When working for the State meant moving from Waimea on the Big Island back to Oʻahu, we ended up on the windward side (where I grew up as a kid.)
We re-joined Kāneʻohe Yacht Club (when I was a kid, the Club was our backyard and ‘go to’ place.)
Wanting to get a boat, we put our name on the waiting lists for ‘wet’ or ‘dry’ slips. After a few years, the call came – our name came up for a slip.
They asked me what kind of boat I had; I asked, ‘What kind can I have?’
It turns out, the slip I was assigned could accommodate a boat up to 28-feet (from tip-to-tip.) I went shopping and found a 27-foot Ericson; more of a cruiser, rather than a racer.
I call it a bathtub in the water; it is definitely not a speed-racer.
Anyway, the boat was called “Ballou Hawaii;” I had to change the name.
However, since the beginning of time, sailors have sworn that there are unlucky boats and the unluckiest boats of all are those who have defied the gods and changed their names.
Fortunately, there are ceremonies that one can use to appease all.
According to legend, each and every vessel is recorded by name in the Ledger of the Deep and is known personally to Poseidon, or Neptune, the god of the sea.
Some people might not know that there is a formal ritual in name-changing a boat; actually, there are several rituals.
If you wish to change the name of your boat, the first thing you must do is to purge its old name from the Ledger of the Deep and from Poseidon’s memory.
It is usual for the renaming ceremony to be conducted immediately following the purging ceremony, although it may be done at any time after the purging ceremony.
I don’t find it coincidental that all naming, purging and renaming ceremonies include ample use of alcohol (fortunately fermented grape juice is an acceptable beverage for these tasks.)
Anyway, rather than smash a perfectly good bottle of wine on the bow, I did incorporate most of rituals’ key parts and splashed a bit of the chardonnay from my glass on the boat and renamed her “Mokuone.”
Mokuone was the name of the family’s first boat when I was a kid. Its literal translation is “Sand Island” and refers to what people now call the Sand Bar. (As a kid, we called it Sand Island; the traditional name is Ahu O Laka.)
I even had a special flag made for the boat – kind of cartoonish, but it works for me (an image of it is attached; it’s the top flag.)
I try to get to the boat every weekend. Sometimes, I would just go down and “fix” stuff; most often, though, I try to go out for a sail.
It’s rigged for easy single-handed sailing (Nelia goes out only occasionally,) so I can raise/lower and control most of the lines and stuff from the cockpit.
I hope the weather and wind are favorable this weekend; I’d like to go for another sail on the Bay.
The image shows Mokuone at her mooring. I raised the boat’s flag, as well as my own nautical flags. Today is the 4th anniversary of getting the boat.
Well, they are each not exactly snowbirds, but our winter residents are returning to their second homes.
The Kōlea, Pacific Golden Plover, is a migratory bird that comes to Hawai‘i from Siberia and Alaska at the end of August and leaves for its trip across the north Pacific in late-April to early-May.
The bird’s Hawaiian name, Kōlea, is a phonetic imitation of the sound of its flight call. One olelo no‘eau (Hawaiian proverb) states ‘Ai no ke kolea a momona hoi i Kahiki!’ (The Kōlea eats until he is fat, and then returns to the land from which he came.)
Unlike many birds capable of trans-oceanic migrations, Kōlea can neither soar nor glide; and, they can’t swim.
When Kōlea fly between Hawai‘i and Alaska, they will continuously beat their wings twice per second for about fifty hours over some 2,500 miles of open ocean—one of the most grueling non-stop migrations in the avian world.
Kōlea spend each summer on the treeless tundra of western Alaska and Siberia; there, they’ll breed and incubate a clutch of eggs—Kōlea chicks are left largely on their own once they’re born.
Chicks can fly at three weeks, though not yet as far as Hawaii; when adult Kōlea lift off for the Islands in late August, they leave the young behind to follow some weeks later.
Scientists aren’t certain how the chicks find Hawai‘i. By October the juveniles arrive on our shores.
Kōlea return to and vigorously defend the same spot in their summer and winter grounds, an extreme example of what ornithologists call “site faithfulness.”
During late winter and spring, the Kōlea eat voraciously, nearly doubling their body weight to make the demanding flight north.
