Friday, October 26, 2007

In Mexico City with Kalani

Wow, was I lucky! Kalani David, an excellent surfer and skater from my neighborhood, took me "South of the Border" to the Latin X Games. We were in a huge auditorium/arena filled with some of the best skaters in the world! The next two pictures show just how big the place was!!

Look at that Drop Behind Me!

Kalani was in Mexico City to do a demo. He was the youngest skater there. (He'll be ten years old next week.) He didn't compete this time, but he told me, "I got a lot of tips from watching all the pros execute their tricky maneuvers." Do you see the bike behind him? How about the lights above Kalani's head? There was a lot going on!!
I'm glad everyone is being safe and wearing a helmet.

Lights, Camera, Action!

This was undoubtedly the biggest room I had ever seen. There was so much going on that my head was spinning!
Kalani took it all in stride and maintained his very calm disposition. He took good care of me, too. He says he wants to take me to other cool places, places where he catches waves and skates. He's going to surf in a NSSA (National Scholastic Surfing Association) competition in Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii this weekend. Hope I'm invited to join him.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Best Surf Contest on the North Shore

Here I am with Kaleia. She's standing in front of the sign advertising the Menehune Surf Contest. It's the best contest for youngsters in the Islands. Because this contest has been held for 31 years, many professional surfers competed here when they were little. The following eight photos were taken in the early morning on the first day of the contest. If you want to know more about this event go to:

The Beach Park in Haleiwa

Kalia is standing in front of the Ali'i Beach Park Recreation Center. There are lots of community meetings here and watersports classes for kids after school. In the summertime it's hoppin' with the City and County of Honolulu's Summer Fun program. We're lucky to have such a great facility in the neighborhood. We're lucky the waves here are perfect for the Menehune Contest, too!

Being Silly

Remember Namika and Luna? They were in the surf contest in Waikiki last month. Wow! What do you think of all those surfboards behind them?

A Very Good Friend

Ocean has been my friend since I was born. She is always excited to see me around the neighborhood. She and her mom made me the blue surfboard with the yellow stripes in the photograph for my train trip last summer to the East Coast. I appreciate her thoughtfulness so much.

Ready to Charge!!

These young boys in the lycra vests are ready to compete in the contest. "Hawaiian" (sitting down) is giving them instructions before they paddle out in their heat (group). Each vest is a different color so the judges can tell the surfers apart when they are riding a wave!!

The Voice of the North Shore

Here I am with Skill Johnson and Mom. Skill is the Director and driving force behind the Menehune Surf Contest. He puts in lots of hours at other charity events on the North Shore as a master of ceremonies and auctioneer. He tells silly jokes all the time, too. We sure are glad he's a part of our neighborhood.
Hooray for Skilly!!

A Young Surf Star

Kalani David is becoming very famous on the North Shore and around the world. He is competing in lots of surf contests, as well as skateboarding events. He just got back from Mexico City last month where he was a competitor in the X Games. (Did you notice the logo on the beach chair?) He's always kind and polite to me and I appreciate his big smile and friendly manner.

Ready to Ride

Gabby is holding me and standing next to her surfboard. She rides this "long" board instead of a short one because it's easier for her to catch the waves. She's a great athlete, so I am sure she'll do very well in the Menehune Contest.

Getting Ready for the Contest

Kirra and her brother, Ezra, are ready for their surf contests. Both of them are slathered with sunscreen to protect themselves from the sun's strong rays. Smart thinkin'!!

Look Who's Tandem Surfing

These are my friends, Raya, and her older sister, Sierra. Cowabunga!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Looooooong Canoe Race

This outrigger canoe was just paddled across the Molokai Channel. It's one of the most dangerous stretches of ocean in the world. These young women paddlers came in first in their division---koa canoe. Bravo! This Outrigger Canoe Club crew had 10 members. The women took turns jumping out of the canoe in the middle of the ocean and switching seats with each other. If someone wasn't paddling, then she was riding in the escort boat. They left the island of Molokai at 7:30 am and reached the shores of Waikiki at about 2:00 in the afternoon. Whew!!!!! A very long paddle! (In the background is the dock where the judges sit and the escort boat arrives to drop off the other five paddlers and their supplies.)

Escorting the Paddlers

Here is one of the escort boats. Each canoe has an escort boat as it paddles across the channel. It's a big job to make sure the paddlers are safe and onboard as they switch back and forth enroute across the open ocean to Waikiki Beach.

Her First Long Distance Race

What a great day it is for Julia Fiedler. She just paddled the Molokai Channel for the first time. She had to train for months to get into shape for this race. The wind was strong and the sun was hot and sometimes the canoe had to navigate big surf.
Julia is strong and brave! I feel proud for her and I'm glad I was part of her special day.

Julia's Proud Dad

John Fiedler was there at the finish line waiting for Julia. His smile shows how happy he is to greet her and her fellow paddlers. He's wearing a hat because the sun was very, very strong. Maybe I need to get a hat too for those sunny days at the beach. What do you think?

The North Shore Canoe Club

This is the outrigger crew from my neighborhood. They are so happy to have reached the shore. Do you see them holding hands? They have been paddling for years under the leadership of Donna Whitford. They store their canoes across from Jameson's Restaurant in Haleiwa. Young people paddle for the club and practice after school. It's great exercise and lots of fun. Paddling together builds a strong sense of teamwork, too.