Thursday, November 21, 2013

Waikiki Historical Trail Marker #11

Apuakehau Stream and Waikiki Beachboys
Waikiki Historic Trail Marker #11

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This site is located next to the Duke’s Restaurant patio, 2353 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, Hawaii. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 21° 16.590 W 157° 49.662. There are twenty other markers on the Waikiki Historic Trail.

You can log your visit to this landmark at


The largest of Waikiki's three main streams emptied into the sea near where you stand today. The Apuakehau (literally, "basket of dew") flowed through the middle of Waikiki between the ancient areas known as Ulukou and Helumoa until the 1920s. Its waters, which flowed down from Manoa and Palolo Valleys, were then diverted into the Ala Wai Canal.

Apauakehau had always been a favorite spot for the ali'i who enjoyed its cool, clear waters after swimming in the ocean. The mouth of the stream carved out a channel in the ocean bottom that is said to have been the ancient surfing area called Kalehuawehe.

The original Outrigger Canoe Club located at this site was formed in 1908 to perpetuate the ocean sports of surfing and canoe paddling. A rival club, the Hui Nalu ("club of the waves") was formed by Duke Kahanamoku and other Hawaiians and part-Hawaiians in 1911. Many of it members became the first beach boys.

This area was once a favorite sport for Waikiki famed beach boys, a group of men whose lives were a definitive part of Waikiki's romantic past. Known by lively nicknames such as Steamboat, Turkey, Splash, Colgate and Panama, these water sports enthusiasts were instructors, companions, musicians, and goodwill ambassadors. Their clients included Hollywood celebrities and royalty. Today, beach boys are licensed by the State of Hawaii to teach surfing and other water sports and must be qualified in life-saving skills. Here on Waikiki Beach they continue the traditions of this unique and colorful profession.

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