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Weekend Wanderer

Wandering the Weekends in California and beyond

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We are H U M A N

This is the same post I shared on my facebook…

W E A R E H U M A N

This happened because we are human.

This happened because we are too comfortable.

This happened because we let our teammates down.

This is not her fault, it’s also not the drivers.

Boat ladders are needed.

Prop guards are needed, yes absolutely. 100%.

But so is awareness, attentiveness, teamwork, and acceptance of mistakes. Her life will never be the same, she has a long way to go. We need to do what we can to support her. We need to do what we can to help the next escort boat driver who finds themselves in this position. We need to do what we can, to control the situation.

I’m 26 years old, a girl, and I’ve been running my own escort boat for only 5 years. Hitting someone with the prop is my absolute nightmare. I’ve been paddling for 11 years. Getting hit by a prop is my absolute nightmare. There are many precautions to take, and you can take them all. But something could always go wrong. What are we going to do when something goes wrong? What’s our instinct? Get mad? No. Our instinct should be to band together, to support, to find a solution, and not place blame. This is our own fault.

A safe boat driver doesn’t mean an older driver; it doesn’t mean a male driver. It just means a safe driver. So those topics of conversation need to come to a halt. This is not on the race directors, this is not on the lead safety boat, this is not on the race. This is on us. What we need more than safer drivers, are safer paddlers. We shouldn’t have let her jump in the water, in one of the busiest spots an escort boat could be; before the race. It’s little things like that, becoming more aware of our surroundings. Knowing when the right time to jump, and the wrong time to jump. Our sport is compiled of jumping off motor boats, into canoes, and then back into motor boats. You can educate someone all you want on when to jump, where to jump, how to jump – but someone will always forget and jump wrong. Because we are human. You can give someone all the tools to be a successful escort captain, but something will fall apart or not work. Because we are human.

As a paddling community, we need to be more aware. And right now we need to band together to support each other. Crossing season isn’t over. But we can be more aware, and help prevent what we have control over.

My thoughts are with you, Aunty Faith Kalei-Imaizumi. My heart is with you Hawaii. My strength is behind the paddling community. Let’s support her together. Instead of placing blame. Let’s make sure her family knows we have her back.

 

https://www.gofundme.com/2pmggu4

 

My 10th Catalina Crossing

This past weekend was the Catalina Crossing US Outrigger Championships! It takes a lot of training, a lot of work and a lot of planning just to GET to the start line that Saturday morning. It’s not something I take lightly. It’s something special and different than any other channel crossing. It’s home base.  It’s family – all the girls that you’ve trained all season with on the water together for one last race.

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This crossing was a little different. I came to the realization that I have been doing so many other things for so many other people – that this race was for MYSELF. I didn’t need to impress anyone, take care of anyone, babysit anyone. I was 13 miles from land during my race, halfway, and the only person I had to watch out for was myself. This was my tenth crossing. And it was hard.

We paddled into a headwind and side swell for 5 hours. But there wasn’t a time where we wanted to give up, or stop. We kept pressing and we kept going. We rallied together, pushed through our mistakes and kept racing.

The next day, we turned around to come home. The men raced back. It was a fast course, the wind was at their backs. And even though the fastest guys were up front; the most exciting part was in the middle. With the 5 junior teams competing against each other! Teams from LA, Newport, Hawaii and Dana point! It was the largest division of juniors that we have had at that race in a long time. I couldn’t have imagined a better race for these boys that I escorted across the channel. They were the boys that ever gave up, that hammered through the chop and evaded a 500 ft tanker coming across the course. We did it boys!

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Find Something That Makes You HAPPY and Do It Often

It’s not that hard.

Make a list.

Make a list of ten things.

Make a list of ten things that make you happy.

Then do those ten things every week AND SMILE

1. Paddle

2. Blog

3. Sleep in with Biggie

4. Crushing it at Spin Class

5. Reading

6. Dancing in the kitchen to some booty bouncing hip hop before I go to work

7. TACO TUESDAY

8. Staying home and catching up on my shows

9. Plan a new weekend adventure

10. Visit Bruce for a few ferry rides while he works the graveyard shift

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25

10616484_10203692522207394_8978194062482821102_nI didn’t post at all in 2014. Maybe because I didn’t have time, or maybe I just didn’t have anything to share. Well, I always have something to share so I think I just didn’t find the time!

