The strong winds and heavy rains of Hawaii seemed endless during the winter of 2011. Day after day, we were constantly at the mercy of the weather. Eventually it felt as if one could only dream to once again feel the warm gentle kiss of sunlight. But one morning, the winds stopped blowing. The rains ceased altogether and the sun began to paint the sky. My brother Sa’o and I decided to seize the day and embark on a fishing trip to Mahukona Beach Park. It was on this day that Mahukona became a very special place in my heart.[Thesis]
“We go!” my brother suggested with great eagerness in his voice.
“Today’s the Day!” I said, just as excited as he.
Together we rounded up our gear, grabbed bait from the freezer and set off to try our luck. The sun was shining brighter than ever. A mix of excitement and adrenaline filled my body with a high rush of energy. I was ecstatic to finally venture outside, breathe the clean fresh air and become one again with my homeland.
After weeks of wind and rain, the feel, sight and touch of sunshine seemed almost surreal. Arriving at Mahukona, we quickly climbed down the rocky shoreline to our favorite spot. A rainbow in the distance, off the coast of Maui, shone bright, adding to the beautifully painted scenery that surrounded us. “Mahalo ke Akua” I whispered to my surroundings, in awe of it’s breathtaking beauty.
Without hesitation, we baited our hook and cast it out into the great big blue. Seconds passed, then minutes, then hours. Not a single bite! Time and time again we would change our bait size. Maybe there were smaller fish around and not bigger fish. We even changed our fishing applications to increase our chances. Nothing. For a moment, I thought maybe even the fish didn’t know how to act now that the sun was out. Then I thought, Nah! That’s crazy talk. After all, they lived there. It’s not like when the weather goes bad they have a time-share on the other side of the island right? Do they? The world may never know.
“Now!” my brother screamed. His frustration from our long morning of fishing with not one catch had finally caught up to him. We shared a laugh imagining how easy it would be to fish if you could just tell them where to go or what to do. Excuse me Mr. Fish, could you please let my hook grab you by the mouth so I can introduce you to my new frying pan? yeah right! That’ll probably happen when pigs start flying.
We couldn’t have been more wrong. At that very moment, out of nowhere, our fishing pole screamed to life. Our humorously imagined scenario suddenly became a reality. The reel started spinning out of control while the pole bent at maximum capacity, as if bowing to the ocean. My eyes were in disbelief of the events taking place. I froze completely. My brother, determined to meet our new friend, reached for the pole. He began to reel. Hard. With every pull we began to see a shadow just below the surface. I jumped down to grab hold of the line. With one swift motion I grabbed the line and lifted our catch of the day out of the water.
It was a beautiful sight to see. Its bright gray scales shined in the sunlight with crimson red dorsal fins and big eyes. Water splashed every which way as it’s body jumped and twisted trying to break free of my grip. The spines on it’s back stood at full attention ready to strike. We had him! I gently placed him on the rocks near our belongings and started to examine. My brother and I both instantly knew what type of fish we were blessed with. He was called a Big-Eye Emperor fish. Native Hawaiians named them Mu. That day we named him “Uncle Mu.”
My brother and I shared a hug and laughed as we recapped the events of that morning. We stared in amazement at our gift that the ocean provided us. Within the game of fishing one should always remember to expect the unexpected. But on this day we were most definitely caught off guard. What started off as a typical fishing journey at the water’s edge turned into one of the most memorable moments between my brother and I.
Now, whenever we embark on fishing trips we shout out, “Now!” every once in a while to rekindle that moment we once shared as brothers at Mahukona. Each and every time it makes me laugh. It was on this day that Mahukona became a special place in my heart.[thesis] Mahalo Uncle Mu! Mahalo nui loa.