PUHI — “Eeeugh!”
The shrill, high-pitched scream from a little girl pierced the quiet morning air at the Regency at Puakea retirement and assisted living facility.
“Get it off! It’s moving!” the girl shrieked as she spied a cockroach hanging precariously from the ama of a canoe settled in a rain gutter representing the ocean. “Eeeeu!”
A boy egged the cockroach toward a more secure area of the canoe.
“It’s a canoe traveler,” he said.
The group of youngsters mingled with kupuna from the Regency for a recent demonstration of how energy is transmitted through water. Steve Soltysik led the lesson which created a wave that traveled along the length of the rain gutter, bobbing the flotilla of sailing canoes created by the youngsters and resident kupuna.
“The kupuna from the Regency at Puakea and Alu Like came forward to help make sails for the canoes,” said Anna Baudouin, a member of the Leadership Kauai class that included Kent Yamauchi, George Evanoff, Makani Taniguchi, Chelsea Crapser and Gracie Grace.
“Steve needed sails to take to Oahu for the big celebration welcoming home the Hokulea following its four-year Malama Honua world wide voyage,” Baudouin said. “The kupuna stepped up to make the sails for Steve, and we wanted to connect the kupuna and keiki, having them help each other build canoes and learn about canoes, sailing and the ocean. We wanted the kupuna to share in the excitement generated by Hokulea during this sail project.”
Crapser said the group is planning to do a similar canoe build with the Alu Like kupuna, who also created sails for Soltysik.
Jessie Hirano watched as Pam Arroyo, manager for the Regency at Puakea, presented a tray overflowing with sails similar to the ones being used to create the canoes.
“We had fun making the sails,” said Jessie Hirano, a Regency resident. “Now, we’re going to see if it works.”
Using a large fold-out map, Soltysik offered his audience a short guide on navigating using the stars.
“If you know from where the sun rises, and the North Star, you’ll never get lost,” he said while watching his mixed audience place their canoes on the imaginary ocean.
Anika Evanoff was selected as the captain for the outing, helping Soltysik present Regency resident James Kimokeo with a Hokulea replica created by inmates of the Kauai Community Correctional Center.
“James was one of the early crew aboard Hokulea,” Soltysik said while listening to Kimokeo’s memories about sailing aboard the replica. “He sailed aboard Hokulea on one of the early trips to the Mainland.”
Char Ravelo, director for Leadership Kauai, said the canoe project was just one being done by members of the 13th graduating class, celebrating commencement in June.
Other projects undertaken by students in the Leadership Kauai class include a career pathway project with students from Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School. Waimea High School students are involved in a corn to Chrome books project.