In just a few hours I’ll be turning 25, which is kinda surreal. Cause age really is just a number, but I don’t feel 25. Then again what’s 25 supposed to feel like? I’m five years from 30 (uh, crap) but I’m also at the same time five years for 20 ( I liked 20 ). But 25…blah.

I’ve decided to look back at the past 25 years, and remember what I’ve done.  I like to think that I set good goals for myself, and worked hard to meet them. I am a huge believer in setting goals and having something to look forward to or work towards. But i also like to think that I had some fun along the way!

25 things that I’m stoked on for the 25 years I’ve been on this earth. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to look back and be like “woah, I did all that before I turned 25?” And in no particular order…

1. I had my first job when I was 15. It may have been keeping basketball game scores at the local gym for youth leagues; but it was a job and I could make enough money on Sundays to pay for my lunch all week. 

2. My phone bill. I pay it myself. And have been since I was 20. C’mon. It’s a big deal.

3. When I was 19 I successfully packed my car and moved myself up to San Luis Obispo, and then ten months later I packed up again and moved myself to Santa Ana. 

4. My Junior Outrigger Team over the years has given me some of my best memories, trips and races.

5.  Surviving Molokai 2012, and then also placing in Koa division in Molokai 2014. 

6. My ability to problem solve. I’ve become very good at solving other peoples problems, I’ll work on my own when I get there.

7. Placing 3rd in Kona with my girls in 2012

8. I learned to drive a trailer because I found myself in a situation where a trailer needed to be driven and no one was around to do it. I also learned how to drive my own motor boat, because Sam told me that’d be the only way I’d get home after the Catalina race. 

9. The moment I got my first own canoe. God I love my boat #KamanuComposites

10. I was in the William and Kate movie back in 2011. It’s a hallmark film. Haven’t seen it? Its on Netflix. 

12. When I was in 7th grade, I read the most books out of my whole grade. I was really amped on that. 

13.  I’m proud that even though I hate flying, I still somehow get myself on a plane when it’s time for another adventure…or race. I’m not trying to sound cool. I really, really, hate flying. 

14. I’m proud of the work I do at NAC. It’s kinda a lot of hats to wear at once, but I’m happy with it. And couldn’t really imagine my life any other way right now. 

15. I won the Catalina Relay in 2010 with the best teammates ever. I also think that was the last time i did that race before the canceled it two years later. Guess I ended on a good note!

16. NAC went to world sprints in 2008; however it was just in Sacramento. 

17. I successfully beat the system and got rid of two speeding tickets on the same day when I was living in SLO.

18. The very first CD I ever bought was Offspring Americana when I was in 6th grade. 

19. In 2011, I jumped into a suburban last minute and didn’t look back for ten days. Traveled all the way to Tennessee for Bonnaroo Music Festival with 3 smelly boys and a lot of canned tuna. 

20. Senior year all we did was hand break turns at Bob Henry Park and donuts in the NAC parking lot. Not in my car of course. The blue bomber would not have survived.

21. Biggie, I think he’s grown up quite well mannered.

22. Maui to Molokai – Pailolo

23. I’ve made new friends on almost every Hawaiian island, and every time I travel I meet a new buddy. 

24. I can jump my own battery and check my own oil. Anything after that, I make a phone call to the right person.

25. I haven’t broken rule #1 ; #sjciii

It’s not everything; it’s also not my most exciting memories. If you were to sit me down and make me write out what I did in 25 years, that’s kinda what i come up with. But when I start thinking how weird it is to be 25, i also start thinking…imagine what I’ll do in the next 25 years.

Pilialoha Designs

It has been OVER A MONTH since my last post. I’ve been super busy working, getting through the holidays and starting a new small business with my best friend.

It all started with a high school dance outfit, some painter’s tape and a can of spray paint. We were on a budget so we made our own shirts for all the themed high school dances. It then evolved into painting trucker hats and then eventually into designing shirts and paddling jerseys on the computer. We thought we would take this self-taught skill and make it into something bigger!

Pilialoha means friendship in Hawaiian. Malia and I  have been friends since junior high but outrigger canoe paddling sealed the deal. Our love for the sport as well as the ocean is expressed in the designs that we create.

