Monday, July 15, 2013

Cycling around Poipu and Kapaa - heaven

Its been great cycling here on the island.  There is a bike shop just past the traffic circle - its called Outfitters Kauai.   They are really nice people, have superior quality road bikes that are well maintained, and give great service.

I've done some fantastic rides here on the island.  Its so scenic and safe (free of cars) over on the new Kapaa path that runs from Lydgate park up North for about 11 miles.  The link shows the most primo part of that route.    The picture is of the very top, near the end of the trail, looking South, back towards Kappaa.  Perhaps the most beautiful ride I've done anywhere.

Also, there's a great route around the Poipu area.  Very scenic.  Check it out here.  Just about every ride I've done has originated at LuxuryPoipu.   Its a great place to stay if you want an unobstructed view of the ocean, close up, with lots of space to stretch out, in really high quality surroundings.  at 2,400 square feet with 17 foot high ceilings, it doesn't get any better in Poipu, and all of the bike trails leave from here.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A view of the ocean from LuxuryPoipu

Dustin Bond, a guest staying at LuxuryPoipu with his amazing wife, Miranda, on their honeymoon, took this great picture of the ocean, with the condo off to the right in the distance.  I am so glad they had an amazing time and built memories to last a lifetime.  Thanks for sharing your photo, Dustin!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Outrigger races on the Wailua river

We had a great day Saturday on the Wailua river. There were short races of outrigger canoes by all of the locals, men and women, boys and girls, of all ages, and condition. As usual, the Kaiola canoe club of Lihue made a great showing. Pictured, is Kalalani, one of the paddlers in the club, looking every bit like the image of a Hawaiian god. Also pictured, is Andy Reich, standing to my right in the photo, as he holds two of his paddles. Andy my friend and contractor who was kind enough to introduce me to this wonderful sport, and who also made the extraordinary gesture of providing me with one of his priceless hand made koa wood paddles. This paddle will hold a place of great significance in my household. Not only is it beautiful, but it is extremely rare, as it takes Andy up to a year to make one of these museum quality pieces, which, by the way, he actually used to paddle 38 miles in a race to Molokai. So its not only beautiful, but its tough and useful. Also pictured is a shot of several paddlers in the heat of the race. If you can make it down to the Lihue harbor on Wednesdays or Saturdays, you will usually find members of the Kaiola canoe club practicing, and if you're lucky, they will invite you to join them in a paddle on the ocean or up the river. What a wonderful sport, a great community, and people that are friendly and enthusiastic about their sport.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Poipu Ocean Movie

To see a video of the live ocean view as seen from the lanai at LuxuryPoipu, go to youtube, simply by clicking Poipu Ocean Movie" If you like the movie, please be sure to leave your comments / and rating!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Paddling an Outrigger Canoe

Sports Nirvana. That's what paddling is. While doing some improvements on the condo, I had the wonderful fortune of meeting Andy Reich. He is a local contractor in Poipu who is a member of the Kiaola Canoe club. I had never been aware of this sport of paddling, but once introduced to it, it joined the ranks of my all-time, most-dreamt-of, most-missed sports, right after karate and downhill skiing.

Paddling is definitely a team sport. We all get together down at the club in Lihue at a place on the water near where the cruise ships come in. Their coach is an unassuming local who speaks in mystic terms about paddling. He welcomes everyone who comes, even me, an Haole from the mainland, of not particularly athletic build; not young, and not promising as an athlete. But it doesn't really appear to matter. This group of similarly paddle-loving part-time athletes (no offense meant to the actual athletes) come in all ages and sizes. Men and women alike, aged from apparently early 20's to late in their 70's. (I think they call the over 70 crowd the "Grand Masters" and they get out there and work it just like everyone else, but perhaps with a little more finesse.

These are not mere mortal men and women. To prove their mettle, they regularly race all the way from Oahu to Molokai, out in the open sea. Everything is so perfectly planned and timed, that in fact, to make the most of the endurance, strengths, and reserves of the paddlers, they actually make changes in who is in what position in the canoe, during the race. They accomplish this by throwing themselves into the water, then as the canoe shoots swiftly by, they do a pull up, and leap back into the canoe, as it blasts by, their peers still paddling at full speed.

We grab these outriggers, with two of them tied together, into a configuration that will accommodate 12 people. The two on the front set the pace, the ones in the middle are the "engine room" providing much of the torque and base power, and the others, well, I don't know what they do, since I spend my time sitting in the engine room. It’s great when everyone paddles together with perfect synchronicity. It is then, when the canoes are said to "glide" and glide they do. They feel like they are barely sitting atop the water, just flying through the air. When we take off with near perfect form, another thing happens. The front of the canoe essentially lifts off, reminiscent of the old front engine dragster doing a wheelie as it departs from its launch pad.

We usually paddle for about 90 minutes it seems, and during that time, its pure zazen, a karate term meaning "moving meditation." Coming back, feeling exhilarated, and enjoying the pure camaraderie of being part of what just was, its great to leave and drive into the night on the way back to Poipu.

Check it out. Show up at the Kaiola Canoe Club in Lihue some night around 5:30 and catch the magic of outrigger canoeing.

Why We Love Kauai

Kauai is a breath of scented fresh air. Like catching the scent of the breeze as it gently passes by the neck of your loved one, passing along just the most delicate hint of her perfume known only to you. Kauai is your small child, smiling gently as he looks up to you in awe after just seeing the water splash off the tail of a whale breaching off the lanai. Kauai is a meandering stroll along the oceanfront, feeling the sea spray washing off the pounding surf as it taunts you time and time again. Will this wave shoot straight up off the rocks, or will it withdraw and beckon you to look back over your shoulder once again, in anticipation of its pounding fireworks? Kauai is warm, and yet soothing. It lovingly caresses your skin and makes everything soft and comfortable with its perfect combination of humidity and sunshine. Kauai is sunny and bright. Not so much so that it burns, but only enough to maintain its perfect environs of brightness before giving way to a brief storm interlude just enough to keep the place vivid green. Kauai is kind. Its people are a mix of natives and people from all over who came and could not leave. It is tolerant and sweet. People beckon a warm "aloha" and they really mean it. Kauai is relaxed. As soon as you land, time slows down, and you realize that nothing will be done fast, or soon, so you might as well take it slow and get into the local pace of things. Kauai is relaxed. There is nothing here that is so urgent that it has to be done right now. We come here to relax, take in nature, feel the breeze, and be soothed by the goddess the ocean and the beauty of the land. We relax in the water, we live near the water, we feel its power and it returns us to our primordial state of consciousness, in touch with our earth-mother. This is Kauai. This is why we come here. Why do you come to Kauai? What do you love about it?