Saturday, May 28, 2011

Moku'ohia Battleground and Kealakekua Bay

Moku’ohai Battleground is where Keeaumoku slashed Kiwala’o’s throat open as he bent down to retrieve the precious necklace. The death of Kiwala'o (Kalani’opu’u’s son) paved the way for Kamehameha to begin his serious challenge to the kingdom. I drove up and down the back road, looking for this battleground. When I stopped for breakfast at The Coffee Shack, it became very apparent to me why I couldn’t find it—a’a looks a lot alike up close. It was only as I was able to look down upon the area that I could see the extent of the battlefield laid out below me--the brown area in the middle--fighting in the middle of the a'a flow.

I rented a single kayak and paddled across Kealakekua Bay, deciding as I went that this would be my (late) birthday celebration. I pulled the kayak up into the trees and tied it up. I stashed my snorkel gear and my lunch and walked around the area, knowing that this is where my sacred queen, Kalola, was with her husband Kalani’opu’u the day Captain Cook was killed. It was Kalola, in fact, who begged her husband not to go with Cook. Cook was planning to kidnap the king and hold him for ransom in order to get back a shore boat which has been taken apart for the metal.

This path led up the hill--the hill I avoided traversing because I had rented the kayak and paddled. There are stone walls everywhere—it must have been a large village at one point. Fresh water would have been gotten from the springs in the bay.

This site had beautiful flowers everywhere and I decided this would have been the perfect site for a lovely house overlooking the bay.

Cook’s monument. This little bit of fenced-off soil actually belong to England. In the background, the cliffs of Keoua.

I snorkeled along the coastline with the tourists. The smoke coming from this boat was the hamburger grill being fired up. I was glad to see that the dive boats come to this area—the drop-off is so deep that the tourists are unable to wedge their fins in the coral and can’t damage it. The snorkeling is superb. At one point I saw a school of 200 yellow tang feeding. This basalt outcropping stretches over halfway across the bay and there are many burial caves in the cliffs. How they ever got up to those caves was a miracle—and the story is that if a man carried somone’s bones up there, he had to die so that no one would know where the bones of the ali’i was buried.

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