About 30 million years ago a volcano was built over Hawai`i's hot spot. No one was here to see it, but there must have been quite a show when the volcano finally erupted above the ocean's surface. There would have been huge explosions of red-hot lava, clouds of seawater steam, and blobs of pumice shooting out in all directions. Wow!
Also, the wind, rain and ocean waves hit the volcano and began to break it down. Incredibly huge chunks of the volcano, the size of buildings and bigger, broke off and tumbled into the depths of the ocean. The volcano was getting smaller and smaller
But the volcano had developed a lei of coral around it. As the volcano itself got smaller and smaller, the coral lei grew larger and larger. The coral always grew enough to stay just below the ocean surface.
|This drawing of an atoll represents both Midway and Kure Atolls|
Kure Atoll is owned by the state of Hawai`i. Jason Misaki and Syd Kawahakui, Jr. work in the state's Division of Forestry and Wildlife within the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR.) Jason and Syd will spend 3 days on Kure to see for themselves that Kure is kept as natural a place as possible...that its resources are kept intact.
|satellite view of Kure Atoll|
Syd was born and raised in Waialua on O`ahu; he attended Kahuku High School, graduating from Kamehameha Schools. He earned a double major at UH, Mānoa in Hawaiian Studies and Hawaiian Language. As a young man, Syd began 10 years of volunteer service with the Protect Kaho`olawe `Ohana (PKO.) He became what is called an Access Guide, or Kua. Kua is the Hawaiian word for backbone. Just as your backbone supports your whole body, so does a Kua support PKO.
Here's a picture of Jason (left) and Syd (right.) The picture on the right shows Syd following proper Hawaiian protocol by blowing the pū (shell.) The small boat will take them to NOAA's ship, Hi`ialakai, which is outside Midway Atoll in deeper water. The ship will travel overnight, taking Jason and Syd to Kure. They will take these 3 values with them:
- aloha `aina (love of the land)
- mālama `aina (taking care of the land)
- ho`oulu `aina (re-growing the land)