Haleiwa, O'ahu to Ni'ihau - June 2004

200-mile environmental awareness paddle
Haleiwa, O'ahu to Ni'ihau


   This was the last paddle to connect the inhabited Hawaiian Island Chain.  The vision was to connect all islands via one-person canoe and show that we are all attached and need to come together to take care of our ocean.  This paddle represented not only a completion of the dream by Donna Kahakui to send a message to all about the need and responsibilty to care for our ocean for the next generation, but also a passing of the torch as she was accompanied by Nahina Leeloy and Vaimana Connor, canoe paddlers of the the next generation.  From start to finish this was a journey full of wonderment and appreciation.  It began with a group of women, Lei Papahi, who came together to work for a greater purpose of blessing, supporting and being a part of this environmental message and ended at an Island that marks one of our oldest living ancestors, Ni'ihau.  It is with great hope that through these environmental paddles the message has been sent to the next generation and that message being "We are all connected.  It is time to take responsibility for ourselves, our communities and our ocean. For without it, we are nothing."


  Nahina Lee Loy and Vaimana Connor represented the next generation of paddlers who joined Kai Makana's founder, Donna Kahakui to promote awareness for the need to take care of our ocean. They paddled approximately 200-miles to bring awareness to the necessity of caring for our seas, as well as raised funds to help teach Hawaii's students about the importance of clean water and clean oceans.

  The money raised is being used to fund water quality testing units that will be used by students and organizations to test the streams and oceans of various ahupua'a around our islands, as well as fund a youth environmental summer program for children participating in the PACT program at Kuhio Park Terrace.

June 2nd
Haleiwa, O'ahu to Nawiliwili, Kaua'i
Departed: 3am

Nahina & Donna

Ocean Day
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Arrived: June 2nd, 8 pm

Nawiliwili, Kaua'i to Kalihiwai, Kaua'i
Departed: June 3rd, 6 am

Arrived: June 3rd, 3pm

Kalihiwai, Kaua'i to Nualolokai
to Lehua Rock
Departed: June 4th, 6 am

Arrived: June 4th, early evening

Ni'ihau coastline to South Point of Ni'ihau
Departed: June 5th, 6 am
Arrived: June 5th, 12 pm

We welcomed all experienced paddlers to join the paddling from June 3rd through the 5th, as this venture was not about one person, or a group of people. This paddle represented every person taking a stand to make a difference for the greater good of our ocean for not only the present, but also more importantly for our future.

Anela Benson representing Lei Papahi approaching Mau, Master Navigator, and stating great appreciation for his knowledge and vision. For without him, none of us would dream to cross the channels.

Lei Papahi women standing ready to do Pekeku prior to Donna, Vaimana and Nahina's departure from Haleiwa on O'ahu to Ni'ihau.

Send off overseen by
Olohe Lakakea Suganuma.

Nahina and Donna paddling along teh Napali Coast on the island of Kaua'i.

Donna off the coast of Kaua'i
on her way to Lehua Rock
before reaching Ni'ihau.

Nahina and Donna off
the coast of O'ahu.

Nahina Leeloy resting after
50-miles of paddling.

Nualolo Kai on the Island
of Kaua'i. Kai Makana and
Lei Paphi pay respect to
a historical fishing village
only accessible during
certain months of the year.

Nahina, Donna and Vaimana were accompanied by a
group of various paddlers
who travelled from Kaua'i
to Ni'ihau.

Donna in front of an
opening in Lehua Rock.

We were fortunate to
have dolphins with us
on most of this journey.


Mahalo to the following sponsors:


Kanu Culture

* Hakipu'u Learning Center   *   Hawaiian Canoe Club   *   Hui Malama o ke Kai *

* Mr. William Browning, and his vessel Double Barrel *


Interested?? - contact us:

For inquiries or to make a contribution, please contact us at:
Kai Makana

P.O. Box 22719
Honolulu HI  96823

Kai Makana is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, established in 1997, to provide volunteer, in-kind, and financial support for marine wildlife conservation and education.