Crew Profile: Austin Kino

Crew Profile: Austin Kino

My sea legs are very short, but I just love learning.

My name is Austin Kino. I’m 25 years old, and I was born and raised in the valley of Wailupe on the south side of Oʻahu. Our family’s really big on the ocean, specifically with canoe paddling. So growing up in the Wailupe Valley, it’s right next to the Hui Nalu canoe club. I got to know Uncle Bruce [Blanenfeld] and Uncle Nainoa [Thompson] mostly through the canoe club, if not through family events. So I paddled with them from a pretty young age. When we were first getting involved in Hōkūle’a, before we were even down out to the canoe, our relationship started up there,” said Austin Kino, an apprentice navigator currently sailing from Hawaiʻi to Tahiti.

This relationship with these pwo, or master navigators, has grown since Austin joined a group of young apprentice navigators who are training to navigate some of the legs in the Worldwide Voyage.

“When you’re asked that question do you want to navigate, are you ready to commit the rest of your life to this canoe, I mean, that’s question that those guys ask themselves. The question that the guys, Uncle Billy [Richards], Uncle Bruce, all the pwo, Nainoa, are still living out. There’s no choice, they got to do what has to be done to keep her sailing. The challenge needs to start being answered about, if we’re going to do this, how much are we going to push ourselves and do it because no one’s going to do it for us. Kind of what he says, throughout the whole time and that’s right, there shouldn’t be any other way, you know? You got to want to do it,” said Austin.

This understanding has led Austin to seek more guidance from others who have undergone navigational apprenticeship and deep-sea voyages.

“It’s been a real privilege to watch Austin grow over the years. I see in him this great desire to learn and to learn as much as he can to feel confident in, you know, if you’ve asked to learn to navigate to Tahiti, he’s taken that very seriously. And he’s really trying to consider how he needs to make changes in his life. So he can fulfill that kuleana, and I really respect that about him. He really yearns to be the best that he can and takes that kuleana seriously,” said veteran navigator Kaʻiulani Murphy.

“My sea-legs are very short, but I just love learning any little pearls of wisdom that when we go on. It’s a commitment that I hope I can maintain and whatever family situation or job situation that allows me to or health situation,” said Austin.

“He’s asked me about when I say making changes? Because he’s trying to think that, ok, if in six months, I need to be able to jump on the canoe and help find Tahiti. He’s trying to think for himself, personally, what he should do to prepare for that, and I think that’s awesome, and I love to sail with him. So, I’m glad that he’s going,” said Kaʻiulani.

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