But the Zodiac does not bring you all the way in - you have to jump into the water and wade your way ashore. Stumbling over hidden rocks, worried about possible sharks lurking in the muddy water, and shivering with cold, you make your way toward shore, taking your place in the line of people stretching from the Zodiac to shore. The next Zodiac trip brings the first of the cargo, which is dumped into the water and passed from person to person until it reaches the shore. With luck the waves assist without drowning you, but large sets are dangerous, bringing the Zodiac too close to people in the water.
Unloading the cargo takes several trips of the Zodiac, then the last of the visitors are dropped into the water, all of you making your way to shore. You are already filthy from the red dirt floating in the nearshore waters, and you will not have a bath or shower until you return to Maui.
Once ashore, you haul the cargo to the kitchen site, a permanent structure with a canvas roof, as well as setting up your own camp site near the beach. You lay the tarp down first to protect your gear from moisture on the ground, then set up your tent. Looking back towards Maui, you notice that Haleakala takes on a profile similar to Mount Fuji from this vantage point.
Tired as the group is, you gather together to begin the hike to the research site. Led by an experienced member of the Protect Kahoolawe Ohana, you go up the barely perceptible trail, feeling the protests from your thighs at the steepness of your path.
Author: Cristina Lumpkin
Copyright by Cristina Lumpkin
Curator Lori Glaze
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All Rights Reserved.