"FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND" 

By Thomas Takao

EPISODE 4

A Look Back

 

Sailing along with open ocean all around, Leo and Flo went about their daily routine of on and off watches, reading and studying subject matters that are of interest. Florencia has been on watch for a couple of hours and maintaining the course with a minor sail trim and looking at the speed they are traveling, direction of the wind and looking up the satellite weather reports. Leo is in touch with Vector who is informing him of what is happening currently and what he is planning to do.

 

“Flying over to New Zealand today in 2 hour or so. The boys can hardly wait for their boards to be glassed. Artemesia and Velidia are working on a clothing line for after the economic reset. That reminds me, I have been selling my stocks and bonds and getting more precious metals and crypto’s” Vector said through his custom VPN (virtual private network) line that Outaforium had setup for him.

 

“Vector, there has been a change of plans regarding the sail over to Hawaii. Can you pick us and the catamaran up and take us to Fiji with you today. I happened look pass 2020 and saw some interesting developments in 2021 and want to get more done at our island before the global lockdown” said Leonardo going over his notes. “Sure, I have a few things to get done here and will be by in 2 hours” replied Vector. “All right, see you then” said Leo hanging up his phone and going over to the helm.

“Flo, Vector will be stopping by in a couple of hours and picking us and the catamaran up” said Leonardo. “Did you tell him why” asked Florencia. “ Yes, well most of the things at the ranch in New Zealand though I didn't mentioned   making a materials list for the construction at the island in Fiji. I have 3 optional wireframe models made and want to take pictures and place them into the location and get a better idea of how it will look like” explained Leonardo looking out to the horizon. Florencia was looking at the telltales of the mainsail and slightly adjusted the steering wheel when she asked “When we were having dinner at Vector’s house last month we talked about how we met. What was it like before we met. Since we have time” she asked.

 

“Ok, the seabreeze has got me in the mood of recalling what had happen before we met and how it changed my life” said Leonardo sitting back on the helm’s seat and was thinking back. He continued "I might have told you when he told me.“ "You did, but I love their story, though sweet and sad, please go on" said Florencia. "Yes, what happened before my journey that I went on was mentioned by Kai’ike after we met him for the first time" said Leonardo looking at Florencia then westward as the bows cut through the mid morning seas as he began the story.


The morning lights filters through the Koa forest on an island in the Pacific Ocean. Where he the Kahuna Pa’pa he’e nalu (Priest of Surfboards) and ten of his villagers were at the base of a Koa Tree. Kai’ike was making a ceremonial offering of a few red fishes, some coconuts, and kava roots before cutting the tree down.

Kai’ike starts his chant to Kane and the other gods. “We humbly remove this Koa tree so it can ride the waves and nourish the souls of those who stand upon it and to be free of those things on land while traveling across time and space. To return once again to shore, fulfilling the enchantment of being in balance with nature” said Kai’ike.

After the ritual, the men began cutting down the tree systematically with their Ko’i ‘awilli adze. The sun was overhead and the sweat started to develop on the men’s foreheads and arms. It would take a few hours before the loud cracking sound of the tree breaking from the base could be heard. The men hurried from their position in the opposite direction of the falling tree.

With the trunk on the ground, Kepoa who was overseeing the crew walked with Kai’ike as they discussed where the wedges would be placed. “I think we can get four planks from this one” said Kai’ike. “Yes, where should we place the wedges at” asked Kepoa. “Start here” said Kai’ike pointing at the outer edge of the trunk. “Then here, then here and here” said Kai’ike chipping a line on the trunk with his adze. Kepoa got two men at one end of the trunk and two in the middle. The others were cutting off the branches and placing them into a pile. Using the twine to stretch a straight line. Kepoa used his adze point and made a line following the twine. The men chipped along the lines and were ready to put the wedges in place and pound them into the trunk.

Kai’ike walked around to oversee, he turns to his lead man who was instructing two of his men that were placing branches into a pile. “Kepoa, have Noka and Maoa picked up the branches and help the others until the planks are split. Then have them drill a hole at the end of the piece using the Nao wili. Then place the twine that we brought through the holes. It will be use to pull the planks down the hill” said Kai’ike.

