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Mission Blog: August 31, 2009
Beautiful Underwater Scenery, Magnificent Islands

Anan Raymond, Archaeologist

Kekuewa and I are back on ship after 18 days on Mokumanamana. Our visit to this seemingly desolate but wildly alive island was surreal. The repetition of our days lulled us into a different zone.

Waking with the sunrise, bedding down at dark, we quickly fell into a rhythm of work documenting the numerous heiau on the island. We constantly marveled at the power of the Mokumanamana world: incessant wind, crashing waves, and thousands of ewa, noio, and boobies - crying, calling, swooping, and soaring. There is an egg in every little nook or crease in the rocks.

Archaeologist Kekuewa Kikiloi taking field notes at a small valley on Nihoa.

Archaeologist Anan Raymond taking gps points at site 20 at Mokumanamana. (Photo credit: Kekuewa Kikiloi/NOAA)

We return with new information and greater respect for the fortitude of the early Hawaiians who accessed the power of Mokumanamana and enhanced it with their presence. It is a great privilege, and a mind bender to work in the alternate reality that is Mokumanamana - for 18 days! Among the many lessons: If you want to re-engage with the modern work-a-day world, don't forget your computer password! My laptop won't turn on. I forgot my convoluted 12 character cryptic phrase. I can't shake the spell.


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