THE SANDWICH ISLANDS.
To The Editor Of The Knickerbocker:
I have just returned from a visit to the Sandwich Islands, and take the liberty of giving you a brief sketch of my jaunt.
I left San-Francisco in company with Mr. A. G. I. , of New-York, during the month of November, on board the schooner Vacquero. The passage over was a very pleasant one, although we were twenty days going, having encountered light southerly winds nearly all the way.
While visiting Kealakekua Bay, I saw the natives surf-bathing.
They each had a board seven or eight feet long and a foot wide.
Lying on this with their faces downward, they plunged into the surf as it was recedimg from the shore.
When a breaker was met with, they went under it and came out on the opposite side, darting onward until the smooth water was reached; then, placing their boards upon the highest wave, and, standing almost erect, they were carried toward the shore with a frightful rapidity, shouting and yelling all the way.
As they approached, I expected to see them dashed to pieces on the rocks; but when within a hundred feet of me, they dove under the water and went out on a recoiling wave.
They do not seem to know what fear is, and will sometimes spend hours in this kind of amusement.
They are also very fond of diving off from high places.
When on my way to the volcano, I passed through Hilo, where are the falls of Waialuku, from eighty to a hundred feet high.
There were several females bathing and jumping over the falls.
They went in some distance above, where the water rushes over the rocks, laid down flat on their faces in a strong current, which carried them to the edge of the falls, then turning on their backs, they glided off on the sheet of water, feet foremost, into the river below.
Yours, etc., One Of The Smith Family.
Letter: The Sandwich Islands
Knickerbocker, or, New-York Monthly Magazine,
Volume XLVI (46).
Samuel Hueston, 348 Broadway, New York, 1855.