Liko longs to break any connection to his alcoholic mother, bury memories of his abusive father and discover his own identity. He is haunted by the drowning of a fellow student diver at a flooded quarry in Nevada during his diving certification test. Liko, 17 years of age, leaves his mother's trailer park in Las Vegas to spend the summer scuba diving in Hawaii with his Uncle Keahi. Liko and Keahi visit the usual tourist attractions on Oahu-the Arizona Memorial Monument, U.S.S. Bowfin Submarine Museum, the National Cemetery of the Pacific, and the Hanauma Bay Nature Reserve. Liko's visit kindles a new appreciation for his Hawaiian heritage. Keahi, a native Hawaiian, had once been a promising Hawaiian chanter and hula dancer, and a passionate promoter of his Hawaiian cultural heritage. He is now an unhappy, middle-aged bureaucrat, working as an emergency responder in the Department of Water, Wind and Sun. Lost and grieving the recent death of his boyfriend, Keahi is confused about how to deal with his young nephew who is now sharing his small apartment for the summer. Keahi, like his nephew, hopes that something will change his life for the better, but worries that it is too late.
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