ELLIS ISLAND, NEW YORK – Master navigator Nainoa Thompson was honored with the most prestigious award in navigation, Saturday night.
Thompson received the Explorers Club Medal at the 113th annual Explorers Club dinner at Ellis Island, NY. The award recognizes individuals for significant contributions to exploration, scientific research or the welfare of humanity.
Thompson is credited with igniting a voyaging renaissance through the Pacific.
As the president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, Thompson was recognized for his work to revive Polynesian style wayfinding through his role as captain and navigator of the Hokulea during the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage.
“We hear the words the sentences, that yeah the age of exploration is over, that we have nothing to explore anymore…Wrong,” Thompson said. “The need to explore now is more important than ever.”
Thompson joins a list of winners that include James Cameron, Walter H. Munk and Neil deGrasse Tyson.
The reception was hosted by Actor Robert DeNiro. Two others received the award this year. Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard received the honor for piloting the Solar Impulse aircraft around the world.
Hokule’a is rounding out her worldwide journey. Click here for the latest update on the trip.