Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Having a late brunch at The Coffee Shack. Ran out of food at the campsite.

I'm hoping today is the big day. The time has come to take the Petroglyph Honu to its home in the Pu'uhonau o Honaunau Bay. The concrete has cured long enough so that if it is not strong enough now it never will be. So the big question is how do I do it. I figure I can strap it to a couple of boogie boards and launch it at the boat ramp in Two Step. Then I'll swim it out through the channel, which could get a bit hairy with the high swell we have had for the last week, and then to a position over the sand patch where "ALOHA" is spelled out in cement blocks. The problem them becomes how do I lower it down 30 feet to the sand. I've been thinking of various ways to attach a float to it so that it would sink very slowly. I have some old Styrofoam coolers I could break up and put in my mesh gear bag to act as an adjustable float. I though of using water jugs filled with air, but the air would compress as it sank and loose buoyancy as it went deeper. Well, we shall see what happens.

Rob McGovern helping Jay load the Petroglyph Turtle into the back of his pickup truck

Loading the Petroglyph Turtle into the back of my pickup truck went very smoothly. First I tied rope around a couple of boogie boards so I could tie the Turtle to them. Them I talked a fellow camper at Hookena, Rob McGovern, into volunteering to help me. It turns out that Rob is an Irishman who has traveled all over the world and it now Education Coordinator at the Volcano Art Center ( ). The sculpture turned to feel lighter than I thought it would. That was good because that meant I wouldn't have to bother with floats, but could just lower it down on a rope.

At Two Step I got a snorkeler to help me carry the the Petroglyph Turtle strapped to the two boogie boards from my pickup truck to to the water's edge. The swell was pretty big. There were a bunch of kids surfing the break through the reef that I would have to swim the the Petroglyph Turtle through.

Passage I had to swim the Petroglyph Turtle through - note the kids on their boards, fortunately I'm a surfer so I know how to judge the waves and I'm old enough to have the patience to wait for a lull between the big sets

Ready to return to the Sea the Petroglyph Turtle heads out toward the Place of Refuge, Pu'uhonau o Honaunau

It is a good thing turtles are used to swimming in the surging surf. The Petroglyph Turtle wasn't bothered by the waves, but seemed to enjoy the ride. Once we were out over the sand patch I untied the Petroglyph Turtle from the boogie boards and tipped the Petroglyph Turtle off into the water where it hung down held by the rope I was holding that went a loop in the rope tied around one of the boogie boards.

Honu hanging from boogie board

Once I straighten out the sling I had tied to the four corners of the turtle the Petroglyph Honu hung level in the water. I lowered it down about fifteen feet so that it floated like a real turtle. I tied off the rope and swam the Honu over the ALOHA on the sand below. It would have made fun video. What a cool way to see sculpture: swimming through the water. Makes me think I should do a series of swimmers They would make fun mobiles, swimming through the air rather than the water.

The Petroglyph Turtle swimming over the ALOHA getting used to its new home

After the Petroglyph Turtle had a chance to go to get aquatinted with the environment of its new home I swam the boogie board over the place where I thought the Petroglyph Turtle should go. Then I lowered it down onto the sand. Swimming around and looking at it I realized that the Petroglyph Turtle wanted to be about five feet closer to the ALOHA. It turned out to be easy for me snorkeling up on the surface with the boogie board to pull the Petroglyph Turtle up a foot or so and move it over to where it should be. Then I dove down 30 feet to untie the sling. When I got down there I found that the knots had pulled quite tight and didn't want to untie in the few seconds that I felt like hanging out thirty feet away from oxygen. Fortunately I had a backup. I surfaced and took the linoleum knife out of my mesh gear bag. Diving back down again the Petroglyph Turtle was cut free of it's ropes and was free in its new home.

Petroglyph Turtle in new home new the ALOHA - notice how I stirred up some of the fine sand with my fins when I swam down to take the picture

Note: In March 2006 I got an email about the ALOHA:

Hi Jay,

I enjoyed viewing your web page.

I am curious about whatever happend to the concrete turtle that you put in the water near two-step (Honaunau Bay). Have you had any feedback on it since? I live a short distance from there and my wife works in the small building next to the beach at the head of the bay. Perhaps I met you when you were camping at Hookena - I don't recall - The red and yellow outrigger canoe near your tent site at Hookena is mine.

You mentioned the cinder blocks on the bottom that spell "aloha" so I thought you might be interested to learn how they got there.
They were originally placed (by people I've encountered) as weights to hold down props for the filming of the under water portion of the movie "Ice Station Zebra".

Kent in Hookena, Hawaii

Some of the Locals(Black Durgans and a Lined Butterfly Fish) come by to check out the Petroglyph Turtle in its new home.

Friday, April 12, 2002 At The Blue Dolphin in Kaiwaihie listening to live music.

This morning I was sitting at my campsite on Hookena Beach in my chair sipping my morning cup of tea and thinking about how much I would like the dolphins to come by, but also knowing that the dolphins haven't been around for a while. It is also near the new moon and that the dolphins are supposed to come much more around the full moon. Then I saw the fins out on the water. A wave of happiness passed through me. They were back. I finished my tea and went to look for leaves to take out so we could play the leaf game. The funny thing is that it is Spring out here in Hawaii now and things are different: there are no fresh red leaves falling down every day from the tree over my tent. Now the new set of green leaves has grown out and the only thing falling off the tree is little flowery things. So I had to pick some fresh leaves. As I was swimming out I looked over to my right and swimming right beside me was a solitary dolphin. Soon a small pod was all around me. For some reason unknown to me they were very friendly and felt like being close to me. It was a very magical swim. What a wonderful way to start the day. Finally I was getting a little chilled from being in the water so long so I swam in and had my usual breakfast of fresh papaya, banana, and cereal. By the time I was ready to go back out the dolphins decided to split so I made some more cast Petroglyph Honus in the sand.

Later I headed up North to go to the Blue Dolphin. On the way I stopped at Hapuna State Beach Park. The surf was up so I was able to get in some nice boogie boarding as the sun sank into the ocean in a beautiful sunset. Not such a bad life.

Saturday, April 13, 2002

Had a good time dancing last night. There seem to be a lot of white Rastafarians on this island. The band had nine people, four of them playing drums. It was good dance music. Afterwards I drove up to Mahukona and slept out under the stars. This morning I was out boogie boarding at Hapuna and one big wave that I wasn't about to catch crashed over me and pulled one of my fins right off my foot. I have fin straps with me, but I haven't been using them. Made me feel a bit lazy and stupid. One of the kids surfing the break told me that since I had Churchill Fins there was a chance I might be able to see it pop up in the surf. I looked for it for ten minutes and then gave up and tried catching the waves using just my one fin; didn't work too well. But my karma must be OK because ten minutes later another teenagers boogie boarding the Wedge held up a fin and asked me if it was mine. Lucked out on that one. It is a little weird at first being about 40 years older than any of the other guys surfing the wedge, but after catching a couple of waves it no longer seems relevant. We are all just having a good time.

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