Hōkūle‘a in Ho‘okena
(Nahaku Kalei, July 30, 2013) At 11am Saturday morning, Hōkūle‘a arrived in Ho‘okena from Milol‘i. The sun shone bright in a blue sky dotted here and there by a puffy white cloud. The ocean shone bright blue too, dancing as if it felt the excitement in the air over the presence of this incredible canoe. The people of Ho‘okena were spread out up and down the beautiful black sand beach, and opelu fishing boats, captained by local fishers, circled around Hōkūle‘a. Ho‘okena was well prepared for the arrival of the wa‘a. Tents, tables, and chairs for the crew to rest, as well as plenty of ono food, were all prepared and awaiting their arrival.
Onboard, along with the other crew members, were several youth from Miloli‘i. These young people are very special to us as their very presence on the canoe represents the perpetuation of Hawaiian voyaging canoes and the canoe ‘ohana. They also represent the connection between the younger and older generations, as well as the relationship between the people of Miloli‘i and Ho‘okena.
After Hōkūle‘a was secured just off the beach by both offshore anchors as well as lines taken onshore and tied to niu (coconut) trees, the crew and people of Ho‘okena prepared themselves to meet. The crew was welcomed onshore with oli by Ho‘okena descendant, Kanani Enos and her 3 keiki. The Hōkūle‘a crew responded with the Hōkūle‘a ha’a, honoring the mana of this sacred canoe. Then the crew proceeded down a line formed by the Ho‘okena community to be given lei and exchange hugs and honi’s.
Pule, food, and plenty of time to talk story filled the rest of the day and evening. The sound of children’s laughter echoed from Hōkūle‘a’s deck and I can only imagine how happy that song made the canoe.
Night brought more great food, as well as the news of the approaching tropical depression, Flossie. Hōkūle‘a left Ho‘okena in the night to take up safer harborage in Keauhou.