Wednesday, June 13, 2012

O-Why-Hee, in the Sandwich Islands

Map of the Hawaiian Islands, depicting Cook's explorations, by Rigobert Bond [1]

         Being sent by my government on an expedition to Woa-Hoo, in the Sandwich Islands, also called O-Why-Hee, I decided to look into the 18th century history of the place. There is an unbeliveable amount of history during this period and I spent my off-hours going to the historical places (while I was limited to Oahu during this trip) associated with the conquest of the Island by King Kamehameha I.

Rickman, John., Journal of Captain Cook's last voyage [2]

        I was not the first European to do so.  Although I ended up making it off alive, unlike Cook, despite the sixty mile per hour winds during my hike up to Nu-uanu Pali.

        The Bishop Museum has a collection on Hawaiian weaponry and folkways that gives you an opportunity to see what Cook and his crew saw in the 1770's.

Note the shark-toothed knife and the sword of koa wood.  Both would have been in use
during contact with Cook, as well as during Kamehameha's conquest of the islands
almost fifteen years later [3]

I actually got some time in the back country and it is amazing, ranging from this...

Koko Head

and this...

Diamondhead Crater

to this...
Bamboo forest in Nu'uanu Valley, near Jackass Spring, sight of a
delaying action of the armies of Oahu againt Kamehameha's Hawaiians.

[1] Bonne, Rigobert, 1727–1794. “Carte des Isles Sandwich.” Copperplate map, with added color, 23 × 34 cm. Probably from R. Bonne and N. Desmarest’s Atlas encyclop├ędique . . . (Paris, 1787–1788). [Historic Maps Collection], accessed 11 Jun 12,

[2] Rickman, John. Illustration from Journal of Captain Cook's last voyage to the Pacific Ocean on Discovery.
London, 1781 (item no. 22), University of Princeton, accessed 30 May 12,

[3] Rickman, John. (Plate 67), National Library of Australia, accessed 30 May 12.

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