Allan Jay Aunapu

26 mars 194111 février 2021

Allan Jay Aunapu was born on March 26, 1941and passed away on February 11, 2021 and is under the care of Kraeer Funeral Home and Cremation Center.

He is survived by Greg Aunapu (Son), Diane Masaitis (Sister). Allan was born in Miami, Florida and died in Fort Lauderdale at age 79, while riding a recumbent bicycle to Aldi, his favorite grocery store. The number of adventures Allan experienced in life are far more than many people achieve in a lifetime. He had a fierce free spirit, not meant for the restrictions of old age.

Allan graduated from Ft. Lauderdale High School in 1959, was awarded a football scholarship to the University of Miami, where he played until he was sidelined by a knee injury. Afterwards, following in the wake of his paternal grandfather -- an Estonian ship captain who emigrated to Florida in the early 1900s -- he enlisted in the Coast Guard.

His stint as a “coastie” engendered Allan’s lifelong love for the sea. During the 1960’s, he became a mate aboard the Windjammer Barefoot Cruises, sailing around the islands of the Caribbean, where he developed his distinctive, energetic calypso guitar style while entertaining passengers at night. There, the charming young sailor/musician met Eve, who was taking a trip to celebrate a recent divorce, whom he soon married, adopting her young son, Greg. His first job after obtaining his captain’s license was in 1966 aboard the Lover Boy, a 137’ three-masted schooner, which he sailed from South Florida to Los Angeles. Soon afterwards, in 1967, he was hired to rig and captain the Mystic Whaler, a reproduction of a late 19th century coastal cargo schooner, built in Tarpon Springs, Florida, which he skippered up the East Coast to Connecticut, where the ship took out passengers from the Mystic Seaport. In 1968, the schooner sailed to Rhode island for the Newport Folk Festival, where Allan met Pete Seeger, who was on the lookout for a rare commodity, an experienced folk-singing captain to sail a replica of a traditional Hudson River Sloop, the Clearwater, which he envisioned would become the focal point of an environmental effort to clean up the beautiful but polluted river he viewed from his home in Beacon, New York. This meeting would plot the course for the rest of Allan’s life. He helped oversee the construction and rigging of the massive 106’ gaff-rigged sloop, becoming her first captain when she was launched in South Bristol, Maine in 1969. Deemed “America’s Environmental Flagship,” The Clearwater still sails the Hudson River today, teaching the principles of environmental stewardship, aquatic biology, and protection of our nation's great waterways. During the Clearwater’s maiden voyage from Maine to New York, the ship docked at towns and cities, where Seeger, Don McLean, Gordon Bok among members of the talented folk-singing crew performed concerts to publicize the environmental project, taking in thousands of dollars in donations along the way. Later, the Clearwater sailed up and down the Hudson River, stopping at port towns from New York City to Albany. In each port, Pete and the crew performed concerts to bring people down to the riverfront, playing environmental and civil rights songs, salted with traditional gospel and traditional folk-tunes.

While Allan and Eve (also deceased) eventually bought an old Alden schooner and sailed her back to Florida, he stayed involved with the Clearwater organization and the Hudson River activist community for the rest of his years. He made an indelible impression on countless people, setting an example as an environmental and social-justice advocate, a passion he embodied until the very end. In 2019 he was honored at the Clearwater’s 50th Anniversary Revival at Croton-on-the Hudson.

While Allan eventually got his pilot’s license because he “was tired of getting places slowly,” and flew his single-engine Cessna to places around the country, he remained a lifelong sailor who kept an active U.S Coast Guard Merchant Marine Officer's Captain's License until 2011, becoming a sailing consultant in his elder years. His sister, Diane, remembers her brother’s talents as a songwriter and musician, and loved sitting around with him and other family members singing Harry Belafonte, Caribbean calypso, and folk tunes while Allan led the group. “He would light up a room with his tie-dyed rainbow overalls, a big grin, and sing songs for days,” she reminisces. “He was family to so many and always had a funny story or an interesting current event to share. He especially loved to speak about solutions to environmental problems and loved to hear others’ ideas on how to influence lawmakers and attitudes toward a more protective environmental stance.”

Allan, the eldest of seven siblings, is survived by sister Bonnie Kosiba and her husband, Frank; sister Alinda Boy; sister Diane Masaitis and her husband, Peter; his sister Debra Bailey, and his adopted son, Greg. He is predeceased by his parents, Albert Aunapu and Hazel Aunapu Day, and by his younger brothers, Robert (Bobby) Aunapu, and Dan (Danny) Aunapu.

