Koa Logs Arriving at Kaunakakai Harbor for Molokai koa canoe

Coffees of Hawaii has partnered with the Molokai Canoe Racing Association (MCRA) to bring Molokai its first koa outrigger canoe. There will be a formal welcoming at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 5 at the Young Brothers Facility in Kaunakakai Harbor.

The logs were generously donated by the Umikoa Ranch on the Big Island of Hawaii and John Kekua assisted with the cutting and hauling from the ranch to Hilo Harbor. The logs were shipped courtesy of Young Brothers, Ltd., and will be hauled to their new carving site at Coffees of Hawaii in Kualapu’u by Makoa Trucking and Services. The planning and coordination between the MCRA board members, Coffees of Hawaii and the Umikoa Ranch management began in January 2005.

It’s been the desire of Dan Kuhn, General Manager of Coffees of Hawaii to adopt one Molokai community organization that would truly benefit and develop into an educational and traditional Hawaiian project. Coffees of Hawaii agreed to pay for the cutting and hauling on the Big Island and provide a covered warehouse for the logs to dry under at their Kualapu’u, base yard on Moloka’i. Once the logs are dried, a hull design and master canoe carver will be chosen by the Molokai Canoe Racing Association. The owners of Coffees of Hawaii are thrilled and they’ve agreed to build a traditional canoe hale at the Plantation for the canoe to be housed in while it is being carved. “Working with the community on such a traditional project is an honor, and it is our intent to provide a venue for young men and women of canoe paddling on Molokai to learn the art of canoe building” said Dan Kuhn.

The event happening on Tuesday, December 5th is like no other for generations of Molokai people, especially the young. The accumulated years of growth of the Koa trees, nestled in the forest proximity of Hawaii's active volcano, speaks of old Hawaii thru the majestic rings of its trunk. It took well over 90 years for these two koa trees to mature to their fullest. As the leaves fell off, in its cycle of life, the tree celebrated it’s journey to Molokai, and will now be caressed by many hands, smoothed, molded and shaped for future Molokai’s Keiki's to paddle across Hawaiian waters, as their ancestors once did. The people of Molokai are eager for the day when the canoe meets the water, boldly and proudly connecting to the past. A community project such as this is truly exciting and deserves proper filming and documentation, so Coffees of Hawaii has retained Molokai born and raised Film Director and Editor Matt Yamashita of Quazifilms to cover this story. Documentation has already begun with the planning and cutting phases and each phase will be filmed until the canoe launches in the water for its inaugural event sometime in 2008.


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