When we were in the Big Island in December of 2017, we were lucky to be one of the few guests who were able to participate in a sunrise outrigger canoe experience. There were only 3 guests in the canoe along with Josiah, our leader and guide.
This was a unique and spiritual experience where we really were able to understand the love and passion the Hawaiian people have for their islands and the sea. Josiah, at the Fairmont Orchid, is part of the beach team and he took us for this very early morning tour. We had to be there at 5:45am – so in order for me to get up that early, it had to be good- and it was!
Please ignore Mr My Vacation Lady’s arm in the way of my video for a good part of the time but each of us was trying to capture our experience.
In an effort to explain this experience better, Josiah sent some info to his cousin, my friend who arranged this for us, and she added some to it as well.
He starts by explaining the importance of Kalahuipua’a which is the only place on the Island of Hawai’i where you can see the 4 mountains. Kohala, Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa and Hualalai. We can also see Haleakala in Maui. Which is significant because with one glance you can see all 5 mountains.During his talk with you he talked about his passion, The Ocean. It’s a place where you can find peace and cleanse. You can cleanse your mind, body and soul. It’s a place where you can find quiet, tranquility without distractions. Josiah is an absolute Ocean Man, he loves surfing, fishing and just being near the ocean. He takes his family there frequently.At the Sunrise, he blows the pu kani (conch shell) and chants ‘E ala e. E ala e is a chant used to greet the sun/day, a proactive way of starting your day. Setting our goals and intentions. So if we say today will be a positive, productive day- then there’s no question about it!He then passes around the Tī leaves so that everyone in the canoe can put there māna (spiritual power) into to the leaves before setting it in the ocean. Symbolizing letting-go of yesterday and starting anew. One last blow of the Pū lifts our mana up and out into the universe and brings our sunrise ceremony to a close.E ala eE ala e, ka lā i ka hikina,Awaken/Arise, the sun in the east,I ka moana, ka moana hohonu,From the ocean, the deep ocean,Pi‘i ka lewa, ka lewa nu‘u,Climbing to heaven, the highest heaven,I ka hikina, aia ka lā, e ala e!In the east, there is the sun, arise!