OHE March 21, 1998

Date: Sat, 21 Mar 1998 22:13:51 -1000
From: "Dayle K. Turner" (turner@hawaii.edu>
Subject: Mokoli'i

I joined some members of the HTMC trail clearing crew today (3/21, Saturday) for a pleasant outing to Mokoli'i (Chinaman's Hat) Island off of Kualoa. Members of da gang on hand were boss-lady Mabel Kekina (who'll turn 70 in a week), Ralph Valentino, Naomi Nasu, Lita Komura (the owner of a brand new Scupper Pro kayak), Judy Roy, Kim Roy, June Miyasato, and my idol, the famous woman hiker (aka famous woman kayaker). Also with us intially were plant guru Ken Suzuki and former HTMC daredevil Al Miller, who did not make the jaunt to the island.

We used kayaks to get out to Mokoli'i, and instead of starting at Kualoa Beach Park, wanting more of a workout, we launched from a boat ramp just past the Hygenic Store in Kahaluu. The distance from the starting point to Mokoli'i was approximately 4 miles and the first of us needed about an hour to paddle that distance.

The ocean was glassy for the first half-hour but thereafter strong trade winds from the north created choppier conditions and slowed our progress. The skies, save for a few sunny periods, were overcast.

While paddling along, we had great views of the Koolau crest to the west, including the distinct shoulders that drop to windward such as Kalahaku, Eleao, "the corner" north of Manana, and the unnamed ridge that bisects Waiahole and Waikane valleys. And of course, awesome Ohulehule (Pat Rorie's sweetheart), looking buffed and righteous, rose up in the foreground with its sister peak, majestic and mysterious Kanehoalani, to its right.

The ascent to the summit of Mokoli'i (elev. 206) was steep but short and was accessed via a well-worn trail on the island's southern flank. After everyone landed, we began the climb to the top. At the final rockface before the summit, we formed a "bucket brigade," passing small coolers and packages of foodstuffs from one person to the next so each could negotiate this last section with the use of both hands. Nice teamwork!

The top of the island offered a wonderful panorama that included views of Kualoa, Kanehoalani, Ohulehule, Kaneohe Bay, and the open ocean beyond. We could also see Kapapa Isle, where we had visited a week ago. A steady wind puffed over the Mokoli'i's crest, creating cool and comfortable conditions. We spent over an hour eating lunch, talking story, and soaking up the beauty around us. A great time was had by all.

We departed the island at just past one, and instead of heading back on the same line we used earlier, we paddled toward Kualoa point and continued west along the shoreline. To our right, we passed Kualoa Beach Park, then E'ala (sister ship of Hokulea), moored just offshore. Continuing along the shoreline on a course directly toward Ohulehule and its southeast ridge, we passed a camping area used by patrons of Kualoa Ranch. A bit further along, we watched a large local family enjoying a day on a wide sandy beach.

Right past a levee of Molii fishpond, the shorline ended its western tack and swung south toward Waikane, Waiahole, and Kahaluu where we had begun. We followed suit and began the lengthy leg back to our vehicles. Fortunately, the makani that slowed us in the morning was at our backs on the homeward leg, making for a more comfortable and quicker return.

So went a great day with a bunch of nice folks.

--DKT


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