Textures of Hawaii – Day 8

David and I felt so privileged Monday to hear five crewmembers speak of the history of Hokule’a and their experience as part of her 3-year World Tour. It is such a powerful tale from many perspectives, including how it was a catalyst for Hawaiians to come to know and reclaim their culture in the deepest possible ways.

The very short version of the story is that there has been a 2000-year-old relationship between the islands of Polynesia and the sea. But, as written on hokulea.com, all this was in danger of becoming extinct:

“The canoes that brought the first Hawaiians to their island home had disappeared from earth. Cultural extinction felt dangerously close to many Hawaiians when artist Herb Kane dreamed of rebuilding a double-hulled sailing canoe similar to the ones that his ancestors sailed. Though more than 600 years had passed since the last of these canoes had been seen…. [And] there was no navigator from our culture left. The Voyaging Society looked beyond Polynesia to find a traditional navigator to guide Hokule’a: Mau Pialug, a navigator from a small island called Satawai, in Micronesia. He agreed to come to Hawai’i and guide Hokule’a to Tahiti. Without him, our voyaging would never have taken place.”

Monday the Hokule’a sailed from Oahu to Maui and will be here for a couple weeks, educating the public, and especially the children, about the meaning of this voyaging canoe to the people of Hawaii and throughout the world. For a beautiful (and brief) story of Kala Tanaka, one of the women who is learning to master navigation, go to: https://www.gohawaii.com/hawaii-rooted/Kala-Tanaka

Maui February 20th

In the past, Karen and I have done our Maui morning walk from the condo and, heading north, we walked along the mauka (mountain) side of the road, among the high-rise condos with a few views of the ocean.

But this year—ah!—we’ve really enjoyed taking a short drive to walk on the Ka’anapali Beachwalk. From the Hyatt Regency on the south, to the Sheraton Maui on the north, it’s about a 3.0 roundtrip walk. I love that it runs between the ocean and the west Maui mountains. It’s also an easy, flat walkway made of fabricated boards. And there’s lots of people watching amid the scenery.

Textures of Hawaii – Day 7

We like good coffee. We used to search for 100% Kona coffee but several years ago we learned about the coffee grown up the street from us at the Ka’anapali Estate Coffee. It is delicious—David’s favorite is Lava, mine is French Kiss. So the coffee is grown a couple miles from us and then roasted and sold here, at the MauiGrown Coffee Company Store in Lahaina. It’s one of our favorite stops: we buy it to drink here, we buy it to send home, we buy it for gifts. I’d say it’s part of our vacation texture!

Textures of Hawaii – Day 6

Sand. Mostly we have a lovely beach in front of our place but sometimes it’s all big black boulders (to which Kris & Blair & Heidi can attest). It’s a mystery.

From whence does it come and go? The local newspaper this week had an article that said, in part, the winter waves tend to remove sand and the summer waves bring it back. But the winter waves the last few years have been more powerful than the summer waves so there is a lot less beach along Maui’s west coast than in years past.

We’re just north of Ka’anapali which I learned yesterday means: “shifting sands.” Well … there you go! “‘Twas always thus ….”

Maui February 18th

Well that’s a trip to remember!

Karen and I had plans late this afternoon for a sunset/whale watch/concert cruise out of Maalaea Harbor. Amy Hanaialii Gilliom is one of our favorite singers and it was she and her brother, Eric Gilliom, who were to perform.

The weather looked pretty iffy as we started out and when we got to the harbor (which is on the other side of the island) it was blowing hard and raining. The sea was pretty rough and we were disappointed because the cruise would surely be canceled.

So it was quite a shock that we went out anyway amid thunder, lightning, high winds and rough seas. The cruise was only about 1/2 booked, which was a very good thing as we all had to sit inside. The concert equipment had initially been set up outside but as soon as we pulled out of the harbor it was clear the concert was going to take place inside. So Eric rushed around in the storm to get everything set up below deck.

It turned out to be a very intimate setting and I got a seat for Karen right next to Amy (so close that Karen had to make sure she wasn’t in the way as Amy gestured during her performance). I think all the passengers, crew, and performers bonded through this Mother Nature experience. Amy performed brilliantly, as usual, so it was a wonderful concert (and her daughter performed the hula for one song). Karen went up to her at the end to thank her for the performance and Amy kissed her! The concert ended with an unexpected sunset.

The captain said because of the conditions (no whales, that’s for sure) the Pacific Whale Foundation would refund 50% of our fee—very nice gesture. But we had an unbelievably great time. And now we’re home, drying out our clothes.