One of the most amazing things about our sail through the Ka’iwi channel was that in spite of crazy conditions, with winds whipping and big waves cracking against the side of Hōkūle’a, our crew was able to maintain such a calm and confident demeanor. I think part of that was due to the comfort of having an extremely experienced teacher on board with Uncle Nainoa, but I also think that a large part of it was due to the fact that we have an amazing crew of caring, hard working people and a strong crew relationship that allowed us to remain calm and joyful throughout what might have been an otherwise traumatic experience.
We were ready to trust and help one another. Most of us got soaked by waves, it was cold, and there was no shortage of stumbling on deck whenever the waves rocked us suddenly and yet there was such an abundance of smiles and learning happening throughout the journey. The channel crossing reminded me that while it is amazing when we can voyage beyond Hawai’i, we have a whole universe of learning to do within our own islands, and as we connect with other ʻāina, we should never forget the wonder and importance of giving our aloha and attention to our own islands, including our ocean.
Ka’iwi can teach us so many lessons about life and voyaging. We should never take traveling in Ka’iwi lightly, but that place has the potential to become a powerful classroom to educate future generations. Ka’iwi is not simply an empty or dangerous void between O’ahu and Moloka’i but rather a convergence of immense life and mana, which deserves our highest respect. Similar to the ways that our crew is hoping to reimagine the ways in which we acknowledge the importance and beauty of Ka Houpo o Kāne, we can actively give greater respect to these spaces closer to home.