Another seasonal visitor is the Koholā, the Humpback Whale (part of the North Pacific stock – whales in the North Pacific also winter in western Mexico and southern Japan.)
From mid-December through mid-May the Koholā make their home in the waters surrounding the Hawaiian Islands.
An endangered species, the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary was created by Congress in 1992 to protect humpback whales and their habitat in Hawai‘i.
The sanctuary, which lies within the shallow (less than 600 feet), warm waters surrounding the main Hawaiian Islands, constitutes one of the world’s most important humpback whale habitats.
While they were here, the humpback whales were involved in courtship rituals, mating, calving and nursing their young (gestation lasts about 11 months.)
Both male and female humpback whales vocalize, however only males produce the long, loud, complex “songs” for which the species is famous.
In the Pacific, humpbacks migrate seasonally from Alaska to Hawaii – they can complete the 3,000-mile trip in as few as 36 days.
Humpbacks continuously travel at approximately three to seven miles per hour with very few stops; they typically stay near the surface during migration.
The humpbacks don’t eat during their stay in the Hawaiian Islands. Hawai‘i doesn’t offer their food, krill and herring; they carry their summer food supply in their fat.
During the summer months, humpbacks spend the majority of their time feeding and building up fat stores (blubber) that they will live off of during the winter. Humpback feeding grounds are in cold, productive coastal waters.
Soon, the last of the Kōlea and Koholā will be gone; to return, again, in the fall.
With the arrival of Western ships, new plants and animals soon found their way to the Hawaiian Islands.
The simple‐seeming gift of a few cattle given to Kamehameha I by Captain George Vancouver in 1793 made a major impact on the Hawai`i’s economy and ecosystem.
It also spawned a rich tradition of cowboy and ranch culture that is still here today.
Spaniards introduced the first cattle to Veracruz, Mexico in 1521. Vancouver picked up descendants of these animals from the Spanish mission in Monterey, California when he set off across the Pacific, intending to use them as food and gifts.
Cattle were not the only animals introduced to Hawai`i during this period. In 1778, Captain Cook left both goats and pigs.
British introduced sheep in the 1790s and they all soon roamed on Mauna Kea and Hualālai. In 1803, American Richard Cleveland presented horses ‐ a stallion and a mare ‐ to Kamehameha.
When Vancouver landed additional cattle at Kealakekua in 1794, he strongly encouraged Kamehameha to place a 10‐year kapu on them to allow the herd to grow.
In the decades that followed, cattle flourished and turned into a dangerous nuisance. By 1846, 25,000-wild cattle roamed at will and an additional 10,000-semi‐domesticated cattle lived alongside humans.
A wild bull or cow could weigh 1,200 to 1,500-pounds and had a six‐foot horn spread. Vast herds destroyed natives’ crops, ate the thatching on houses, and hurt, attacked and sometimes killed people.
Kamehameha III lifted the kapu in 1830 and the hunting of wild cattle was encouraged. The king hired cattle hunters from overseas to help in the effort; many of these were former convicts from Botany Bay in Australia.
Hunting sometimes ended in inadvertent tragedy. In 1834, the trampled dead body of Scottish botanist David Douglas, for whom the Douglas Fir tree is named, was discovered in a cattle-trap pit on Mauna Kea.
Hawaiʻi’s wild cattle population needed to be controlled for safety reasons, but the arrival of cattle hunters and Mexican vaquero (“Paniolo”) also happened to coincide with an economic opportunity.
In the early-1830s, trade in sandalwood slowed down as island forests became depleted. At about the same time, whaling ships hunting in the north Pacific began wintering in Hawaiian waters.
Ships provisioning in Hawaiʻi ports provided a market for salt beef, in addition to hides and tallow. With the economic push of providing provisions to the whaling fleets, ranching became a commercial enterprise that grew in the islands.
Cattle ranching remains an important export and food industry in Hawai‘i.
The total number of cattle and calves on Hawai‘i’s ranches as of January 1, 2012 was estimated at 140,000-head, roaming nearly 750,000-acres of pasture land.
When living in Waimea, I had a brief experience in “ranching.”
