Ka’ena Point protrudes like the tip of a knife out of the northwestern edge of the island of Oahu. Ancient Hawaiians believed it to be the “Jumping off point” where the souls of those just leaving mortality met their ancestors before proceeding into the afterlife.
Matt checking out the roiling surf. Luckily he didn’t jump (or fall) off and meet his ancestors.
We did find plenty of souls at the point, though none were leaving mortality. Most were tourists hiking in from the North Shore.
We also found two Hawaiian Monk Seals basking on the rocks. These seals are a critically endangered species with a total population of just 1,100. They are endemic to the Hawaiian islands and live mostly off the small reefs and atolls of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Seeing them on the main islands isn’t totally unheard of, though it is somewhat rare.
In these pictures it sort of looks like they’re dead, but they were just really relaxed. This one was sleeping with his head completely under water, cooling off. Every couple of minutes he’d come up for air.
My motivation doing this hike was the unique view at the end. On the left-hand side are the shores of the northern coast extending out toward Hale’iwa, while the view to the right tapers off down the southern coast along the dry leeward side of the island. With ocean on three sides and only narrow strip of land looking back, Ka’ena point really does feel like the edge of the earth.