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Many of the di spl ays are hands-on ex periences and others use inte rac ti ve compute rs to illustrate the sto ry. Severa l yea rs ago we installed an a udi o-tape tour. Because most peop le sto p the tape to read at least some copy and w atc h the videos, the ave rage to ur is o ve r two ho urs. As an uninte nded conseque nce, it reduces the no ise level to alm ost zero. Ex hibi ts cover the gamut of Hawaii ' s unique ocean hi story, beg inning w ith one of the g reatest nautica l ac hieveme nts of mankind- the settle me nt o f the Pol ynes ian Tri ang le by voyag ing canoes long before most c ultures eve r sa il ed out of sig ht of land . Hawaii was the last great di scove ry by Polynesians from the Marquesas, who sa il ed across two tho usand mil es of ope n ocean us ing no instruments -their Wayfindin g navi gatio nal techniques relied sole ly on observati on of starpaths and swell patte rns. Afte r the Polynes ians a rri ved, they establi shed a resource-s ha rin g system ca lled ahupua ' a, a seri es of pi e-shaped wedges of land ran g ing from the mo untain to ps do wn to the sea and providing different resources at eac h le ve l- from fores t hi ghl and s to fi shing g rounds. To maintain sustainabl e resources, the early Hawaii ans also enforced ve ry stri ct seasons fo r fi shing offshore. It was a mari time soc iety, and the Cente r features it all , fro m voyaging and settle me nt to fi shing canoes and ahupua'a. One of the most popul ar ex hibits in ¡ ¡ ~ i s area is surfing, a traditional sport tha t has become synonymous with the Is lands. Capta in James Cook has a lways been la uded as the "di scove re r" of these Islands, tho ug h the Polynesians found and settled them more th an a mille nnium ea rlie r (and , among W este rn seame n, he was almost certa inl y preceded by Spanish treas ure hunte rs). Cook , however, was o n a voyage no t of coloni zati o n but of di scovery, and the ex te ns ive d rawings and journ al observatio ns of Hawa iian soc ie ty at the mome nt of contac t g ive us a cl ear window to the pas t. U nlike the sec retive Spani ard s, official acco unts of Cook ' s landfall s we re publi shed and tri ggered a trade in sea otte r pe lts between the American Northwest and the s il k/tea/porcelain me rchants o f C hina. T he new ly mapped islands of Hawa ii became a prov isioning stop fo r the traders, and once the fragrant ili ' a hi (sanda lwood) was di scovered he re, a new com me rce e rupted qui ckly. Within a decade o r so, the Islands we nt fro m be ing mere prov is io ners of food stuffs, fres h wa te r

Th e Hawai 'i Maritime Center (a bove), with th e Fa ll s of Clyde al the right , overlooks Honolulu's busy harbor . At right, whale vertebrae and ribs ji-ame visit ors looking towards Aloha Towe r.

and cre w, to provide rs of a va luable commodity in the China T rade. The mountain s were soon de nuded of sandalwood bo und fo r Macao, as traders barte red everything from frippe ry to weapo ns with the chiefs. That trade was re pl aced in the 1820s by the arriv al of the Pac ifi c whaling fl eet, mostl y o ut of New Eng land . They appeared tw ice a yea r- in the spring before heading north to hunt spe rm whales in the ,, Sea of Japan (and late r the bo w head ~ in the Arctic) and aga in in the fa ll before heading south forth e w inter to c rui se the Equator. For almost half a century, until the early 1870s, whalin g fue led the Islands' economy . By the time it, too, evaporated- whe n o il was di scove red in Pe nnsy lvani a-Hawaii 's eco nomy was rescued aga in , thi s time by sugar, whi ch had to be shipped by sea to US refin e ri es and marke ts. By the 1920s, a new industry began- touri sm . Hawa ii 's largest cargo carrie r, M atson Nav igati on Lines , built passe nger line rs and construc ted the Ro yal Hawa ii an Hote l on the beach at W a ikiki , starting a boom that continues still , though ocean tra nsportation has g ive n way to airpl anes. The Hawai ' i Maritime Cente r te ll s these stories and more-tattoo ing, fl ying boats, comme rcial fi shing, unde rsea cabl es, yac htingin 26,000 squ are fee t of ex hibits. The Cente r was des ig ned for the people of the Island s, but, of course, we mu st attrac t vi sito rs as we ll . The to uri sm bus iness is a diffe rent (and diffi c ult) a nimal, and we c urre ntl y have over thirty promo ti o ns in effect. The Cente r al so

SEA HISTORY 8 1, SPRING/SU MM ER 1997

leases space to a restaurant on the harbo rfro nt. Under the g uidance of Executi ve Directo r RAD M Willi am Kozlovsky, USCG (Re t), the Center uses every o pportunity fo r addi tio nal revenues, from membe rships and grants, to facility re ntals a nd co-marke ting a rran geme nts. Three years after we o pened, the wareho uses o n the nex t pier we re demo li shed and a Festi va l Ma rke tplace with mo re than a hund red shi ps and res ta urants was built aro un d Alo ha Tower. Whil e we antic ipated an increase in attendance, the o ppos ite occurred , and we ' re working to reve rse thi s tre nd. Recently, the Hawa i' i Maritime Cente r became part of the Berni ce P. Bi shop Mu seum , a ce ntury-ol d fac ility w ith the wo rl d's largest co llecti o ns of Hawa ii an and Pac ific arti facts , as well as majo r natu ra l sc ie nce co ll ecti o ns. Thi s is o ur State museum, and the relationship works we ll fo r both in stituti o ns. Togethe r they offer a ri ch ex pe ri e nce fo r visitors. 1,

For more informa tion, contact Hawai'i Ma ritime Center, Pier 7, Honolulu Harbor, Honol11l11HI 968 13; 808 523 -615 J. 33

Sea History 081 - Spring 1997  

7 THE AMERICAN FLAG AT SEA: Economics Alone Is Not the Answer by David A. O'Neil • 10 South Street Receives a Schooner, 30 Years Ago by Pete...

Sea History 081 - Spring 1997  

7 THE AMERICAN FLAG AT SEA: Economics Alone Is Not the Answer by David A. O'Neil • 10 South Street Receives a Schooner, 30 Years Ago by Pete...

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