We have three main lines: Dream, Create, Live. Those words also help us stay grounded for our day to day activities. I personally, and I know Malia as well, am always dreaming of the next big thing (in comes Pilialoha Designs). We create it! We live it!

It has been super fun playing around with different designs and being able to put them on hats and shirts. We love making the bath salts, adding colors and different scents depending on what people like. We’ve done our research! As we’ve learned that different essential oils mixed together have different benefits.

I think more than actually designing the shirts and making the products, we like seeing everyone else enjoy them. I love seeing people I know paddling in our hats. I love people having the light switches we design up in their house. The idea of being able to make things that people like is something I love. We have so many ideas, and want to do everything at once! But we know we gotta slow down, get our names out there and set up a base. 945838_325249557615948_1129692313_n 1455974_311672545640316_583703438_n 1459923_322845191189718_867414319_n 1488017_320510571423180_72616984_n 1530381_324930420981195_1942067211_n

Our website is http://www.pilialohadesigns.com and there is a direct link to our etsy store there as well! I can’t want to see how this takes off and what comes next! We’ll keep everyone posted!

Our instagram is: @Pilialohadesigns

Our Facebook is: http://www.facebook.com/pilialohadesigns

Kona Cruizin’

DCIM120GOPROI LOVE the big island. I’ve been going every summer since I’ve been 17. We fly over as a team at NAC for the Queen Lilioukalani race (except this year I spent five days on Oahu before…OOPS! But that’s in the last blog post). You can find out more about the worlds largest canoe race at https://www.kaiopua.org/.

Before I get into the race…I’m going to get into the fun stuff!!

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Okay, I dare you to try to get same to look at the camera during a selfie

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We take the kids to Waipio Valley which is an awesome beach with a gnarly hike down. A 25% grade hike that takes 45 minutes to get down, and an hour and a half to get back up! Brutal.

But the beach is totally worth the work!DCIM120GOPRO DCIM120GOPRO DCIM120GOPRO

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We end up taking the team to the Mauna Kea observatory every year after Waipio Valley. Mauna Kea is a volcano on the island of Hawaii. Standing 13,803 ft above sea level, its peak is the highest point in the state of Hawaii.

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Kahaluu Beach is a new beach we went to his year. It’s so close the hotel I can believe we haven’t gone before! It is definitely one of the best places to snorkel, dive and explore on the island. I could have spent hours there!

DCIM120GOPRO DCIM120GOPRODCIM120GOPROSouth Point  is the southernmost point of the Big Island of Hawaii and the 50 United States. South Point is also know as “Ka Lae” which means “the point.” The jumping cliffs can vary between 20 feet to 45 feet at any jump! But of course, there is always a way just to walk in and jump in the SUPER CLEAR and SUPER BLUE water! I can’t put into words how beautiful South Point is and the view you get. Just vast amounts of ocean on all sides! photo-15DCIM127GOPRO DCIM127GOPRO DCIM121GOPROIt was a great Kona Trip this year. I’m always making plans for next year! I love the scenery and I love the people! However, after my ten days in hawaii and my four plane rides, I was happy to hit ground in California and be home again! Until next year Big Island!

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Ocean Inspired Jewelry

So I originally wrote this post as a guest blog on my good friend Maddie Dierkes’s blog. She runs an awesome craft, jewelry and really creative blog over at www.maddreamdesign.com and I suggest everyone check it out!

I am a HUGE fan of Ocean Inspire Jewelry, well really ocean inspired anything. I try to keep my blog related to the ocean life somehow, because that is my lifestyle. It is a big part of my life, and a big part of what I LOVE to write about! It just so happens that ocean inspired jewelry is one of my favorite things to discover!

One of the easiest ways to find jewelry with elements of the sea and ocean involved is ETSY. Etsy has a HUGE database of handmade good and jewelry that can be easily found by just searching for what you want!

A fun way however is to search INSTAGRAM. I personally post on my instagram (@KelThompson) everything I buy thats ocean inspired to support the small business I buy from! They women (I say women because it usually is) work day in and out to provide their social media followers with jewelry they think they will enjoy. Now one day, go and search #SeaGlassEarring, #ShellBangle, #TahitianPearl! This is what I found:

Mermaid Jewelry HI

Name: Sancel

Instagram: @MermaidTreasureHI

Website: MermaidTreasureHI.com

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I love her rings and shell bangles, I never take them off! The work she does with silver is amazing, and everything is reasonablly priced! I buy three a time!!