We picked up a day-old dairy bull calf from an Āhualoa dairy; we named him “Freezer Burn.” We removed the middle seat and transported him back home in our VW van. (I know; real cowboys don’t name their steers.)
After bottle-feeding him and briefly pasturing him, he ditched the premises and hooked up with part of the Parker Ranch herd.
The image shows them swimming cattle to a transport boat, farther out in the bay. In addition, I have included some other images of cattle transport using this similar technique in a folder of like name in the Photos section of my Facebook page.
May Day has been a traditional day of festivities throughout the centuries.
May Day is most associated with towns and villages celebrating springtime fertility and revelry with village fetes and community gatherings.
The earliest May Day celebrations appeared in pre-Christian times, with the festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers and the Walpurgis Night celebrations of the Germanic countries. It is also associated with the Gaelic Beltane.
Many pagan celebrations were abandoned or Christianized during the process of conversion in Europe.
The day was a traditional summer holiday in many pre-Christian European pagan cultures.
Fading in popularity since the late 20th-century is the giving of “May baskets,” small baskets of sweets and/or flowers, usually left anonymously on neighbors’ doorsteps.
A more secular version of May Day continues to be observed in Europe and America. Here, May Day may be best known for its tradition of dancing the maypole dance and crowning of the Queen of the May.
May Day is Lei Day in Hawai‘i.
The first Lei Day was in 1927 and celebrated in downtown Honolulu with a few people wearing lei.
From that it grew and more and more people began to wear lei on May 1.
The lei known the world over, is a symbol of aloha. Great care is taken into the gathering of the materials to make a lei. After the materials are gathered, they are prepared and then fashioned into a lei. As this is done, the mana (or spirit) of the creator of the lei is sewn or woven into it.
In 2001, Senator Akaka, during a May 1 address, said, ” ‘May Day is Lei Day’ in Hawaii. Lei Day is a nonpolitical and nonpartisan celebration. Indeed, its sole purpose is to engage in random acts of kindness and sharing, and to celebrate the Aloha spirit, that intangible, but palpable, essence which is best exemplified by the hospitality and inclusiveness exhibited by the Native Hawaiians – Hawaii’s indigenous peoples – to all people of goodwill.”
When you give a lei you are giving a part of you. Likewise, as you receive a lei you are receiving a part of the creator of the lei.
“A lei is not just flowers strung on a thread. A lei is a tangible representation of aloha in which symbols of that aloha are carefully sewn or woven together to create a gift.
This gift tells a story of the relationship between the giver and the recipient. Many things can make up a lei. One can string flowers, seeds, shells, or berries into a lei.
One can weave vines and leaves into a lei. One can weave words into a poem or song, which is then a lei. The ultimate expression of a lei is kamalei – the child which represents the intertwining of aloha between the parents.”
The lei of the eight major Hawaiian Islands become the theme for Hawai‘i May Day pageants and a lei queen chosen with a princess representing each of the islands, wearing lei fashioned with the island’s flower and color.
Hawai‘i – Color: ‘Ula‘ula (red) – Flower: ‘Ōhi‘a Lehua
Maui – Color: ‘Ākala (pink) – Flower: Lokelani
Kaho‘olawe -Color: Hinahina (silvery gray) – Flower: Hinahina
Lāna‘i – Color: ‘Alani (orange) – Flower: Kauna‘oa
Moloka‘i – Color: ‘Ōma‘oma‘o (green) -Flower: Kukui
O‘ahu – Color: Pala luhiehu (golden yellow) or melemele (yellow) Flower: ‘Ilima
Kaua‘i – Color: Poni (purple) – Flower: Mokihana
Ni‘ihau – Color: Ke‘oke‘o (white) – Flower: Pūpū (shell)
The image is ‘The Lei Maker’ painted by Theodore Wores in 1901.
The video plays May Day is Lei Day in Hawai‘i with scenes from across the state.
George Kanahele designed the Waikīkī Historic Trail, a walking tour that traces the history and cultural legacy of this area where chiefs and commoners once lived.
It is seen as a way to enhance awareness of Waikīkī both as a sacred place to Hawaiians and a huge part of Hawaii’s history.