We will miss your generous spirit, Allan. Thank you for jumping into life with all you had and making the most of your time here. May you rest in sweet peace.


  • Greg Aunapu, Son
  • Diane Masaitis, Sister


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Allan Jay Aunapu


Charlie O'Neil

14 avril , 2021

Just learned of your passing, glad I was able to talk to you for a little while, Go with God . Your cousin Charlie O

Bonnie Champion

5 mars , 2021

I want to send thanks to Allan and to show my admiration and respect for all that he did to make the world a better place.

His accomplishments were huge! I especially love that he captained the Clearwater on its first voyage from Maine to the Hudson River in NY. I am so grateful to Allan for working with Pete Seeger and helping him with his dreams. Pete must have really loved Allan.

I actually was on a week long sail on a Barefoot Windjammer Cruise in the Caribbean in 1993. That is so neat that Allan met his wife-to-be on one of those sails.

Blessings to Allan and his family. You have a lot to be proud of.

Bonnie Champion
Beacon Sloop Club

Mel and Vinnie Healy Cerniglia

5 mars , 2021

There are very few people who you meet in your life who are exactly who they appear to be. And yet our friend Allan was that so much more. He had an insatiable curiosity with regards to anything he was involved with. He tested the limits of what things were capable of and reveled in his discoveries. He was a master sailor, a fearless cyclist, and we really do not know how he was as a pilot, but we can imagine. As a musician, he worked very hard to play his songs just as he felt them. Every note was planned and executed in real time. He worked for years on the harder ones, like the Carmen Boogie or Down on the Coast until he could play them with the same effect each time. He spent years trying to perfect befriending butterflies. He had a great quirky sense of humor and his joy was infectious to all.
He always said what he thought, without reservation. He was fiercely loyal, helpful friendly, courteous, kind, cheerful , brave clean and totally irreverent.
We did not know him when he was in his prime, but sometimes one can think ones prime is over rated. In the years we were friends, we were the better for it. We lost a brother by another mother. He will always be with us.

Brant Miller

27 février , 2021

I’m saddened to have learned of the passing of Allan, who was the first Captain of the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. My condolences to Allan’s family. As a teenager in the late 1960’s, I did two wonderful week-long stints as a crew member of the Clearwater, a vision brought to life by Pete Seeger to bring folks together to clean up the Hudson River. Alan was the coolest, most laid back guy, and a good musician and singer to boot.

Fast forward to 1981, when I performing at a poolside hotel gig with my old Alaska buddy, Jim, in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. I saw a familiar-looking face in the small audience, and it was Allan! During our break, I went over and told him I had crewed on the Sloop under him. He explained he was the skipper of a sailboat docked at the nearby harbor for a few days. I asked Allan if he’d like to do a song or two, and he performed a couple, including one he’d written called “Nice, Very Nice,” which I remembered him singing on the Clearwater. He was just a cool, laid back and nice as I remembered him.

May you rest in peace, Allan.

Luther Roberts

20 février , 2021

I met Alan in 1966 when I joined the crew of a three-masted schooner called "Lover Boy". (The owner didn't want a "girl's" name for his boat.) Alan was the captain and the voyage was from Miami to Los Angeles with stops in Jamaica, Panama, Acapulco, and Ensenada. It was a memorable trip with an unforgettable captain.

Sarah Noble, Manager/Funeral Director

19 février , 2021

We the Staff of Kraeer Sample Road Funeral Home would like to extend our most deepest and heartfelt condolences on the passing of your loved one. “Death leaves a heartache that no one can heal but love leaves memories that no one can steal.”

Susan Steinhauser

17 février , 2021

I still remember the first day I met Allan at a Broward Sierra meeting. It was my first meeting and he was so incredibly welcoming. What a kind soul. Allan - I will forever be grateful for your conversation about nature, motorcycles, and those cool socks you wore. You will be sorely missed ...

james folker

16 février , 2021

I will always treasure the music,,laughter,,stories and adventures that Allan left with me..He will be missed by many,,many, who knew him, R.I.P. Allan.

Louise Sherwood

15 février , 2021

I was saddened to hear the news today of Allan's passing. I called my brother and shared what I knew with him.

I wanted to reach out to his family and let you know we are sharing your grief. Both Bill and I have such wonderful memories of not only of our days on 29th street but also high school and beyond.

I don't have any contact information for his family but if you'd like to share with me, please feel free to contact me.

Love always,
Louise Quinn Sherwood