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Ship Logs

Lisianski Island
Posted by Bonnie Kahapea, Teacher Halau Ku Mana Public Charter School
October 1, 2002

Sunset at Lisianski Island.It began when we arrived at Lisianski. The ocean was as calm as a lake, not a breath of wind. I could see my own reflection in the water as I leaned out on the rail of the ship. The day was HOT and flies from the island found their way to the Rapture anchored miles out at a safe depth.

I spent the day aboard the ship. It was a lazy day and I searched for motivation to get some work done. We managed to get some interviews in and some video footage for the story of the Rapture. The day seemed to pass slowly as the numbers of flies increased. Even though, the day did pass and we were treated to a beautiful sunset. The lack of wind and extremely calm sea left us with a clear horizon. Colors of golden hues turned the sky into a painting. As the colors faded into the darkness, I decided to sleep on the O2 deck where I could get a clear view of the night sky. With no clouds, I actually got to see stars set. This is not common. Most times setting stars are blocked by clouds and atmospheric junk and so you usually can only see them until they are about 20 degrees above the horizon. But tonight I saw it! Lehuakona set in her rightful house on the horizon.

The stars continued on their normal path. I laid out my sleeping bag on the chair and talked to others about some stars until I drifted off to sleep. Whenever I sleep outside, I always wake up often and look up to the sky and orient myself. I get myself situated in my place in the universe, then go back to sleep assured that I know where I am.

Kanehunamoku, the "hidden islands" of Hawai'i.As the morning neared, the waning moon was climbing to its zenith. I peered out between the makapiapia to orient myself once again. The moments before dawn is the most important time for navigators. If I am up at this time, no matter where I am, I love to sit quietly and gaze with intention. The railing was blocking my view of the horizon , so I pulled myself out of the warmth of my sleeping bag. The moment my eyes hit the horizon, I thought…"Where am I"? And in the next moment, I said, "the hidden islands of Kane"! There on the horizon, just to the South of East lie 12 high islands.

I had read about these hidden islands of Kane before and just yesterday, Kekuewa and I were talking story about it. I continued to study the horizon. To the left of the rising sun was Lisianski, which we call Kapou. The rest of the horizon was blocked by thick black clouds, except for the 12 islands of Kane and Kapou.

I knew immediately that what I was seeing was something very special. A few moments later Kekuewa had come on deck to wake me up for our boat to Lisianski. I showed him the islands and we stood in awe together. The moments were surreal and seemingly timeless. As the sun crawled its way into day, the islands disappeared in the light. Soon after at breakfast, we were greeted by another ho'ailona or sign. A pillar rainbow appeared, another manifestation of the god Kane. This is the vision that allowed Kekuewa to match Lisianski with her ancient name of Kapou, meaning pillar.

Not everyone saw these ho'ailona as Kekuewa and I had. I feel humbled by the presence of my ancestral gods. Today, Kane allowed me to see.

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