Bronze cast trail markers in the shape of surfboards (designed by Charlie Palumbo) describe a Waikīkī that few knew existed. Once part swamp, part playground for Hawaiian royalty, Waikīkī was for centuries a center of Hawaiian hospitality and seat of Oahu’s government. Following are brief descriptions of the sites along the trail.
Stewards of the trail are the folks from Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association (NaHHA.) Waikīkī Improvement Association supports and promotes the trail.
More information on the trail is available at: http://www.Waikikihistorictrail.com/ (the virtual tour on the website gives you a lot more background information on each site)
Marker 1 (Kapiʻolani/Waikīkī Beach)
This section of Waikīkī Beach contains four distinct areas: Outrigger Canoe Club (founded in 1908,) Sans Souci (1890s,) Kapi’olani Park and Queen’s Surf (demolished in 1971.)
Marker 2 – (Kapahulu groin)
From ancient times Waikīkī has been a popular surfing spot – it’s one of the reasons chiefs of old make their homes and headquarters in Waikīkī for hundreds of years (he‘e nalu, surfing.)
Marker 3 (Ala Wai/Lili‘uokalani Site)
Waikīkī served as a marshy drainage basin for the Koʻolau Mountain Range; in 1927, the Ala Wai Canal reclaimed the land for the development of today’s hotels, stores and streets. Here was Queen Lili’uokalani’s home, the last reigning monarch of the Kingdom of Hawai’i.
Marker 4 (Kuhio Beach)
This stretch of beach (from the Kapahulu groin to the Beach Center) is Kuhio Beach Park. It is named for Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana’ole, Hawaii’s second Delegate to the United States Congress (1902-1922.)
Marker 5 (Kuhio Beach)
Duke Paoa Kahanamoku statue – Duke was known as the “Father of International Surfing;” he introduced surfing to the Eastern Seaboard of America, Europe and Australia. He has been recognized as Hawaii’s Ambassador of Aloha since 1962.
Marker 6 (Kuhio Beach)
The Healing Stones of Kapaemahu statue These stones were placed here in tribute to four soothsayers with famed healing powers, Kapaemahu, Kahaloa, Kapuni and Kinohi, who came from Tahiti to Hawaii in the 16th century.
Marker 7 (King’s Alley Entrance)
King David Kalakaua (1836-1891) had a residence here, in Uluniu, in the late-1800s; it was a two-story, frame structure, situated in a grove of towering, very old coconut trees. The house was big enough for hosting large parties, which he was fond of giving.
Marker 8 (‘Ainahau Park/Triangle)
Nani wale ku’u home ‘Ainahau I ka ‘iu – So beautiful is my home ‘Ainahau in a paradise. These are the words from a popular song honoring ‘Ainahau (“land of the hau tree”), once described as “the most beautiful estate in the Hawaiian Islands.”
Marker 9 (International Marketplace, Under Banyan Tree)
King William Kanaʻina Lunalilo (1835-1874), the first elected king in Hawaiian history, had a summer residence here in the area known as Kaluaokau. Here he enjoyed “the quiet life of Waikīkī and living simply on fish and poi with his native friends.”
Marker 10 (Courtyard, next to Banyan Tree, Moana Hotel Restaurant)
The first hotels in Waikīkī were bathhouses, which began to offer rooms for overnight stays in the 1880s. The Moana Hotel, the “First Lady of Waikīkī,” which opened in 1901, established Waikīkī as a resort destination.
Marker 11 (Next to Patio, Duke’s Restaurant)
Overlooking favored surf spot for some of Waikīkī’s famed beach boys. This elite group got their start sometime in the 1930s when the first Waikīkī Beach Patrol was organized. They have been called “Waikīkī’s ambassadors,” serving the needs of royalty, Hollywood celebrities, and the general public alike.
Marker 12 (Back Lawn, Royal Hawaiian Hotel)
The royal coconut grove known as Helumoa once stood here, nearly 10,000 trees. Kamehameha the Great and his army camped as they began their conquest of O’ahu in 1795. They returned victorious from the battles in Nu’uanu Valley and made Waikīkī the first capital of the Kingdom of Hawai’i.
The Royal Hawaiian Hotel or “The Pink Palace” was completed in 1927 and was touted as the “finest resort hostelry in America.”
