a Kaulua is a nonprofit dedicated to the practice and perpetuation of Hawaiian canoe building, wayfinding and voyaging arts. The centerpiece of the organization is Mo’okiha o Pi’ilani, the Maui-built voyaging canoe.

“We are thrilled to support the opportunity for Maui keiki to deepen once again their relationship with the ocean and the practice of voyaging under the tutelage of Kala and the Hui o Wa’a Kaulua ‘ohana,” said Leahi Hall, Makena Golf & Beach Club community engagement director. “Exposing keiki to a traditional practice that continues to stand the test of time is a wonderful way for the next generation to remain rooted in the skills of Hawaii’s ancestors while navigating the waters of present time.”

The program also looks to include environmental experts of the area to incorporate coastal stewardship, and conservation awareness training for participants. Depending on water conditions, the additional recreational activity may consist of swimming and canoe paddling.

All participants must be able to swim well in open water. There is a limit of 50 participants. The event is plastic-free; participants should bring their own refillable water containers.

To register for the event, visit the Makena Golf & Beach Club’s EventBrite event page at makenapapaholokai2019 .eventbrite.com. For more information on Makena’s Keiki Papa Holokai event, visit www.makenamoments.com/events.