Monday, January 22, 2007

'Apuakehau Stream

Before the Ala Wai canal was built in the 1920's, mauka streams draining from the ahupua'a areas of Palolo, Manoa and Makiki filled swampy land, ponds and rice fields in what we now known as Moili'ili, McCully and the Waikiki area mauka of Kalakaua Ave.

These marsh lands drained into three streams that extended makai through the Waikiki area. The stream on the east edge of Waikiki was near what is now Kapahulu Ave. This stream was called Ku'ekaunahi. The stream on the west edge of Waikiki drained into the sea where Ft. Derussy is today and was called Pi'inaio. The middle stream running dead center through Waikiki was called 'Apuakehau. 'Apuakehau entered the ocean where the Outrigger Hotel is today on Kalakaua Ave. (between the Moana Hotel and the Royal Hawaiian Hotel). Kaiualani Ave. covers the original path of 'Apuakehau stream.

The ancient and famous surfing spot called Kalehuawehe was located just outside the mouth of the stream (probably about where Canoe's surfing spot is located today). 'Apuakehau stream formed a muliwai (lagoon) just before it entered the ocean.

On the west bank of 'Apuakehau stream approximately where the Royal Hawaiian Hotel is today was the royal coconut grove at Helumoa. If you walk through the beautiful gardens of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel - some of the tall coconut trees standing there today are remnants of that grove.

The famous chief of O'ahu in the 1500's, Kakuhihewa lived at Ulukou on the east bank of 'Apuakehau stream which is now where the Moana Hotel stands.

'Apuakehau nor any of the other steams mentioned above exist anymore. At least as they once did on the surface of the land. However, we are reminded that the spirit of 'Apuakehau is not dead - it flows below ground and during heavy rains the Outrigger hotels basement parking garage reportedly often floods with water. The water originates from drains in the garage floor. This is the water of 'Apuakehau which still runs below ground under the buildings and streets that now cover Waikiki. See Down Wind Productions website for interesting facts, comments and pictures about Waikiki and 'Apuakehau stream.

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