Marker 13 (Beach, Next to Outrigger Reef Hotel)
From olden times Waikīkī was viewed not only as a place of peace and hospitality, but of healing.
One of Waikīkī’s places of healing was this stretch of beach fronting the Halekulani Hotel called Kawehewehe (or the removal). The sick and the injured came to bathe in the kai, or waters of the sea.
Marker 14 (Next to U.S. Army Museum)
On this site stood the villa of Chun Afong, Hawaiʻi’s first Chinese millionaire, who arrived in Honolulu in 1849. He was the inspiration for Jack London’s famous story, “Chun Ah Chun.” In 1904 the US Army Corps of Engineers purchased the property to make way for the construction of Battery Randolph and the no-longer-extant Battery Dudley to defend Honolulu Harbor from foreign attack.
Marker 15 (Kālia Road)
In 1897, Waikīkī’s largest fish pond (13-acres,) the Kaʻihikapu, was here. All of today’s Fort DeRussy on the mauka (toward the mountain) side of the road was covered with fishponds (growing mostly ‘ama’ama or mullet and awa or milkfish.) in 1908, the US military acquired 72 acres of land and started draining it in 1908 to build Fort DeRussy.
Marker 16 (Paoa Park)
Olympic swimming champion Duke Kahanamoku (1890-1968) spent much of his youth here in Kalia with his mother’s family the Paoas. The family owned much of the 20 acres which the Hilton Hawaiian Village now occupies; they grew their own taro and sweet potatoes and fished for seaweed, squid, shrimp, crab, lobster and varieties of fish.
Marker 17 (Patio of Ilikai Hotel)
The Pi’inaio was Waikīkī‘s third stream which entered the sea here where the Ilikai Hotel stands. Unlike the Kuekaunahi and ‘Apuakehau streams, the mouth of the Pi’inaio was a large muddy delta intersected by several small tributary channels.
Marker 18 (Diamond Head Corner of Entrance to Ala Moana Park)
In the late 1800s, Chinese farmers converted many of Waikīkī’s taro and fishponds into duck ponds. This area, including the Ala Moana Shopping Center, was covered with duck farms. In 1931, the City and County of Honolulu decided to clean up the waterfront. The new Moana Park was dedicated by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1934.
Marker 19 (Ala Wai Canal Side of Hawai’i Convention Center)
Ala Wai (freshwater way) Canal was at the heart of Waikīkī Reclamation Project launched in the early 1900s to “reclaim a most unsanitary and unsightly portion of the city.” With the canal’s completion in 1928, the taro and rice fields, the fish and duck ponds, vanished. Begun in 1996, the Hawai’i Convention Center is the largest public building of its kind in Hawai’i.
Marker 20 (Near Corner of Ala Moana and Kalakaua Avenue)
This green expanse in the middle of Waikīkī is Fort DeRussy. It was started in 1908 as a vital American bastion of defense, but today it serves as a place of recreation and relaxation for U.S. military personnel and their families.
Marker 21 (Intersection of Kuhio and Kalakaua Avenue)
Kalākaua Statue at Kalākaua Park, intersection of Kalākaua and Kūhiō Avenues. Kalākaua was the first king in history to visit the United States; he was often referred to as “The Merry Monarch” and was fond of old Hawaiian customs. Kalākaua died while on a trip to San Francisco on January 20, 1891.
Marker 22 (Hilton Hawaiian Village)
Ali’i (royalty) from all points came to Kālia to enjoy great entertainment along with lavish banquets with the freshest fish and shrimp from the largest fishponds in all the Hawaiian Islands. Here once stood the gracious Niumalu (coconut shade) Hotel; today, the Hilton Hawaiian Village continues the rich heritage of Kālia with a tradition of ho’okipa (hospitality.)
Marker 23 (Hilton Hawaiian Village)
In ancient Hawaii, the “Kālia” area where the Hilton Hawaiian Village is located was once swampland. Early Hawaiian farmers converted the marshes into ponds, lo’i, rich with taro, the staple food of the Hawaiian people. The Kālia area was also known for its abundant fishing grounds. It was also a favorite playground for the Ali’i (royalty).
In addition, I have posted images at each of the markers and expanded discussion about each site in the Photos section of my Facebook page.