Kai’ike was a unique Kahuna who could see into the future and a vision came to him. Kai’ike steps away to finds a stump to sit on. He is visualizing an event that is happening in real time of someone he knows. After sitting there for a while he returns and give instructions of what he wants done “after you are through take the pieces to my surfboard hut near the beach. Place one of them on the two stone stands in the middle of the hut. 

Noticeably disturbed about something Kai’ike tells his crew that he is going to the lookout point at Ho’ukahi (solitude) cliff that oversees the ocean and the village of Malu which is a few miles away. After walking to the lookout point Kai’ike is gazing towards the east out onto the ocean as a White Tern flies by. Kai’ike closes his eyes and contemplates his special gift of visualizing other places and people within his current time and people and events into the future.

His father had this special gift also and was able to see thing that others did not. An another White Tern flies around and the thought of his father guides by. Kai’ike take a deep breath and exhale as he spoke out load to release the sorrow within him and said “Oh father, two of our friends has left us and it is with sorrow that I once again call out to you to say they are coming to be with those who went before them. Even though they were here for a short while they shared their moments that will last a life time in the minds and heart of those who knew them” as his words became silent he thought to himself.

 It was 9 months ago when Kai’ike had met the haole on a visit to see the Ali’i of the village of Lokahi. The Ali’i was interested in Kai’ike surfboards and after bartering an outrigger canoe for four of his surfboards Kai’ike and the Ali’I touched their foreheads and sealed the deal. After the ceremony Kai’ike left the Ali’I hale (house) and came across the haole who was writing something down in his diary under a coconut palm tree. Kai’ike was curious and looked at his writing. The haole sensed that Kai’ike had special powers and felt the aura of mental telepathy. The same mental telepathy that Alohi Hoku used when he and his crew had rescued him from the ocean. 

The haole looked at Kai’ike and spoke through the language of mental telepathy. He introduces himself by thinking Vincenzo and placed his hand on his chest then with the same hand pointed at Kai’ike. who spoke without saying a word and replied Kai’ike to him. Vincenzo at this point began explaining when he first boarded the ship that would have a date with a hurricane on his voyage from Manila to Acapulco. Vincenzo was a busy man with many connections in Asia and Southeast Asia. But all that would come to an abrupt halt as a hurricane developed off the waters of Central Americas and was heading westward towards them. 

The storm hit at night and began the ultimate chaos on the Spanish ship. With her masts broken and her sails torn and tattered the Captain was giving orders left and right. The ship was taking on water and the crew was scrambling around. Vincenzo decided to have his luggage trunk near him if the ship should sink. Those trunk were specially made for him by a craftsman who made them air tight for all of his writing instruments, his contracts, his diaries, maps and sheets to write with and to make maps. The luggage trunk were well thought out. 
 
The other trunk was of the same construction and had clothing and a few other items including gold and silver coins. He went into his stateroom and dragged them to the main deck. A sailor with a knife was cutting a piece of rope to lash the helm with when Vincenzo asked for a piece of rope to tie his luggage trunks together with.  The sailor was in a hurry, but knew Vincenzo who had done him a favor on this voyage so he obliged. The sailor cut a piece for Vincenzo and then cut a piece for himself and hurried back up to the helm to lash down the steering wheel.
 
Still on the same wavelength Kai’ike nods his head up and down indicating that he understood what Vincenzo was conveying. Vincenzo continued, after tying the two chest together a big wave came crashing onto the deck and Vincenzo and his luggage containers were swept overboard. Coming back up for air Vincenzo spotted his luggage trunks and swam toward them. After getting a hold of the rope that held the two containers together Vincenzo started to drift away. Bobbing up and down in the stormy seas some distance from the ship, he notices that the ship was sinking and before long it had disappeared from sight. By morning the storm had passed and the seas were back to normal.
 
