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You are here: /main/research/NOWRAMP 2002/interviews/Nainoa Thompson


Ship Logs

Nainoa Thompson, Master Navigator, Polynesian voyaging Society
Interviewed by Carlos Eyles

Carlos Eyles: "First, I want to thank you for taking the time to chat for awhile. I share the view with many others that you are a symbol for the Hawaiian spirit. You are able to represent the past, the present, and the future for Hawai`i and its people. What brings you here? Way did you come on this expedition?"

Nainoa Thompson.Nainoa Thompson: "First of all I'm very privileged to be here. Very few people have this opportunity, and I am very grateful for those who have made it happen.

"We have been planning a voyage by Hokule`a to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. These are Hawaiian peoples islands, and it is an ecologically and extraordinary place, unique to the world. We will be sailing Hokule`a here this time next year, and I had to get a sense of clarity about the islands and to feel its pulse."

CE: "This is very much a scientific expedition, have you gleaned anything from that approach to these islands?"

NT: "Yes, there is a really a need to bridge the gap between Hawaiian culture and science. There are so many core similarities, but we tend to put them in different silos, divide them. I know on this ship you have four communities and I want to see how they function together. One is science, one is Hawaiian cultural, and one is spiritual, and then the education and documentation. Professionally, it will be good for me to hang around everybody and absorb as much as I can from all these very special people."

CE: "You mentioned spiritual, how does that manifest out here?"

NT: "I know the ocean is the domain in which I connect mind and heart. It's also the place I intuitively know when I go there. In that connection I think and feel on my deepest level. I also know it's the place where I refill myself. That sense of finding internal or spiritual strength. It's just my relationship with the ocean. It's innate, it's ancestral, and it's where I am most whole and most healthy."

CE: "That's substantial. Is there anything else the ocean does for you?"

NT: "It helps me clarify my vision, and gives me confidence about values, it strengthens principles. The ocean really brings things down to a simple set of truths, and that's been very evident even though we are only half way through this journey.

"The ocean has always been a mirror for me that reflects the health and well being of our planet. Over here, it is a reflection for myself, and you have to face the reflection of who you are."

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Carlos Eyles
Carlos Eyles

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