“When the responsibility falls upon your shoulders, and you have the skill sets to deliver good leadership, then you have to — it would be irresponsible not to — deliver good leadership.”
“Before it was about me just learning and exploring. I was just a young crew member, and the townships that we visited was just a learning experience. I was just an apprentice navigator back then in 1985. All of the crew members were young. We were all learning together, and we were all exploring. We were having a great, great time. We were sailing into new waters like Huahine and Raʻiātea, and the canoes was going through passes for the very, very first time. This time’s different because I come to this project now with a different kind of hat. I have to be professional,” said master navigator Kālepa Baybayan.
“I was asked to go to Tahiti and to Samoa to just handle the pre-logistical planning for the trip, and just because my numerous voyages I’ve done, I know the kind of direction and the kinds of questions that needs to be asked and answered. I think when the responsibility falls upon your shoulders, and you have the skill sets to deliver good leadership, then you have to — it would be irresponsible not to — deliver good leadership.”
“If not me, then who? If not here, then where? And if not now, then when?”
“I always ask myself three questions: if not me, then who? If not here, then where? And if not now, then when? I can do it because I’m prepared to do it, because I’m one of the better people at doing it because I know I have the respect of a lot of people below me, and they trust me to provide that kind of leadership and they listen to me. I can see the whole picture, I know that we got to get food into these ports, and I understand the process of bringing food in. What’s the clearance protocols? What’s the customs clearances? Are they open on weekends when the flight arrives? I can think through all these steps. I can think through what happens to the canoe when they show up in port. We need housing, we need someplace to sleep, right? We need laundry, we need men’s and women’s bathrooms, we need bunks. Do we need to bring all this stuff off the canoe? Just those kinds of questions,” said Kālepa.