The Protect Kahoʻolawe ʻOhana deemed a period of sabbatical for community huakaʻi due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it was necessary for a few of our kua and critical support individuals to access the island to continue work on our Ala Loa. A small contingency of ten (10) participants accessed the island in the days during the recess of the inter-island travel quarantine rules. Unfortunately, their huakaʻi was abruptly interrupted by the eminent threat of Hurricane Douglas and the group evacuated from Kahoʻolawe two days earlier than planned. We are thankful that all participants returned to their homes safely. Continue reading for their full report.
We wanted to report back on our July huakaʻi to Ahupū. Group of ten went to Ahupū to reestablish camp. Kitchen items, tools, and equipment items were purchased and transported to island. Mahalo to the Ala loa crew for all their planning. Mahalo to the ʻohana for all their donations and pule during the fire recovery.
It was beautiful on the morning of Day 1. In between boats, a small crew was able to check camp. Water catchments were full and the water looked clean. Bathrooms were also clean and secure. The Spice Cabinet had no evidence of mice. Kudos to Momi and the Hālau ʻŌhiʻa gang for leaving everything so tidy. Crew noticed heavy beach erosion in Hakioawa.
Ahupū and Ahupūiki
Unsure of what to expect after the fire, the colors were amazing and it was exciting to see new growth. It appears that the fire was a smoldering one, burning low-lying brush and kiawe.
We were able to set up camp, including tent to secure tools and push back the brush to create a larger fire break; expanding the camp site.
We were also able to visit the petroglyphs in Ahupūiki which was a great way to reconnect with the space. On Day 2 we were able to do some ala loa work before having to break down camp and leave early due to Hurricane Douglass. We were able to flag about .5 mile and weed whack .25 mile. It is noted that, in addition to Papakanui, Aikupau, and Kuheia, Ahupū is now set up as a hoʻomoana to serve as a field site with basic kitchen, work equipment, and lua to accommodate small group access. Ala loa trailheads are open to the east and west directions. Water conditions allowed unloading by zodiac to come close to shore.
This huakaʻi was rescheduled numerous times due to the pandemic. Everyone's safety and health was of utmost importance for this huakaʻi. Ala Loa crew drafted up some plans to maintain sanitation, social distancing, and plans of action in case someone from the group began to show symptoms. It was trying at times to follow our safety plans. We hope soon to have a meeting again to discuss this and the viability of this with larger community huakaʻi. In the meantime, some things that we found that worked well:
• Uncle Kelʻs foot pump for our water jugs to dispense water
• Numerous Hand Sanitizer Spray bottles at the bathroom, near water jugs, kitchen area, and so on.
• Gloves for kitchen prep area
• Wearing facemasks during boat transport
• Waterfall technique for Kapu Kai (Yeah Kahale!!!)
Jay Boy, Poʻokela, Kahale, Josh, Brutus, and Pearl