Being the only survivor he wondered of his fate as he drifted in the waters of the tropical longitude clinging onto his luggage and drinking rainwater from a few squalls that would appear after the storm. A week would pass and his mental state of mind was weary and entering a sense of lost hope. His sunburned hands and face were starting to peel, his lower body felt shriveled for being in the water so long. He thinks that his vision is playing trick on him when he sees a sail on the horizon. 

As it got closer the sail was part of a large double hull canoe that is coming towards him. As it got closer he noticed they were dark skinned men who spoke in a language that he did not understand. A line is tossed and Vincenzo grabs it. After being rescued and sitting on deck, a man came up to him and through mental telepathy says he is Alohi Hoku the Navigator of  Eheu O Apopo (Wings of Tomorrow) the boat that they are on. He would describe his dream from the night before of rescuing a man from the sea.  

After floating around for a week in the ocean Vincenzo wasn’t sure what was happening to him as Alohi Hoku said it was an omen as Vincenzo listened in silence as the Navigator went on about how he would meet someone and that they would be together for the rest of their lives. And his vision would be given to a stranger many years from the time he and his love one would leave the island, after the explanation Vincenzo fell asleep. In his dream they had sailed for three days and two nights and Alohi Hoku would look at the stars at night and tells the helmsman where to steer. 

After awakening from his dream they had reach an island at the break of dawn. The double hull canoe’s bows settled on a beach near the village of Lokahi. Vincenzo and his luggage were drop off onto the sand when the Navigator looking down on him from the deck of the boat said “I am going to another island over the horizon” with that being his final words he waved and said “Aloha”.  His crew pushed off from the beach and they sailed off towards the horizon.
 
Vincenzo was checking his trunk and it wasn’t more than a few minutes before turned to see where Eheu O Apopo was, but only to see that they had vanished. A woman who had been walking along the beach came towards him and greeted the stranger by placing her hand on her chest and said “Nani Pua”. He stood there for a moment before returning the gesture by saying “Vincenzo” and looked into her eyes and felt as if time stood still and that this was the person Alohi Hoku had mentioned.

Nani Pua smiled and pointed toward the village and gestured she would help him with his trunks by pointing to herself then to one end trunk, she pointed at Vincenzo to go to the other end of the trunk. He got the hint and followed her instructions and did what she wanted. She would take him to her hale that was on the outskirt of the village and go back for the other trunk. She made him feel at home.
 
That is how he arrived here and who he is with is what Vincenzo indicated to Kai’ike. Kai’ike tells Vincenzo “ Alohi Hoku the Navigator is a legendary figure who discovered these islands a long, long, long time ago .” Vincenzo by this time knew that something mystical was happening to him and had accepted it, though he still wasn't quite sure why.

But all the hustling around in his previous life didn’t matter that much now in his new surroundings. Doing things in leisure with someone special and who is confident and passionate in what she does, understanding who she is and has the grace and elegance in her own special way he explained to Kai’ike. 

After listening to Vincenzo description of his woman, Kai’ike is thinking of his wife said to himself welcome to the ahahui (club). Then explained to him that he made surfboards and went surfing whenever he could, stopping the conversation there for needing to be on his way. Kai’ike indicated that he was going home and pointed east to his village on the other side of the island. Describing that it was greener on that side because the two large mountains would capture the clouds and it rained there more.

Down by the beach his crew is watching him talking to the haole. They are patiently waiting for him to return and have his double hull canoe ready to go. Kai’ike had brought a few extra men to bring back the outrigger canoe and they would follow him back to the village in it. Kai'ike raised his hand and said "Aloha" and started walking back to his boat. Vincenzo sensing he had just met a powerful person got up in a respectful posture and said "Aloha Kai ike, till we meet again".
 
Kai’ike would visualize Vincenzo stay since that time and see him and Nani Pua doing things a couple would do. Since he met Nani Pua, Vincenzo was a different person than before. They would learn from each other and she would become his translator and he her teacher. They would take daily excursions up to the mountainside and view the coastline. Vincenzo made her laugh with his expressions and joking around.

During the late afternoon they would take long walks along the beach to crystal clear lagoons for a swim and dive below the coral reefs. She would teach him surfing and he would catch on fast. They would go surf when there were waves and lie on the beach and pass the time away. With each day Nani Pua had the look of a woman in love and she never wanted it to end.

