Memorials at Sea
Keauhou Canoe Club does aloha families with ashes scattering and memorials at sea outside of Keauhou Bay. We began by supporting our own members and word has filtered by "word of mouth" about this assistance we provide to families. We do not advertise but do see outreach to the community with a traditional Hawaiian memorial as a way to extend our aloha and do some teaching about culture. We like to approach the ceremony as a celebration of life.
We have the two double hulls (10 visitors in each hull) which will take care of you, your family members, and visitors. We know it is hard to predict how many will want to paddle out to sea. If needed, we will recruit other club members to fill out the canoes. We could handle 60 people on the water. We try to schedule memorials at 9 am on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturdays. Assuming a 9 am paddle, it helps if all of you get there by about 8:40 to sign waivers, get fitted for paddles, and have a safety briefing. Mornings are generally calmer than other times of day.
The club provides a traditional kind of ceremony with the canoes, paddles, experienced steersmen and lead paddlers, flower arrangement before the launch, blowing of the conch shell and then can help coordinating with what else the family might want to do. We have life jackets available for those who would like one. We ask that lei strings be cut or flowers stripped from the leis when they are put in the water. Families help with the paddling, launching, and returning the canoes, Our club members are invited to participate if the family does not mind more folks being involved.
In the past families have also engaged clergy, taiko drummers, hula dancers, musicians, and chanters to assist with their service. We have a bagpiper in our club who can play for memorials. We would explore some kind of rental fee if a family uses our halau area for a reception that involves additional equipment such as tents, tables, chairs, food preparation, or BBQ cooking by us. We do not have electric power due to the 2011 tsunami and use a generator if that is needed. We have a portable sound system. Extended family and friends can watch the ceremony on the Sheraton Kona Hotel webcam if they cannot physically attend. Time on the water is about 20-30 minutes depending on how much talking everyone does.
We do not charge a fee for this community kokua as we are not a commercial business. We appreciate donations to the various programs in our club such as youth scholarships, racing teams, Ohana Keauhou, or canoe maintenance. Our canoe club is a 501(c)3 under the Internal Revenue Service code and we write a tax donation letter after the memorial. Call if we can help with other questions.