The ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center’s next Friday-night planetarium program on March 8 will feature navigator Kalepa Baybayan’s talk “In Losing the Sight of Land, You Discover the Stars” starting at 7 p.m.
Babayan will focus on the history of deep sea voyaging, exploration and oceanic wayfinding through the indigenous system of navigation at sea. He will share his efforts to revitalize this dynamic maritime culture by steering connections through an experience that explains the symbiotic relationship between land, sea, sky, science and culture.
“The art of wayfinding includes a vast knowledge of astronomy, ocean sciences, meteorology, environmental sciences and cultural perspectives, integrated in an understanding of how the environment around you works,” said Baybayan, adding “studying these disciplines helps to organize my surroundings in the open ocean.”
During the presentation the audience will view the Hawaiian navigational starlines and how they help align the cardinal directions and latitude through a deep sea voyage. Baybayan is fluent in the Hawaiian language and is captain and navigator of the Hawaiian deep-sea voyaging canoes Hokule‘a, Hawai‘iloa, and Hokualaka‘i.
He has been an active participant in the Polynesian voyaging renaissance since 1975 and has sailed on all major voyages of the Hokule‘a and Hawai‘iloa throughout the South Pacific and the Pacific Rim. He was the past site director of Honuakai, the Exploration Sciences Division of the ‘Aha Punana Leo, a program that teaches the Hawaiian language to participants who serve as crew aboard the Hokualaka‘i.
He currently serves as navigator-in-residence at ‘Imiloa, managing the center’s content, developing wayfinding activities, and curriculum materials. In 2007, he and four other Hawaiian men were initiated into the order of Pwo, a 2,000 year-old society of traditional deep-sea navigators, by their teacher, Master Navigator Mau Piailug on the Carolinian island of Satawal.
Admission is $10, with member discounts.