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.
Jacques Arago (March 6, 1790 – November 27, 1855) was a French writer, artist and explorer.
He joined Louis de Freycinet on his 1817 voyage around the world aboard the ship Uranie.
In his book, ‘Narrative of a Voyage Round the World,’ he writes:
“I made the Tour of the World, but not as a seaman: the vessel carried me, and I wandered with it.”
“On board the Uranie, I traversed the Indian Seas; visited the South Sea Archipelago; and after doubling Cape Horn, and spending three years in dangers and fatigues, saluted the Atlantic as an old friend, and re-visited the beloved coasts of ancient Europe.”
“During our long voyage I became acquainted with numerous tribes; hunted with the Brasilian and the Guanche; danced with the negroes of Africa; and slept under the hut of the Sandwich islander.”
“I have seen much, and observed much. I visited some little known islands at which our ship did not anchor.”
“I availed myself of the length of our different rendezvous to make excursions into the interior of countries yet uncivilized, which were always amusing, and sometimes dangerous; but which enabled me to collect a variety of observations on the manners, arts, customs, and habits of the different nations which inhabited them.”
I added a folder of some of the art by Jacques Arago on his visit to Hawai‘i in 1819 on my Facebook page.
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.
In the Hawaiian legislature of 1878, Walter Murray Gibson, then a freshman member from Lāhainā, Maui, proposed a monument to the centennial of Hawaii’s “discovery” by Captain James Cook. The legislature approved and he chaired the monument committee.
Among sites which had been mentioned were Kapiʻolani Park (where the annual Kamehameha Day horse-races were held); Thomas Square (“it needed improvement”); the Kanoa lot at the junction of Merchant and King streets (“too expensive.”)
Most of the legislators favored the front of Aliʻiolani Hale (the present Judiciary Building) and this site was approved.
After Gibson had talked with artists in New York City and Boston; he made an agreement with Thomas R. Gould, a well-known Boston sculptor who used photographs of models and reviewed Hawaiian artifacts in local museums in his design.
‘Boston Evening Transcript’ of September 28, 1878, noted “It has been thought fitting that Boston, which first sent Christian teachers and ships of commerce to the Islands, should have the honor of furnishing this commemorative monument.”
While Gould was a Bostonian, he was studying in Italy, where he designed the statue; ultimately, the statue was cast in bronze in Paris.
This was not a portrait statue, the article went on, but Gould had modeled the features after an engraved portrait of Kamehameha.
At the request of the monument committee, he had modified the features to make the king seem about 45-years old. The intent was a bronze statue of “heroic size” (about eight-and-a-half-feet tall.)
The stance of the statue, with spear in left hand and right outstretched with open palm, showed the “successful warrior inviting the people … to accept the peace and order he had secured.”
The statue was shipped on August 21, 1880, by the bark ‘GF Haendel,’ and was expected about mid-December. On February 22, 1881, came word that the Haendel had gone down November 15, 1880, off the Falkland Islands. All the cargo had been lost.
About the time it was lost, King Kalākaua was on a royal tour of the island of Hawai‘i. He made a speech in front of the Kohala Post Office.
There, the King was reminded the Kamehameha Statue was destined for Honolulu, yet Kohala, the birthplace of Kamehameha, was overlooked as a place for his statue. Kohala residents then raised funds and a replica was ordered.
It turns out, however, that the original statue had been recovered and was in fair condition.
The right hand was broken off near the wrist, the spear was broken and the feather cape had a hole in it. It was taken to a shed at Aliʻiolani Hale to be repaired.
Meanwhile, on January 31, 1883, the replica ordered by Kohala tablets and a forearm for the damaged original statue arrived.
On February 14, 1883, the replica statue was unveiled at Aliʻiolani Hale during the coronation ceremonies for King Kalākaua.
As for the original statue (which had been repaired,) it was dedicated on May 8, 1883 (the anniversary of Kamehameha’s death – 193-years ago, today) and is in Kapaʻau, North Kohala outside Kohala’s community/senior center.
So, the original statue actually ended up in Kohala, where the residents felt it rightfully belonged.
However, that is not the end of the story.
There are now five different statues of Kamehameha:
• The first replica stands prominently in front of Aliʻiolani Hale in Honolulu
• The initial (repaired) casting of the statue is at Kapaʻau, North Kohala
• Another replica is in US Capitol’s visitor center in Washington DC
• Another statue is at the Wailoa River State Recreation Area in Hilo
• A statute, created by Herb Kane, is at the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa on Maui]
The image shows the original (repaired) statue in Kapaʻau in 1908.