July 3: Nā Kama Kai Junior Mentors, Hakipu‘u Camp
- Posted on 3 Jul 2012
- In Education
[NOTE: Clicking on a photo will present you a larger version of it along with a slide show of all the photos on the blog entry.]
This past weekend one of Hōkūle‘a’s younger hui’s (groups), known as Kapu Nā Keiki, teamed up with the Nā Kama Kai program and conducted a two-day camp at Kualoa Beach Park in Hakipu‘u for middle school kids from around the island.
The young crew members, lead by Moani Hemuli and Haunani Kāne, with Nā Kama Kai’s Mary Correa, introduced the middle schoolers to Hōkūle‘a, and her teachings through many activities, including a canoe tour, safety lessons, star compass, sailing, and sunrise observations. During the down times the students and teachers relaxed with joyfully competitive games of volleyball and Capture the Pōhaku (stone), a Hawaiian twist on Capture the Flag.
Crew member Moani Hemuli, sharing the history of Hakipu‘u at its ahu (land division marker) and why this area is so culturally significant, both in traditional and modern times:
The Nā Kama Kai students listened intently to the mo‘olelo of why this area is so special to Hōkūle‘a, while gathered around the ahu (land division marker), constructed in 1992 by community members from Hakipu‘u.
Camp participants saying hi to Hōkūle‘a, for the first time …
… and check out under the deck of Hōkūle‘a:
Crew member Waimea McKeague helped in a water safety position, as the kids participated in a swim test from Hōkūle‘a to her escort boat Ho‘okela, over a distance of roughly 100 meters.
Crew member Moani Hemuli, sharing her mana‘o (thoughts), on life aboard Hōkūle‘a, and the various kuleana (responsibilities) that crew members must take on, in order for the canoe to function properly and a voyage to be successful:
Haunani and the Nā Kama Kai future navigators:
Friends Taylor and Jillene on their first time aboard Hōkūle‘a.
Moani explaining how to open up the main sail:
The Wilhelm sisters sponge out water from one of Hōkūle‘a’s hull compartments:
Micah (black shorts) and Makana (kneeling on rock), conferring over where the next stone should go in the construction of their star compass on the lawn at Hakipu‘u:
Moani led the hui in E Ala e, an oli or chant to wake up the sun:
Sunrise at Kualoa:
The Hui watching the sun rise:
Uncle Kealoha sharing his mana‘o on crew life, what this canoe means to the ʻahupuaʻa (land division) of Hakipuʻu and how he became a member of Hōkūle‘a’s crew.
Uncle Kealoha telling the story of how a couple of avoidable mistakes led to a man overboard situation, but thankfully the crew member was successfully recovered:
Uncle Kealoha, testing the kids on which kuleana (responsibilities) or jobs, they think need to be done on the canoe in order for the canoe to be sailed properly and the voyage to be successful:
Sailing in Kāneʻohe Bay to teach the hui about basic sailing theory:
Moani teaching Laura how to steer a canoe and pointing out where she would like Laura to aim for, using a reference point on land to keep her course:
Micah setting out the plankton net in order to catch and discover what kinds of microscopic organisms live within these waters:
Retrieval of the net:
Mahie looking through the microscope at one of the zooplankton we caught during our plankton tow.
One of the many organisms caught during our plankton tow was the Blue Sea Slug Glaucus atlanticus, which is found throughout the worldʻs tropical to temperate waters.
June 30th-July 1st was the first of hopefully many navigation camps with Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS), Kapu Nā Keiki, and the Nā Kama Kai Jr. Mentors. The camp was held at Hakipuʻu, the birth place of Hōkūleʻa, where 13 native Hawaiian kamaliʻi ranging in age from 11-16 participated in a range of activities.
We started Saturday day by first taking them to the ahu that marks the boundary between the ahupuaʻa’s of Hakipuʻu and Kualoa. Moani Heimuli, a Hakipuʻu native, spoke to the kids about the importance of Hakipuʻu to not only Hōkūleʻa but also the role this area played in traditional voyaging. The kamali`i (children) learned about Kaha`i a navigator who brought the first ulu plant to Hawai`i and made Hakipuʻu his home. He was so highly respected that it was said when Kamehameha sailed past Hakipu`u he would lower his sails. Moani also shared with the kamali`i about the different mountain peaks and important sites in the area.
Next we did a swim test as a part of safety training. It was important to get a grasp on where each of the kamali`i stood in terms of how comfortable they are in the water. It was important that all of the PVS mentors were in the water with the kamali`i and that everyone stayed together.
In the early evening we began our navigation lesson. We started by looking over one of the Hōkūleʻa start compass charts and talking about the general wind patterns, currents, and how to read tide charts. Next we built a star compass on the lawn with rocks that each of the kamali`i had gathered. Once the compass was built we talked about how the star compass is used on the canoe to find direction, and how it can be applied to the stars, moon, sun, wind, etc.
Sunday morning we woke up early, trekked to kualoa beach park and chanted e ala e to wake the sun. We asked the kids to guess where the sun would rise relative to both the star houses, as well as the horizon. Since they had correctly identified the house the sun had rose in, we next asked them to identify the house the wind and and swells were coming from. We were very impressed to see how well they did! This is an important exercise that navigators have to do at both sunrise and sunset, because these are the two times of the day that navigators must reassess their course based upon the known location of the sun.
After sunrise we went out on Hōkūle`a and talked story with Hōkūleʻa crew member Uncle Kealoha Hoe. Kealoha told the kids about his experiences on different voyages, the lessons he’s learned, and the different parts of the canoe. Majority of the kamali`i said that talking to Uncle Kealoha was one of the best parts of the entire camp. The kamali`i also helped to sponge water out of the hulls, and scrub the bottom of the canoe. After visiting Hōkūleʻa the kamali`i also got to go onto Hoʻokela, one of Hōkūleʻa’s escort boats, and talk to Kai Hudgins, about the importance of the escort boat in terms of safety.
We ended the day with a sail on one of Kualoa Park’s double hull sailing canoes. We sailed and paddled in Kaneohe bay. Each of the Kamaliʻi were given the chance to steer the canoe and most of them were excited to try. The Kamaliʻi also helped to gather marine critters using a plankton net that we towed behind the canoe. Once back on shore we brought out a microscope and attempted to identify our catch. We found a really cool blue sea slug, some water fleas, and an assortment of zooplankton.