Travels with Hokule'a

Aloha no kakou,

Recently, I participated in a huaka'i (journey) on the double-hulled canoe Hokule'a to the remote island of Nihoa, which is located in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands chain. Following a moonlight departure ceremony, we left Hanalei Bay on the morning of September 9, 2003. We arrived on Nihoa the next afternoon, following a ride around the entire island and oli kahea. The purpose of sailing to Nihoa was to conduct re-connection ceremonies on behalf of our lahui with the ancestral elements that comprise the island and it's natural and spiritual environments. Kanaloa, Lono, and Kane were the focal deities through their kino lau (body forms) and other manifestations.

We came to know the winds of Nihoa, its bird inhabitants, as well as catching a glimpse of its underwater life. The moon that night was Mahealani (there is nothing like watching iwa birds fly past the backdrop of the moon at night) and we were also blessed with the awesome presence of our kupuna through po anuenue (night rainbow). On the way home, we paid homage to the islands of Ka'ula, Ni'ihau and Lehua which are in the main islands.

All in all it was an awesome journey and experiencing it on Hokule'a made it that magical, especially when we got to observe and experience the practice of celestial navigation by Nainoa Thompson and Bruce Blankenfeld. The following are four articles that discuss the huaka'i and some photos from the trip.

Me ke aloha,
Edward Halealoha Ayau
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

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Ho`iho`i Mai