Precious Cargo

Every issue of Maui Nō Ka ‘Oi spends its first week traveling the Pacific. We went along for the journey.

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Day 5: Sunday

Sunday is everybody’s favorite day aboard the Jean Anne. While the deckhands practice tossing beanbags in advance of the tournament, I help Garayua prepare a bewildering spread for the barbecue: bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers, sausages, ribs, chicken wings, salmon, fresh oysters, potato salad, corn on the cob, and watermelon. Garayua insists that everyone wear aloha wear. The snappily dressed crew feasts, then rallies for the cornhole tournament. The sailors hoot and holler as each person takes turns tossing beanbags. I am delighted to sink a single bag. Everyone else is delighted when the reigning champ loses to an underdog.

Day 6: Monday

Land ho! The faint outlines of Moloka‘i and O‘ahu appear on the horizon. By late afternoon, we pass Diamond Head. Seeing the Waikīkī landmark from this vantage is thrilling. A harbor pilot jumps aboard and steers us safely to our berth at Pier 1. He will stay with the ship for each of the Hawai‘i ports: Honolulu, Kahului, and Hilo. Once we dock, every sailor who isn’t on watch sets out on foot to explore Honolulu. Garayua grabs his grocery bags and heads to his favorite local markets to restock his larder.

Day 7: Tuesday

After working into the wee hours unloading cargo destined for O‘ahu, the stevedores refill the hull with vehicles returning to California. I wander around the pier, feeling melancholy that my time aboard the Jean Anne is already coming to an end—just one more night at sea before we reach Maui.

Day 8: Wednesday

I wake to see the dark shadow of Moloka‘i passing by my porthole. The sea is bathtub calm as we glide past the West Maui Mountains into Kahului Harbor. As soon as the docklines are fast, the stevedores get busy shifting cargo onto the dock—Maui Nō Ka ‘Oi magazines included. I pack my bag and wish my new friends a safe journey back to San Diego.

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