Sleepy Moloka’i Sunday and Random Observations

Day 8: Molokai

I forgot to mention that April, of Ma’s Kava in Kona, had grown up on Molokai. She told us we should visit her Uncle Ray Naki at the fishponds on the way to Halawa Valley, an area we planned to visit anyway. Jody, one of the sellers at the farmer’s market in Kaunakakai, knew Ray and described his house to us. (She was selling trinkets to fund her son’s trip to New Zealand with his singing group. I bought a kukui nut and shell lei from her to help out.)

Me modeling the kukui nut and shell lei.

Me modeling the kukui nut and shell lei.

Of course, April also told us that the people here were kind of stand-offish. If these people are stand-offish, I am a Ford Agency fashion model. Everyone we talk to is chatty and helpful. Did I mention chatty?

We decided to try to find Uncle Ray, even though all the information we had by way of finding him is that he lived next to the ancient fishpond on the road to Halewa Valley. The night before, I had called Auntie Opu’ulani (“Heavenly House”), a kupuna (elder) who is an expert on mo’olelo Molokai (legends of Moloakai). I left a message, so I thought I would wait a bit to see if she would call back. So I had sort of planned to seek out Uncle Ray today, or at least drive up there and see what could be seen. We started out at dawn going back to Popohaku Beach, but it was readily apparent that the swell had not subsided, so we turned around and came back for breakfast. I cut up a pineapple and made Molokai coffee, then started writing, trying to catch up on my journal.

I caught up, all right. At about 2:00 pm or so.

The stores and other businesses are all closed today. Tom and I walked down to Make Horse Beach. I encountered a Swiss man, Olivier, who speaks about five languages, and I got to practice my French for a while.

The red path to Maka Horse Beach.

The red path to Maka Horse Beach.

I noticed a lot more shells on Make Horse. They were small, but they augured greater success than Popohaku. I determined to come back in the morning. Make Horse is a lovely little beach that must be a lot of fun when the surf isn’t so high. There are lots of tide pools, but I didn’t get anywhere near them.


Make Horse Beach. Credit, as with almost all photos because my iPhone is dead, to Tom Keenan.

Make Horse Beach. Credit, as with almost all photos because my iPhone is dead, to Tom Keenan.

Then we came back to the condo. I located the barbecue facilities, then we made teriyaki steak for dinner with rice and asparagus that was actually not terribly expensive.

When I went upstairs to the bathroom after dinner, I left my flip-flops downstairs because Scott (one of the managers) had requested it. They had just installed new carpet on the stairs and second level, and didn’t want it tracked up with the red dirt of the island. When I turned on the light in the bathroom, I immediately saw a three-inch-long centipede, curved into a graceful S-shape on the bathmat.

Wildflowers on the path to Maka Horse.

Wildflowers on the path to Maka Horse.

This was no skinny, mainland-type centipede. It was hefty, with nasty-looking pointy things at front and rear.

I respect nature, but there is a limit. I went down to get my flip-flops, proceeded to beat the damned thing to a pulp, and decided there was no way I was going to walk around barefoot from now on, Scott or no Scott.

Here are a few random comments:

There are deer on Molokai. In 1867, speckled Indian deer were delivered to Molokai at the request of King Kamehameha V. They were released on the island and flourished. There are various signs of them, though I have yet to see one alive. Misaki’s Market, one of the two grocery stores in Kaunakakai, has deer heads mounted on supports on every aisle. We passed a fence completed covered with antlers. We haven’t yet seen deer burgers on a menu though. Much less venison.

The Humane Society consists of two small storage shipping containers with a pen in between. I haven’t seen any animals there, but I don’t know if that’s good or bad.

You can see three other islands from Molokai: Oahu, Lanai and Maui. There is an outrigger race every year from Molokai to Waikiki. Given that this is 38+ miles across very rough water, this is a serious athletic event.

There are huge, black moths here with wingspans of five or six inches. Gorgeous. We will (Tom will) try to get a picture.

The fishponds on Molokai are the oldest in the islands. More on these later. They are constructed of lava rock (not that there is any other kind) walls out into the water where the wave action is low. There is usually a gate where fish can swim in. They could swim out again if they chose, but perhaps they were fed inside the pond, keeping them around. I will find out more tomorrow.

Because Tom Keenan is an amazing photographer!

Because Tom Keenan is an amazing photographer!

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