The spirit of the ‘Search’ is all about breaking away from daily routine in search of new spots, different cultures and enriching experiences. More often than not these


trips are on the other side of the world, miles from anything or anyone… But did you know that there are often out of the ordinary places just around the corner from where you live?

Robby Naish, Scott Carvill, Vittorio Marcelli, Tristan Boxford and Bjorn Dunkerbeck, all happy residents of the Sandwich Islands, wanted to know just this: if in fact there are unridden waves nearby that they could escape to, away from the crowds of the Maui’s North Shore. It was this that brought them to one of the most sacred places in Hawaii: Kalaupapa.

Bjorn Dunkerbeck! (click to enlarge)   


We leave in the middle of the night aboard a 100 foot oceanography vessel called the Searcher. We head south for several hours in rough seas, the Pacific giving us plenty

   Kalaupapa (click to enlarge)

to deal with, its swell and violent currents surging between the islands. Everyone kept to their cabins to ride out the trip over, except Robby, who spent the entire time either in foetal position or bent over the toilet.

It was well past dawn by the time we came close to our destination and the highest sea cliffs in the world were now before us. As we pulled into the bay of Kalaupapa and set anchor we couldn’t help but be reminded of Tahiti and its surrounding islands, almost like a little Moorea.

But this hasn’t always been a paradise:


isolated from the rest of the world by the gigantic cliffs (793 metres), the Makanalua peninsula is full of history.


In 1866, the government took the decision to send the lepers to this isolated peninsula in order to contain the disease. The area is completely exposed to everything mother nature has to offer and has no fresh water source. They were desbatched from the boats that brought them there and left to fend for themselves in a violent shorebreak dumping onto jagged rocks. The first settlers tried to make do, living in caves, forced to be self-sufficient except for the occassional drop of provisions from the boats bringing more sick people.

It was only in 1873 that someone finally took notice of the plight of the lepers in Kalaupapa. Father Damien, a thirty three year old Belgian missionary, made his way to this tragic place.

The team (click to enlarge)   
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