The Lonely, Friendly, Forgotten Isle

I am not just one person, inside of me there are a million Me’s and I don’t always know which one is going to come crawling forth to the surface and spit out of my mouth. 

Right now the me coming out is a wild strawberry. She is a rebel. She is sweet. She is free. And she makes your lips pucker a little with her unpredictability. After a while, people behave as though they can’t get enough of her. It seems they want to pluck the basal rosette that she came from and plant it at home. 

The wild strawberry-me, makes friends everywhere she goes. I like this me, a lot! Her head doesn’t spin around thoughts that don’t matter. She is a jester and is always creating laughter. And her world feels like a playground. With her I’m upside down on the monkey bars sticking my tongue out. Who wants to play hide and seek? 

This me, is the grooviest and she is ideal for these island hopping adventures. 

Molokai doesn’t like outsiders. A friend of a friend of mine said that someone took a shotgun to his boat while at anchorage there. 

But wild strawberry has made lots of friends on Molokai.  

We rowed onto that island needing a car. The rental company within walking distance was closed, so we decided to get a bite at this cool restaurant called Paddlers. Within 5 minutes of me chatting to the waiter we had a car. 

My mom says going out to eat with me is like eating with Sally from “When Harry Met Sally.” It’s true. I know what I want and what I don’t want and I always modify everything. I told the waiter to just think of me like a riptide. I said, “I’ll come through and shake your world up a bit. Throw you off your usual tracks. Make you swim hard a new direction. But then tomorrow you’ll be like oh that was kinda of fun.” 

Personally, I’m grateful for every riptide I’ve ever met. Riptides teach me how to stay alive and to thrive. 

This waiter said “Automatic” a lot. I think it means “for sure.” Then somewhere along the way he changed the word to automagic. That sounds dreamy right? Other phrases people in Hawaii say are “Da Kine” It means a lot of things like “whatchamacallit.” Another word is “shoots,” which means “alright” or “ok.” And then there is “rajah” which means “roger” or “copy.” Oh and instead of “how is it” you just say “howzit.” 

Hey, howzit?

Molokai is a sleepy island that has had many contradictory nicknames like, The Lonely Island, The Friendly Isle, The Forgotten Isle, etc.  

It is said that at Haleolono harbor, west of our anchorage, is where the demigod  La’ amaomao lived. He was created in the midst of chaos by his father, the Sun God.  La’ amaomao is the ruler of the winds and he used his calabash to call them forth and send them out in any direction and force he so desired. 

Anyway, we grabbed the boat supplies that we needed and I ordered the new parts that I couldn’t get on island. For example, the sail on my hydrovane ripped somewhere along our way. I taped it up real good and ordered another to be sent to Big Island. That lead to Hydrovane making me the person featured in their next Latitude 38 Advertisement and they gave me a discount on the new part! 

After taking care of ships business we drove on every road that lonely, friendly, forgotten isle has. We saw sea cliffs and pine forests and beaches with whale bones and sacred burial grounds. My favorite was The Phallic Rock. It’s a penis shaped rock on a cliff above the old leper colony. Legend has it that if a woman brings offerings and stays the night there, then she will return home pregnant. I wanted to stay the night. Instead, I briefly laid inside the curve of the penis rock, on top of pennies other women had left behind. If I wanted to get pregnant I wouldn’t leave a penny, I would leave a butterfly as my offering. 

I laid there on that rock and thought about motherhood and what would be gained and lost if I became one.  My thoughts in both directions were bonafide and I left that rock not knowing what I truly wanted. 

I guess you don’t know until you know, you know? 

The next day we did an engine check just before departing. That held us up for half a day. My shaft packing gland should drip like once a minute and it was dripping twice a second. No wonder my bilge was so full! We also had to add some coolant and flush the oil and add new oil. It was a messy extravaganza but we danced and laughed through it. Josh also baked a fresh loaf of bread to ease the engine pain. 

Around 1 pm we washed the oil off our hands and weighed anchor. We headed into the Kalohi Channel with all its man-eating waves and sea mist. 

We sailed straight towards Lanai while La’ amaomao pelted us with wind. 

And I wondered if nobody was around to hear me make a sound, would I still make one? Absolutely.

3 Replies to “The Lonely, Friendly, Forgotten Isle”

  1. So cool you got to experience the Friendly Isle “mana”… Also, Molokai is the birthplace of Hula:). I did a mule ride down into Kalapana in the mid-90s but not sure if they still allow that. Keep an eye open for those lost and floating Matson containers that fell off a barge off Hilo Bay earlier this week. Last I read some were still drifting north of the Big Island. ??

  2. So much material to work with today. After lying with the Phallic Rock, if you are pregnant would you want to birth a pet rock, or a chia child.
    And if you like Phallic Rock, maybe next April 4, if Covid 19 is under better control, you might want to attend Kanamara Matsui (The Penis Festival) in Kawasaki, Japan. But get there early, the crowds come quickly. Probably due to “automagic”!
    And I’m sure the Nipponese will love to hear an American woman doing the Sally Thing.

    On a totally different “conversation piece,” it sounds like you enjoy having millions of yous, but is that healthy for your spirit. Wouldn’t you love to be one person, the same person, for everyone? While your wild strawberry personality sounds like lots of fun, why not make it part of the “true you.” You can be anyone you want to be, but wouldn’t it be easier if you only had one “me”? Let me know.

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