By this time Vincenzo was well like by the villager, the elders and the Ali’i. He was able to talk to them and become accustom to their culture. Vincenzo and Nani Pua were married six months later. He wanted to go see Kai’ike and visit his village. So the following week Vincenzo had the use of a fishing boat and it was ready for the trip to the other side of the island. They had enough provisions and water to get there plus they would be fishing and stopping in bays along the way. With a steady breeze Vincenzo and Nani Pua left the village and headed south to Ka Lae (the Point).
 
It was near noon and they were rounding Ka Lae and heading east. Nani Pua mentioned there were a few bays that they could stop at later that day. She suggested throwing a line out with bait to catch a fish for dinner. So he placed the bait on a hook that was connected to a line coiled in a circle near the front of the canoe. He tossed the bait overboard and watched it float and start to drift away. It wasn’t long before a 10 lbs. Aku took the bait and the line was uncoiling fast.
 
Rushing over to the line Vincenzo grab the line and began feeling a burning sensation on his hands. He let go and looked at his hands and they were bleeding. Thinking fast he grab two pieces of Kapa cloth from a palm frond basket nearby and placed them on his hands. He then squeezes the line until the line stop going out, then began hauling in the fish. Nani Pua calls out to him and says “be careful around the line”. Still excited and hauling in the fish he turns to Nani Pua and says “yes I will my love".

All of a sudden a huge 2000 lbs. Black Marlin head appeared out of the water. The line with the Aku goes limp. Then Vincenzo’s eyes widen and his mouth opened in disbelief at the size of the fish as it came out of the water. It had the Aku in it’s mouth and was looking at the canoe when the huge fish rolled over onto its side. A big splash occurred as it reentered the water and sent a shock wave that would rock the canoe. Stunned and off balance Vincenzo lets go of the line and looked down at his feet. The line was uncoiling fast and was wrapping around his leg and ankle. He grabs his knife, but it was too late. His foot was jerked up from under him and he was dragged overboard.
 
He took a big gasp of air as he entered the water, while Nani Pua seeing what had just happened grabs a knife and dives in after him. The water is clear and she can see him going deeper as the marlin takes a turn. She continues to swim after him, her mind is filled with memories of Vincenzo as she continues to swim deeper. Her love for him is captured by the rapture of the deep. The line that holds him has tangled on the reef some 150 feet below the surface and the marlin is free of him and the Aku. Vincenzo is helplessly at the end of his line. Nani Pua has caught up to him and both look at each other as she embraces him, with their last breath they kiss and close their eyes.
 
The canoe with the diaries drifts away with the current into the afternoon glare of the vast open ocean. The image of Vincenzo and Nani Pua fade from Kai’ike thoughts. Looking down at waves in the bay from the cliff Kai’ike is thinking about the meaning of the diaries and how it will change the destiny of surfing on the islands.
 
The onshore breeze is swaying the coconut palm fronds as Hokuao who knew where to find Kai’ike appears from the vegetation and says “You have found peace in what was disturbing you”. He turns and smiles and without saying a word he put his arm on her shoulders and starts walking back down the path. Breaking his silence Kai’ike says “I had this vision of Vincenzo the haole whom I met on the other side of the island a while back, today he and Nani Pua his love has left us and they are together forever” turning to the ocean and pausing for a moment. 
 
Continuing his train of thought “I also had a vision after that of a father and a son crossing a bridge just before you came” said Kai’ike. “Yes I remember you telling me about Vincenzo, but who are these people crossing the bridge” she asked “They are from a land far away and a few years from now” replied Kai’ike and he continued “It has something to do with the diaries that Vincenzo had written”.

Pausing for a moment and looking at the solent sail luffing, Leonardo continued “That is what I learned from him after we met. Then came the day my father presented that diary to someone who would start me on the journey of meeting you. I hear my phone ringing, Vector is close by. I will continue with the story of how I met you at another time.”

      COPYRIGHT 2020 Thomas Takao