Hawaii Life

Kukio Blue Water Swim 2019

Nine of us from the Mauna Lani Masters Swim Team showed up as early as 6:30 am for the Kukio Blue Water Swim on the morning of Saturday, September 28, 2019. The venue could not be better with a swim start from Kua Bay adjacent to the Pu’u Ku’illi cinder cone looming large in the background. Like last year, this early morning included a gentle rain that produced an incredible rainbow above the beautiful and majestic cinder cone reminding of how blessed we are to be able to take part in these fun events. The Kukio community itself is situated on the shoreline including the Manini’owali Beach. The beach itself is secluded and small and has plenty of white sand extending into the water which forms the shoreline at Kua Bay. The water in the bay is crystal clear and the beach is more difficult to reach than other nearby white sand beaches as it’s entrance is unmarked and only accessible by either asking for shoreline public access at the guarded and gated Kukio community entrance or entering from the Queen “K” high...

North Shore Oahu-Laniakea to Pua’ena Swim Race!! July 20, 2019

The Mauna Lani Masters Swim Team decided to head over to the North Shore on Oahu this year for our summer get away swim from Laniakea to Pua’ena Point on July, 20th 2019. This race is part of the North Shore Swim Series which is a “5-race festival of progressively longer swim events giving swimmers the opportunity to swim the “7 mile miracle” of Oahu’s famous North Shore” according to the race sponsor’s website. The North Shore Soap Factory sponsored this race and provided great after race food, refreshments and awards. Our summer get away last year was on Labor Day 2018, members of our group participated in the Lana’i to Maui Channel Crossing relay race which was epic but we decided to create some different memories on our pursuit of all things swimming!! We all stayed at the Turtle Bay Resort which exceeded all expectations regarding quality of food, room size and amenities not to mention the beautiful location on the north shore of Oahu. The Turtle Bay Resort is far enough away from Honolulu to fe...

King’s Swim Kailua-Kona Pier-July 4th 2019

The 25th annual King’s Swim was held on July 4th this year (2019) as it has been for the last 25 years. This particular swim race starts at the Kona Pier and ends at the adjacent Kamakahonu Beach, also know as King Kam Beach or Kids’ Beach. Kamakahonu Beach is a very small beach where locals and visitors alike snorkel, launch kayaks and sup’s as well as sunbathe in the heart of Kailua Kona. You can find Kamakahonu Beach just north of the Kailua pier and in front of the King Kamehameha (Marriott Courtyard) hotel right on Alii Drive. This year several of us and our spouses decided to avoid the long drive to Kona in the early AM of race day and stay at the King Kamehameha Hotel the night before. This turned out to be a fun change and allowed Susan, Noe and I to warm up on Wednesday afternoon on the course and scope out the start and finish sections where we were able to asses the water conditions including the current , swell direction etc. for some possible clues to the actual race conditions the following morning. ...

HApuna Rough Water Swim 2019

Swimmers gathered on Saturday, June 8 th from around the island for the annual Hapuna Rough Water swim race sponsored by the Academy Swim Club in Waimea. This year’s race was coordinated with the Keep Puako Beautiful organization’s celebration of *World Oceans Day’s 10th Anniversary” which featured a Beach Cleanup and gathering including games and prizes (contact info-keeppuakobeautiful@gmail.com). It was breezy but the water conditions were perfect and fortunately Coach Dave had given us a head up at Friday’s swim practice to expect a very strong south to north current. He works as a Dive Master for Blue Wilderness and informed us that on his Friday morning dive, he had experienced one of the strongest currents he had ever experienced nearby to Hapuna Beach. Our Friday’s warm up session at practice prepared us to swim extra long and steady against the current and not let our strokes become choppy which would eventually wear us out! Great advice and training from Coach Dave as he was exactly right. During my...

Ironman 70.3 2019 Mauna Lani Resort

Every year since we have lived here the “Honu” triathlon has been hosted within the Mauna Lani Resort. The 2 hotels located within the resort have traded hosting the event and many of us volunteer for this race as well as the IRONMAN World Championship in October. In the early years it was an olympic distance event with 200+ local participants. Today it’s a half- Ironman distance and includes over 1500 participants. It’s also a qualifying event for the October IRONMAN World Championship in October so age group competitors and the world’s top pro triathletes are present to secure their slot in the big race. It was 77 degrees for the swim start at Hapuna Beach State Park and by 11:30 am when the first finishers started to appear within the Mauna Lani Resort, it was a smoking 94 degrees with bright blue, clear, skies above and no wind. Our friend Cindy who swims with our Mauna Lani Masters Swim Group represented the group well in the race! Congrats to Cindy! We welcome these events on the island as they bring the world�...

