August 24 & 25, 2023 | Leg 6, Days 17 & 18

Looking back with appreciation at our visit to Suquamish, WA. 

August 24 & 25, 2023 | Leg 6, Days 17 & 18. 
Suquamish, WA. 

Around 3pm we rounded the corner in Suquamish. Home to the “”People of Clear Salt Water”” and the tribe of Chief Seattle. As we approached closer to shore, Suquamish dugout canoes and local Hawaiian paddling clubs escorted us in. After exchanging protocol from the canoe to the beach and receiving permission to come ashore by Tribal Chairman Leonard Forsman, the crew docked Hōkūleʻa and walked onto Suquamish lands. Wearing red kihei as a sign of support for all our ʻOhana in Lāhainā, we walked up to the House of Awakened Culture for dinner. This stands as the tribal center with four beautiful carved posts in each corner, a place of gathering and community. The meal consisted of a beautiful spread of salmon and sides, but the highlight was the massive bucket of prawns and clams.

After dinner the formal program began with the Suquamish performers drumming and dancing through the hall. Their singing rang proud as 16 of their men let their drumming fill the space. Kids as young as six years old joined in with the dancing and displayed their culture for the crew. My favorite number was the happy birthday song for one of the elders sitting at the table with us. As the drummers kept beat, we all sang “”Happy Birthday to you, may all your wishes come true””, as the girls greeted her on the open floor and danced around her. It was a reminder in these big gatherings that we are all ʻOhana and to always celebrate the many occasions together. The Suquamish members described today as “”healing””, and so would I.

-Jonah Apo