Sailing without need of a compass, 1928.


Mr. Jonah Kumalae,
Editor of the Alakai o Hawaii,

Aloha nui oe:

Please allow me some open room in your precious.

Miss Laenihi, the youth of Puna lives on Hawaii. Her favorite activity which she always does is sailing on the ocean on her canoe to fish, and surfing after returning from fishing.

The ocean is a place that the youth and her seafaring companions find happiness in, and so too did the multitudes of the uplands enjoy watching them ride the surf. One day the Youth of Puna decided to visit Waialua, Oahu. She constantly watched the clouds in the sky and the starts at night, and when she saw that the signs were right, she fetched her canoe and  placed it in the sea, hauled up the sails and the wind performed its work, and she steered straight; a night went by on the ocean and the people of Waialua saw her canoe sailing, and when she reached outside of Kaimu, which is a land between Kawailoa and Waimea, Oahu, Ms. Kapua [Kapua wahine] saw a canoe being tossed by the big waves of the ocean. Yet the canoe did not suffer damages, but on just a tiny wave, that canoe flipped over and the youth of Puna floated in the sea.

Kapua wahine reported it to the people in the upland, being that she was the only one at shore stringing lei, for stringing lei on the sandy shore is something she regularly does every morning.

When Kama heard about this, he quickly got his/her favorite surfboard and swam out where Laenihi swam while pulling her canoe and Kama helped her and the two came to shore. In no time the news spread to the people of the place and it filled with people. Two women placed lei on the neck of Laenihi and sang happy mele, and after that, the traveller  went to the home of Kama, the one who saved her.

That expert was asked is she had a compass when she sailed the ocean. She denied this saying, “the stars at night and the clouds in the sky in the day, those are my compass and my guide on the ocean.

She is not the only person that just sails the ocean without using a compass, but that is how Hawaiians sailed from one island to another in the days of old to these years past.

[They say “Aohe ui hele wale o Kohala.” But this ui of Puna showed that she was just as ready! How about the ui of your aina?]

(Alakai o Hawaii, 5/31/1928, p. 3)


Ke Alakai o Hawaii, Buke 1, Helu 5, Aoao 3. Mei 31, 1928.

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