Interviewing Kealoha Hoe, a member of the Polynesian Voyaging Canoe Society since 1995, was such a beautiful day filled with pure ALOHA!
Kealoha’s tales of his voyages contain nuggets of wisdom and sage life advice by intricately weaving the deep connection and synchronicity of not only navigating celestially on the sea, but of navigating through all of life.
His reference to “He waʻa he moku, he moku he waʻa" ("A canoe is an island, an island is a canoe") is a brilliant metaphor.
"He waʻa he moku, he moku he waʻa" simply translates to "The canoe is our island, and the island is our canoe."
Clay Bertelmann, founder of Na Kālai Waʻa, uttered these words when explaining the unique holistic nature of wa'a practices and how they relate to us individually and as a larger community. Simply put, what we do on land like we do on the canoe.
Posted In Crew Blogs, Voyaging “This Child” on 23 Oct 2012:
Aloha from onboard Hikianalia. I was one of the three fortunate ones—with Attwood Makanani and Mike Taylor—to fly down to Aotearoa to get Hikianalia ready for her maiden voyage. When we arrived at the Salthouse Boatyard, she was sitting in the hale, covered with dust and just looking like she was in need of some TLC. The weather was very cold and windy: nothing that we are familiar with.
We spent the next few days cleaning her and finishing small jobs to get her ready. She began to feel like she was coming to life. A few days later, we were preparing to move her out of the hale and into the light of day. You could feel she was getting excited too. The workers started moving with a sense of urgency; the buzz around the boatyard was starting to get louder.
Like contractions a wahine hapai has before giving birth, the day arrives to move her out of the hale. It is still cold outside, something we had never gotten accustomed to since we had arrived. The excitement is growing around the boatyard, and as a father, emotions start to build within myself in not knowing what this child will bring to this world. As she slides down the track on her sled, it is like witnessing the birth of a new child as she leaves the womb of her mother and enters into this new and strange world.
Suddenly, the skies clear and the warmth of the sun embraces her like the arms of a proud and happy mother.
This is followed by a light rain, as if she was receiving her first bath. She is such a beautiful child to see, I couldn’t stop myself from giving her a honi and sharing her first breath with her. As we continue to make ready, we start to groom her with the Spirit of Aloha, and she begins to take on an identity of her own.
Kealoha Hoe greeting Hikianalia into the world of natural sunlight.
As we make our way to Tahiti and then on to Hawaii, she is being guided by a very proud and humble crew, led by pwo navigator and captain Bruce Blankenfeld. As we start this Worldwide Voyage, the messages of Aloha and Lokahi are evident, as we take this child Hikianalia to her home in Hawaii and get her ready to share with the world.
▪ I would like to dedicate this blog to my parents, Herbert and Julia Hoe. Mahalo for your unconditional love and support.
▪ Hauoli La Hanau, Dad!! Your child, Kealoha Hoe
P.S. Early this morning, about 4 miles to our starboard, we passed the island of Rurutu in the Australs.
Read more fascinating crew blogs here.