Cinco De Mayo Splash-2019

It was the season opener for the Big Island, open water swim circuit and the first event of the island’s Triple Crown series-the Cinco De Mayo Splash! Most of our Mauna Lani Master’s swim group participated and Sue and Noe represented us very well. Noe was the first lady out of the water and Susan was close behind Noe and finished first in her age group. It was a perfect, windless morning with no swell present and pretty good water clarity for Anaehoomalu Bay in the Waikoloa Beach Resort. I’ve snorkeled at “A” Bay many times and know it’s pretty rocky close to shore so I was prepared for those conditions as well as exposed coral heads all over the swim course start. I was also mentally prepared for whatever creatures that might appear during the swim as I knew there had been several shark encounters by a kayaker and paddler in a OC-1 canoe as late as April 23 rd somewhere very close to our swim course. Check out these links for reference: April 23rd West Hawaii Today article: https://www.westhawaiitoday.c...

Barracuda in the pond!!

On our morning runs we usually circle the ponds within the Mauna Lani beach club at Makaiwa Bay. We often see many forms of wildlife including the schools of milkfish and mullet that thrive in this protective environment. Every now and again we see the fish jump in unison without any apparent provocation but also know predators to these fish enter the ponds immature and small in size then gradually grow large enough to have a their very own buffet with no competitors to keep them in check. That’s where the Mauna Lani staff step in with bows and arrows as well as baited lines to catch barracudas where they can. Check out the pictures of Oscar’s catch above of a small barracuda. There is another very large one he caught in the Mauna Lani Sea Adventure’s Boat House that looks to be 30-40 pounds. I had always speculated on the presence of these predators but this was the first morning I actually observed one being caught!!

New Canoe for the Auberge

It’s not often you see the delivery of a hand made, 40’, Hawaiian, Racing Canoe. In this case we were out for our morning run/walk and observed two trucks parked near the gate to our Beach Club at Makaiwa Bay in the Mauna Lani Resort. It was before 7:00 am and the gate was shut but I did check out this very sleek canoe on a trailer parked on the roadside when I ran past the gates. I saw Kawika Ruddle at the Boat House and motioned with my hands as I ran him that there was a large vehicle trying to gain access. He nodded like he knew what I was referring to and I kept going over the pond knowing I would be able to circle back and check out the canoe closer if it made it through the gate. Sure enough the trailer and canoe were at the boat house surrounded by the entire Mauna Lani Sea Adventures crew guiding it back toward the boat ramp. As I stood and watched, I saw one of the guys carefully unstrapping the canoe that still had the Ama’s and ‘iako’s tethered to the sides with canvas strips. I stepped forward to ask if ...

Whale Watch!!

This past Sunday Lissette and I paddled our kayak toward a group of paddle boarders and kayakers we could see a mile out or more out to sea hoping to catch a sighting of a whale or other sea-life on our journey. Little did we know that where we decided to stop and take a rest a baby Humpback whale would surface directly in front of us. I was taking a panoramic video of the surrounding mountains when a loud “poof” resonated so loud it actually startled us both-see the video! We could also see the much larger mother which was directly below nudging the baby to the surface. We have always been respectful of whales and the other beautiful sea-life we are surrounded by but in this case it was purely coincidental that we were blessed to be so close to a mother and calf. Whale sightings have been down this year at least for shoreline viewing but this day we were able to get an up close view! After I took this video, the calf surfaced and then submerged itself directly in front of another kayak broadsides. It’s wake caused...

Twilight at Kalahuipua’a 2019 Schedules Dates

One of our favorite activities near the monthly full moon is to attend “Talk Story” or as it’s formally known-“Twilight at Kalahuipua’a”. The site of this no charge, almost monthly event is the Eva Parker Woods Cottage located ocean front on an island of grass between Makaiwa Bay and the historic Kalahuipua’a fishponds. The largest fishpond adjacent to the ocean was once part of the Makaiwa Bay until ancient Hawaiians built a wall into the water to block off the ocean and create a pond complex for aqua culture. The ponds are now a part of the Mauna Lani resort where the owners continue to maintain and preserve them to benefit the schools of mullet, milk fish and moi that inhabit and thrive with few predators other than the barracuda that make their way into the ponds when very small. Kalahuipua’a is translated to mean “the gathering of the pigs”. Since Hawaiians often expressed themselves allegorically it is speculated they were referring to the large fish in the fishponds as being the “pigs”. Th...