Beach Walk 216 – Breakfast With Champions!

Lucky me, I’m walking the beach with two outrigger canoe champions as we talk about women and sports. It’s not always pretty.

So I met Mindy Clark through videoblogging. I had no idea she was a 10-time Na Wahine O Ke Kai Champion with the well-known Offshore Canoe Club of California! She didn’t race this year, but her protégé Julie did, helping her crew take 1st place in the Masters Division. (And a previous overall 1st place as well!)

Mindy and Julie exuded a wonderful open-hearted energy, which surprised me a bit, until I thought more about it. When a person truly is successful at something, they can relax into their kind selves and leave behind the bickering that occurs so often “on the way to the top.” I couldn’t find a Hawaiian word for “catty.” That made me feel good. Make no mistake these women are tough competitors though.

Mindy Clark’s Outrigger Canoe Video Blog. She’s also featured in the book Moloka’i-Oahu through the Years.

Hawaiian words
Mākonā: mean, cruel
Wahine: woman

Be in Touch!

Beach Walk 215 – Na Wahine O Ke Kai Part 2

Part 2, so you can hear from the paddlers themselves. There’s nothing like the first time crossing the channel!

Let’s remember, it’s rare to have a whole crew (except for the two steerswomen Gail and Kuuipo) be composed of first timers, given the very challenging conditions and nature of this race. Then, many of them have husbands in Iraq, fighting a war. Plus, these women’s families come from different branches of the military service. Most military people I’ve met will agree that there is plenty of “inborn” rivalry between the army, navy, air force, and marines! This is a true accomplishment on so many levels.

Mindy Clark’s Outrigger Canoe Video Blog. She continues to post great footage from the entire weekend, starting with the short flight over to Molokai. The military wives we’ve been following this summer raced in a canoe from Keahiakahoe Canoe Club.

Susan summed it up so nicely when she expressed her gratefulness for all of the aloha and support from the paddling community.

P.S. For those of you who are travel buffs, there are lots of great with Diamond Head in the background.

Hawaiian words
WaÊ»: canoe
Wahine: woman

Be in Touch!

Beach Walk 209 – What if everybody did what they loved?

I missed the boat last week but I got to visit Marian and learn her version of “do what you love.”

I’ve been paddling with Marian for over a year, but as it goes, we hop into the boat, paddle, then go our own ways. We both missed the boat last week, and she invited me over to her wood shop for a life-inspiring visit. She made a major career change a few years ago and now loves to talk about the process she went through and her belief that you too can do what you love!

She is busy this week making several hundred koa wood trophies for the Na Wahine O Ke Kai canoe race this Sunday. She says making the trophies (plaques, platters, and boxes) can get repetitious but they pay the bills and allow her time to build furniture and other specialty items. I find Marian a lovely combination of very practical yet also inspired wisdom and certainly one who walks her talk when it comes to living your dreams!

You heard her mention koa wood a lot. Koa is special to us here in Hawai’i. It is a native tree, represents bravery and courage, and is used for canoes, ukuleles, and furniture.

Marian mentioned the DIY Network as one of the ways she learns new things.

Hawaiian words
Lāʻau: wood
Loli: change

Be in Touch!

Beach Walk 208 – Molokai Channel Here We Come

After months of training, the Na Wahine O Ke Kai canoe race is this Sunday.

UPDATE: You can follow the play by play from Molokai courtesy of Mindy Clark’s Outrigger Canoe video blog!

Lexi and I went to visit the Wahine Paddlers (military wives who are mostly all doing their first channel crossing) and give them some hugs and aloha. For those of you new to Beach Walks, this is considered the premier canoe race – 41 miles across open ocean six miles deep. Many of these women have husbands who are in Iraq. They represent several branches of the service, and are pulling together in a feat of incredible personal and team accomplishment. This race requires so much training; it will take them 6-8 hours to complete most likely.

It also requires a lot of money, as there is so much involved: shipping the canoes over to Molokai, flying the paddlers to Molokai and putting them up overnight are just a few. They estimate it is costing them over $10,000. Please consider making a contribution. Here is how you can Help the Honolulu Pearl Paddlers. (PDF)

We plan to be at the finish line, where we will also meet up with some Masters Women paddlers from the Puakea Foundation who are paddling a koa canoe about the same age as they are!

Here are some previous episodes featuring the Wahine Paddlers:
Beach Walk #171 – Wahine Paddlers Prep for 41-mile race
Beach Walk #172 – Enjoy the Moment
Beach Walk #176 – Meet Some Honolulu Pearls
Beach Walk #179 – Honolulu Pearls Part 2
Beach Walk #181 – Huli Happens

Hawaiian words
Wahine: woman
Kai: sea

Be in Touch!