Thompson, Master Navigator, Polynesian voyaging Society
Interviewed by Carlos Eyles
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
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."
"This is very much a scientific expedition, have you
gleaned anything from that approach to these islands?"
"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."
"You mentioned spiritual, how does that manifest out
"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."
"That's substantial. Is there anything else the ocean
does for you?"
"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
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."