Hello Friends and Family,

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Aloha to Moloka`i

Sadly, my last day on Moloka`i had finally arrived. That morning we had breakfast at the Hui — only a couple students had to catch early flights before breakfast — so most of us had one last opportunity to share final thoughts and say our goodbyes. I was taking the afternoon ferry to Maui so I had plenty of time to relax and visit. In fact, a half dozen of us were still around for lunch and took the opportunity to have one last visit to the Cookhouse and sample the teri-beef sandwich with a glass of POG — yum!

Eventually, I made my way down to town to purchase gasoline for my rental car and obtain some cash from an ATM machine. As I was returning from that latter chore, I noticed this older fellow sitting in the shade, playing his guitar. He spoke to me, although I did not understand what he said so I wondered over closer to "talk story".

He told me that he is the Mayor of Moloka`i. Well, I know that the island of Moloka`i is part of Maui County and that there is a Mayor of Maui County. So I assumed that his is an honorary title. In fact, it didn't matter and we had a great conversation. I told him about my class and my photography, especially my goal of trying to preserve the "old Hawai`i". He told me that the next time I come to Moloka`i to let him know and he would take me to some places that very few people ever see.

So I asked if I could take a few photos and he consented. I got his address and as soon as I got home, I printed two of his photos (8x10) and sent them to him. I hope he liked them.

Don't you just love the character in his face. I do.

I returned the rental car and they dropped me off at the Kaunakakai Harbor so I could catch the ferry to Maui. You can see the boat in the background of this photo — but the more interesting sight was this guy who had been spear fishing and made quite a catch. The funny thing was that I spotted a different guy holding the fish. I asked if I could take his picture and he said the fish wasn't his — his friend caught it — and that I should take the picture of the real fisherman. What friends!

We had been experiencing the Kona Winds the last few days so the ocean was very calm. I have been on this ferry before when the swells made this a thrill ride just like in an amusement park. Except in an amusement park, you only experience it for a couple minutes — the trip to Maui takes about an hour and a half.

As a result of the calm waters I found some interesting reflections of clouds and sky in the water — resembling an abstract painting. Eddie would be so proud of me.

As we headed toward Maui, we saw the clouds engulfing the mountains on the east end of the island. It brought back memories of my two trips to Halawa Valley during this visit and the wonderful hike to the waterfall. It also made me think of my new friends — Joshua, Julio and Lawrence — and wondering when we might meet again. I hope it's soon.

Just a short while later, we spotted a school of dolphins playing in the boat's wake. Surfing dolphins — how cool! You don't see that when you take a plane between the islands.

The sun began to hide behind the clouds over Lana`i given all vistas a golden glow. Beautiful! And it reminded me that I would be headed to Lana`i in couple weeks — after my stay on Maui.

The peaceful, beautiful scenery we viewed from the ferry caused me to reflect on a previous trip on the Moloka`i to Maui ferry. I wasn't alone that trip — Kona and I took the round trip together, spending one day and night on Moloka`i before returning to Maui.

This photo was actually taken on the Trilogy cruise from Maui to Lana`i — but it is a photo that always pulls at my heart strings.

Tomorrow (January 6) is the eleventh anniversary of her death. I miss her deeply.

Life is good.

B. David