No Glass Ceiling Onboard Hokule’a

The iconic Hokule’a is coming to Martha’s Vineyard and Woods Hole, as part of her three-year Malama Honua (caring for our earth) Worldwide Voyage. She sails with no modern equipment, reviving an almost extinct science—navigation by the stars, ocean swells and marine life.

By Marina Davalos

Of the new generation of navigators since Hokule’a’s construction in the 1970s, about 70 percent are women. Three remarkable women will sail with Hokule’a into Vineyard Haven Harbor on June 28.

Cat Fuller, sixth-grade social studies teacher from Honolulu, is an apprentice navigator and watch captain. In 1995, she sailed on Hokule’a from Hawaii to Tahiti, and in 1999 was the solo navigator of Hokule’a’s voyage from the Marquesas to Pitcairn Island. On the worldwide journey, Cat sailed from Samoa to Aotearoa (New Zealand) in 2014. “Hokule’a, for me, represents the bridge between past, present, and future.”

Heidi Guth, COO of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, was born on Maui and raised in St. John, USVI. On the worldwide voyage, she was humbled as she sailed from Brazil to St. John. “I can’t express how grateful I am to both families, the one on St. John and the one on Hokule’a, and how they each represented themselves so beautifully to each other. It was indescribable to feel like you’ve really been welcomed home and your life has come full circle.”

Ka’iulani Murphy, professor of Hawaiian Studies at Honolulu Community College, grew up in the Waipio Valley on the Big Island of Hawaii, where she learned a sustainable lifestyle. On the worldwide voyage, she’s watch captain and apprentice navigator, and she sailed in 2014 from Hawaii to Tahiti, and Samoa to Aotearoa. “When I talk to students, I ask them: ‘What are you doing to care for your home?’ You may not be able to take care of the entire world, but something you’re doing contributes to the whole.”

For more information on Hokule’a and the worldwide voyage, please visit

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