About Na Kaleikaumaka Outrigger Camps
The Last Hawaiian Mariner
(condensed version)
by Kawika Sands 1999

Near Journey's End

Chapter 5
Steady winds gently carried the fleet under starry sky as they made their way across the endless expanse of water. Almost directly beneath the navigation star Hokule`a, the only the sounds were of the wind blowing past the Kaulua and the water against her hulls. Sounds that resonated somewhere in the back of Mo`ikeha's mind as he lay dreaming in a restful sleep. "Mauna Loa!" a voice shouted in his mind. Mo`ikeha's eyes opened in the darkness a moment later. As he became excited at the realization that their destination was close at hand, an excited shout pierced the early morning darkness "Mauna Loa-a-a-a!" It was the voice of the lookout. Land! HAWAI`I !

The crew hurryingly awoke to see a reddish glow on the horizon. "Mauna Loa!" the lookout repeated as Mo`ikeha stood to see. Cheers and shouts rose from the fleet in the darkness. The navigators had only to steer by the glow of the volcano. That morning, a great plume of smoke pointed the way home. The next day, the white summit of Mauna Kea could be seen as a manu-o-ku flew overhead. The morning after, a noio flying out to sea to feed was sighted. Then, there it was in the distance. The island of Hawai`i. Again there were shouts of joy and song.

A family of dolphins appeared and escorted the ships toward land. "Eeeeeeeeee!" Squeals of glee rose while others jumped into the water and swam beside the canoes as the green hills of Ka`u came into view. In honor of the emotional celebration of their arrival, Kamahualele stood and recited an ancient story of the origin of the islands:

Here is Hawai`i, an island, a man
A man is Hawai`i,-e
A man is Hawai`i,-e
A child of Kahiki,
A royal flower from Kapa`ahu,
From Moa`ulanuiakea Kanaloa,
A grandchild of Kahiko and Kapulanakehau,
Papa begat him,
The daughter of Kukalani`ehu and Kahakauakoko,
Scattered islands in a row,
Placed evenly from East to West,
Spread evenly is the land in a row,
Joined on to Holani,
Haulaninuiaiakea, the seer, circumnavigated 'round the islands,
Left Nukuhiwa behind, landed on Bora Bora,
O Kahiko is the root of land,
He divided and separated the islands.
Broken is the fish-line of Kaha`i,
That was cut by Kukanaloa.
Broken up into pieces were the lands, the islands,
Cut up by the sacred bamboo knife of Kanaloa.

Kamahualele concluded this story with these hopeful words while the canoes of the fleet gathered to better listen to one who reads the fate of mortals in the stars:

O Haumea Manukahikele,
O Mo`ikeha, is the chief who is to reside,
My chief will reside on Hawai`i-e-
Life! life! o buoyant life!
Live shall the chief and the priest,
Long shall live the seer and the slave,
Dwell on Hawai`i and be at rest,
And attain to old age on Kaua`i.
O Kaua`i, the island-e-
O Mo`ikeha, the chief.

The fleet arrived at Ka`u, where a joyous crowd greeted the canoes with enthusiastic cheers and trumpeting. Having grown accustomed to the constant pitch and roll of the ship, the stillness of the land felt strange, but good. They remained there at Punalu`u while the canoes were re-supplied before sailing on after letting Moaula ashore.

Clik to enlarge The canoes later landed at the cape just before Hilo in the Puna District. However, as there was a recent eruption of nearby Kilauea which devastated a wide stretch of land, there was only a brief stay. Landing in Hilo Bay, Kumukahi and Ha`eha`e were charmed by the land and told Mo`ikeha they wanted to remain and were allowed to stay. Soon after, Mo`ikeha set sail from Hilo and passed along the north coast of Hawai`i until they arrived at Kohala where he was well received by the king Kaniuhi, the grandson of Pili. With the permission of Kaniuhi, Mo`okini, the priest, offered a sacrifice on behalf of the expedition at the great heiau (temple) which, by coincidence, had the same name as his own (the heiau having been built by Pa`ao about two hundred years before).

Mo`okini and Kaluawilinau later told Mo`ikeha that they wanted to stay, so they remained while the others sailed on to the east coast of Maui and landed at Hana. At Hana, Honua`ula wanted to reside there, so he stayed while two other crew members, Paha`a and Pana`ewa, went to Lahaina. There was only a brief stay in Hana with no exchange of courtesies to Haho, the moi of that division of land, before setting sail.

As they passed the shores of Moloka`i, between Lana`i and Moloka`i directly off Kawela, Kamahualele saw a fishing canoe outside Kala`au Point, so he had the ships steered there. Arriving at the fishing canoe, they found it belonged to a man named Kakakauhanui (Strong-chested kanaka), who came there regularly. He had such long legs that he could steady his fishing canoe while standing and he could stay under water for long periods of time. When Mo`ikeha saw this large, well-built man, who appeared powerful and fearless, Mo`ikeha befriended him saying "I am going to leave you here, but when I find a place for us to live, I will send someone to bring you to me."

La`amaomao remained behind, and made his home, at Hale-o-Lono (a hill and landmark in Kaulako`i on Moloka`i). Then Mo`ikeha and his people continued on their journey to O`ahu. Although Mo`ikeha wanted to stop to see his relatives, he was warned by his priests and seer against going to `Ewa to visit his father Mulieleali`i. So, he sailed northward around the easternmost point of O`ahu where Makapu`u and Makaaoa said "We wish to reside here, where we can see the cloud drifts of Kahiki."

Makapu`u and Makaaoa were allowed to remain while Poka`i and Mo`eke also disembarked and made their way to Wai`anae. The Kaulua set sail on the last leg of their voyage with a leisurely tack. Not knowing what lay before them on Kaua`i, now two days away. However, all aboard were glad the long trek was nearly at an end.

Part 14<< -|- Index -|- >> Part 16

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Last Modified: Monday - 19991206.09:11 EST
Copyright 1999 Kawika Sands
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