When Kimokeo Kapahulehua, Board President of the Hui O Wa'a Kaulua, started our reef cleanup with an oli (chant) on the bow of Trilogy Elua, all in attendance knew that this was going to be a special day.
Before the sail even started, however, a dedicated troupe of 35 ocean stewards gathered along Ka'anapali Beach in front of Hula Grill to spend 30 minutes cleaning the beach. 45 minutes later, with multiple trash bags and an assortment of debris cleaned from the beach, Blue'Aina volunteers boarded Trilogy Elua and set sail for Mala Wharf.
Not only is Mala Wharf one of the best reefs in Lahaina, but it holds special importance as the site of the December 21st launch of Mo'okiha o Pi'ilani, a 62 ft. transoceanic double-hulled voyaging canoe that the Hui O Wa'a Kaulua has spent decades making seaworthy. This is the first time in generations that a canoe of this magnitude will be launched on Maui, and the canoe will act as a floating classroom used to educate island students on the arts and skills of Polynesian wayfaring.
Image courtesy of @huiowaa on Instagram
Before the launch can take place, however, the canoe Hui still needs to raise the last bits of funds needed to make the dream a reality, and as part of the ongoing Trilogy Blue'Aina Campaign, Trilogy was proud to partner with Hula Grill restaurant to help raise $1,000 towards the launch of the canoe. As part of their Legacy of Aloha Program, Hula Grill generously put forth the $1,000 raised from their Chef's Tasting Menu, and Trilogy offered the use of their boat and crew to host a day on the water of environmental awareness.
With the mooring secure at Mala Wharf, the cleanup crew spent the next two hours scouring the reef for fishing line and debris. One of the larger items hauled on board was this tire that was sitting on the bottom.
In addition to the large tire, volunteers also brought aboard plastic bottles, glass bottles, assorted pieces of metal, sunken pieces of cloth, cigarette butts and large amount of fishing line and fishing weights. Notice the fishing weight dangling from this live coral head below.
After a delicious lunch which was donated by Hula Grill, we deployed the manta trawl behind the boat and spent 30 minutes slowly motoring the waters off of Mala Wharf. As part of an ongoing partnership with Algalita Marine Research Institute, Trilogy is collecting samples that are sent to California as part of the first-ever study on Maui's nearshore microplastics. After 30 minutes, when we pulled the trawl back on the boat and looked at the contents of the filter, the results were definitely a little concerning. In addition to small pieces of plastic and a fair amount of organic matter, there was also a clear, gelatinous substance that looked somewhere between see-through Jell-O and transparent bacon grease. The sample will be sent for testing to Algalita, and we are definitely looking forward to the results.
A big mahalo to Hula Grill for sponsoring this successful Blue'Aina, and Trilogy is proud to have been a part of the the efforts toward raising funds for the Hui O Wa'a Kaulua. Our next Blue'Aina sail is Sunday, October 6th out of Ma'alaea Harbor, with the following sail being October 20th out of Lahaina Harbor. We look forward to seeing you all on the water, and we appreciate your continued support in protecting our island and ocean!