In the Hawaiian language, the phrase “‘ohana nui” translates to mean “clan” or “extended family.” And that is exactly what the Gemini Ohana has become.
After the death of our father in 1992, my brothers and I could have been raised with a very tiny family – single mother, one cousin, two aunties and an uncle.
But in Hawaii, there is this culture of extended family. And our ‘ohana nui is large, widespread and continuously growing. At the core of our Gemini Ohana, there is Uncle David, “the keeper of all memories,” who first joined our ocean tribe in the ‘80’s. Uncle David continues to work out on the water, sharing stories of the sea with all our guests. David continues to be one of my dearest uncles.
Steve’O, who is now a full time fire fighter on West Maui, began working on Gemini when he was 19. For a time, Steve’O, his beautiful wife Cassidy and their puppy Shell, lived on Gemini, heading to shore every day while Gemini went sailing with guests. There are heaps of family stories with and about Steve’O, bringing the pranks and laughter to the boat: duck taping us kids to the poles or the tables or the mast, giving us electrical tape beards and moustaches, etc. Along with Uncle Kevin. King of shenanigans, and an incredible captain.
Rosemary, who now works full time in the Gemini office – you’ll hear her lovely voice answering the phone if you call (808)–669–0508 during a work week – Rose spent the better part of the ‘90’s and early 2000’s on the boat.
Uncle J began working on Gemini in the early days, when he was in his early 20’s, and is now master captain and operations manager. His kids spend most summer days sailing aboard the Gemini, sprouting the Gemini Ohana into the next generation.
Jennifer was Gemini’s videography for 20+ years, documenting family moments and ocean life for our guests. She raised her son Dylan, ocean man and pro-surfer, amongst the Gemini Ohana. In recent years, Jennifer began working full time as a member of the Gemini crew. Holding it down, all year round.
Dirk has been our winter Humpback Whale naturalist 20+ years – migrating between Hawaii and Alaska annually, following the koholā kuapiʻo. Always returning to entertain and enlighten Gemini guests.
Growing up, my brothers and I were entirely spoiled by the Gemini Ohana. Always surround by aunties and uncles, sharing laughs, learning skills, and playing games. What more could we have asked for? And the ‘ohana nui continues to grow, as babies are born, keiki are raised, fall in love, come out sailing on Gemini, etc. etc.
The list goes on. I’ve compressed it here, for the sake of space, but will expand it again in the future. Because each member of this ‘ohana nui plays a very significant role in our mo’olelo, our history, as a family and as a family-business.
These stories make us up, year-by-year, layer-by-layer. We build our own realities. These stories become us.
I am so grateful to have an ‘ohana nui so full of aloha.
Hawaiian Glossary of Terms:
Keiki – Children
Koholā kuapiʻo – Humpback Whale
Mo’olelo – History
‘Ohana – Family
‘Ohana nui – Extended family, clan
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