Kumu Crew: Wacca Wache

April 18, 2016

Yesterday we pulled into tiny Wacca Wache Marina in South Carolina at sunset on glassy waters flanked by old growth trees dressed in Spanish moss. With the realization of a fixed dock we prepared for night watch to fix the lines with the changing tides. My watch goes 2 – 6 (a.m. and p.m.) so it meant a really early start to my day today! When my alarm went off at 2 a.m. and I climbed out my birth (starboard 3), it felt like 40 degrees and did not feel any warmer at 4 a.m., so it was a COLD morning wearing as many layers as possible!

Although cold, it was an incredible scene with fog floating above the glassy water and some creatures in the woods screeching or howling through the night. It could have felt like the scene of a horror movie but I actually felt safe and secure with my watch crewmates and Mama Hokule‘a.

After breakfast I went back to bed and woke up around 11:30 a.m. to about 80 degree weather! It was a beautiful, beautiful and productive day! We continued working on repairs from our wild entry to Charleston by prepping our lumber to fix the catwalk. We also continued to enjoy the northern portion of South Carolina's portion of the ICW – the most beautiful scenery we have seen since departing Titusville.

Traveling up South Carolina's intracoastal waterway sometimes feels as if I am transported to another reality – one in textbooks or storybooks. For the most part the ICW shows few signs of humans (little to no people or rubbish other than the occasional shipwreck). We stare into the thick, old-looking forests coming right into the water with Spanish moss hanging from the branches and enjoy spotting the osprey nests sitting atop the dead trees, but for much of the time my mind wanders to my own stories playing out along the banks or beyond the thick marshlands. I imagine Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn sitting on the bank of one of these many creeks, or think of the soldiers fighting off the "enemy" from Fort Sumter, or picture the huge homes connecting to vast plantations and the slaves that once were forced to work them.

Occasionally my imagination stops as we wave to a couple older men wearing overalls and fishing with a confused look and give a soft wave as we go by. One person even said in a thick southern accent, "What kinda pontoon is that?!" What probably surprises us the most is when we hear an "Aloha!" coming from an individual or family standing at the end of a long dock seeming to be in the middle of nowhere.

It is amazing to think of the people that Hokule‘a has touched, taught and inspired. It is also powerful though to think of the people of this place who have touched, taught and inspired our crew: from the children at the CREECS charter school who have goats, chickens and bees at their school, to those from NOAA and Surfers Healing who hosted us for dinner, or those who brought us sweatshirts, hydroflasks and soup at night and donuts at sunrise, or made peace flags at James Island Outdoor Festival, or talked about their own journey to aloha aina, malama honua, or aloha kekahi i kekahi. The mo'olelo continues as we travel north along the ICW.

Mahalo for following!