The Wreck of the Dixie Maru

Community Contributed

By Arleone Dibben-Young

The fishing sampan, a wooden Chinese boat, Dixie Maru was built in Honolulu in 1916 by Harold L. Morris, a wealthy tourist from Denver, Colorado. A few months later, on the night of April 26, the boat ‘sprung a leak in the heavy sea’ off Molokai’s west end. The crew of two – Jack Kailianu and another Hawaiian named Makuka – attempted to steer the flat-bottomed boat through the breaking surf into the safety of a small bay, but it struck the rocks.

The two men swam to the sandy crescent beach and then walked the dusty horse trail to Kaunakakai where they were given food and clothing. The boat was a total loss and the site is remembered nearly a century later as Dixie Maru…Kapukahehu Beach.


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