Blog: Negotiating with God on Nihoa Island

Blog: Negotiating with God on Nihoa Island

Spent the last two days on Nihoa shooting amazing footage. Everything was a first time for me, from getting on the zodiac to the super sketchy landing on shore. Everything is safety. Precautions, preparation, procedure. We arrived off the south shore of Nihoa. No docks or piers. Scotty, our excellent zodiac skipper, and his first mate Carmen, timed the waves crashing on the rocks. Kehau, our archeological guide who has done this before, tells me this the worst she has seen. Without any incident Scotty chooses a spot, maneuvers the boat, and one by one gets all of us and the 18 pieces of gear on to Nihoa.

Naʻalehu picked a campsite, a hundred yard hike over to a dry river. This is the longest hundred yards I’ll ever travel. Negotiated with God as we got there. Kehau and I took a hike up the dried river bed to get a good angle on West Palm Valley. No flat areas on this Island. Slopes are 45 degree grade, this river is a series of dry waterfalls. I realize every step needs to be taken with extreme care. Safety, one slip and you’ll be rolling down the rocks. But on every step, there’s baby chicks, unhatched eggs, nests, and other life. We finally get up there, the wind is howling, I get all my shots. Good sunset and a really cool shot of this red-footed boobie trying to land on me.

Back down to camp, huli huli chicken for dinner. Yoga mats on rocks with tarps for a blanket.  Setup the Matthews DC Slider for a night time lapse. No sleep tonight… Got my gear together at dawn and shot some. Breakfast, then packed up and took the extra gear to the landing spot, scary hike. Over to East Palm Valley, more birds. Then the ceremonial terraces. Get all the shots, lunch, and then to the landing/pick-up spot.

The surf is rougher today, Scotty picks a new spot, does his thing, and we’re off Nihoa. Kehau, Solomon, and I transfer to a different boat with the gear. Dre is now our captain. We go around the west side, it’s all inverted thousand foot cliffs with caves on the bottom. Dre takes us near a couple and into one. This was time travel.

Fried Chicken for dinner.

Movie tonight “Prometheus”

– Scott Kanda, Photographer
For more information on Nihoa:

Time Lapse on Nihoa Island


Pictures from Nihoa Island

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