The Ho’okele uses ocean surface conditions to determine the location of reefs, shallow rocks, currents, and other hazards that might threaten the canoe while on a costal voyage.
Kohola – Bare reef at low tide, clearly visible but barely above sea level
Kua Pa’aKua- rock which shows itself then is covered from view as the ocean surface surges. There are usually wisps of white water as the water flows over the reef or rock.
Pu Ko’a Coral head: sunken reef or rock that causes the color of the water directly above to be different color than he surrounding water. Usually the water has a slight brownish or tan color to it. This indicates shallow water. Small canoes can pass over a Pu ko’a safely.
Kai Ko ele Thumping sea: Ocean surface is agitated but there is no white water or white caps. The surface of the water becomes smooth when the ocean surges over the rocks or reef below. It is said that a canoe hull makes a thumping sound when sailing over the reef or rock as the hull strikes the rocks below.