Publisher: Ropati Hebenstreit
Writers: Meg Blaser, Cheance Adair, Harvie Allison, Gaylord Wilcox, Cheryl Skribe, Liko Wallace, Cara Mazzei
Photos: Peter Caldwell, Brian Vestyck, Harvie Allison, www.photo-ducos.nc, Jon Brunk Photography: Ropati Hebenstreit
Proof reader: Amy Hebenstreit
Mission Statement: to bring the excitement of outrigger paddling to a larger audience. We feel that Pacific Paddler’s hui of supporters, contributors, subscribers and advertisers is helping the sport grow, not only here in Hawaii, but around the world. Thanks for your contribution to the sport.
Often we hear people say “Lucky we live Hawaii”. For me yesterday was a true example of the slogan. The Honolulu Elks Club hosted a family-fun, ocean day for members and friends. It was a celebration of ocean sports, community, and getting active.
Starting at 10am people started to gather. Beneath a bright blue sky, we joined for a blessing and the festivities began! Under the direction of Elks member and Kumulokahi leader Mr. Keoni Farias, registration was opened. Keoni is the Honolulu Elks’ resident water expert who maintains the canoes, and who without his participation, the Ocean Fest event would not have happened. I would also like to recognize Mr. Wily Rol and Mr. Jon Takushi, Elks members and members of the “New Hope Diamond Head Surf Ministry and Da Crew”, who provided much of the Stand Up Paddling (SUP) equipment and lessons for everyone.
Participants had the options of taking a ride in an Outrigger canoe, surfing, and SUP. Throughout the afternoon, more than forty children and adults had signed up for the ocean action. I gave SUP a whirl and had a blast. As I was paddling out by the channel, weaving between all the rock star ten-year-old girls who were making it look easy, I encountered some men. It was apparent they were completing a long Hawaii Kai stand up paddle run. As I passed them, I heard them mutter, “Man it is crowded today. And where did all these girls come from?” I chuckled to myself because I think the ten-year-old girls were faster than the men!
In the end, one hundred and fifty people came to experience “Kumulokahi Da Keiki Ocean Fest”. Many were members I recognized, and there were also many fresh faces. Being on the water with everyone was truly a feeling of fellowship and camaraderie. Everyone was helping one another, making new friends and laughing. My face hurt from smiling so much! It was a sincere sense of community reminding me I am “Lucky to live Hawaii”.
Story and photo by Cara Mazzei