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A lot of the times jewlery you like you find at music festivals or even outrigger races. That’s how I met McKenzie of MCKMetal! And I absolutely LOVE her earrings!

MCKMetal

Instagram: @MCKMetal

Website: MCKMetal.com

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You could eaisly say I’m obsessed with her earring collection, and I love supporting small businesses!

Another way to find great jewlery is to just look towards your friends! Sometimes they’ll surpise you! My best friend on Oahu just started making jelwery a couple years ago and I’m her #1 fan! Her jewlery is simple and beautiful! It goes with everything!

BoMo Designs

Website: Bobbiepoppler.com

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I most defiently wear a piece of BoMo Designs with almost every outting I have to get dressed up for! She’s currently working on getting a website up and running for just her jewlery! So stay tuned on Bobbie Poppler!

As a bigger company, Bettys Belts has made quite a name for themselves as one of the larger ocean inspried jelwery business! Don’t forget to check them out! She does wonderful work with left over surf resign as well!

Bettys Belts

Instagram: @BettysBelts

Website: Bettysbelts.com

I love ocean inspired ANYTHING! Jewlery is just one of my favorite things! You can check out my blog

http://www.kelthompson.wordpress.com

or instagram

@KelThompson

or twitter

@KelThomp

as I move forward in my adventures to find the newest ocean inspired gems!

But for now, check out the people I mentioned above because they won’t disapoint you!These were all brief descriptions as I could go on for hours on each indvidual business! Just explore your social medias, etsy stores and local events to find the hidden treasures you may have passed over before!

Week 15- Favorite Quotes

Just continuing on with my 52 lists project catch up game…pickin’ and choosin’ which ones I like! So here’s week 15: FAVORITE QUOTES.

 

Some one of them are funny, some of them are motivational and some of them are so deep they’re cheesy. But they all mean something to me, and keep me going through out my normal days. I have them written on my mirrors, on post its on my desk, and in my little red book. I’ve collected quotes for a long time, and I’m more than happy to share some of my favorites.

 

“Trust no man, fear no bitch”

“You’re entirely bonkers, but i’ll tell you a secret: all the best people are” 

“People were created to be loved. Things were meant to be used. The reason why the world is in chaos is because things are being loved and people are being used”

“Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

“Suck it up now, so you don’t have to suck it in later”

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

“Don’t tell people what you are. Show them what are you going to be. Never settle.”

“Bitch don’t kill my vibe.”

“I must be a mermaid. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.”

“The world will continue to try & tell you who you are…until you stand up & show the world exactly who you’re gonna be.”

“The sea will set you free.”

“Trust is like a mirror. You can fix it, but you will always see that crack in the mother fuckers reflection.”

“Smile at the bitch who brings you down, laugh at the jackass who screws you over, and point the middle finger at the idiots who don’t know better.”

“Keep it classy, never trashy, and just a little bit sassy.”

So I put a couple more than I thought I would. But I have pages and pages of these! Thanks for enjoying!

Instagram: KelThompson
Twitter: @KelThomp

Santa Barbara Rig Run 2013

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Photo by Chris Silvester

The morning start off at 3:15 am when Bruce and I left the house (our roommates were just going to sleep) and headed up to Santa Barbara with Maddie and Jimi. Reef Runner in tow. We arrived in Santa Barbara two and a half hours later. Looking at the VERY still palm trees and feeling the non existent wind, I braced myself for another flat race.

We didn’t have any kids from the NAC race in the short course, we only had one boat racing in the long course. Three boys , three girls…they absolutely killed it! Even beating the NAC women’s crew that was out there that day by a boat length! Daniella, Kylie, Meghan, Cade, Ian and Liam all had a great time and together it was one of their best races. I get so happy when I see the kids I coach succeed. It’s an silent fist pump when I see them on the course!

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It helped that it was probably the BEST downwind we had had all season. I can easily say that this was one of the best races I’ve done in Southern California! The downwind portion was perfectly lined up (thank you Billy Whitford!) and our crew kept it hot! The girls stayed positive the entire time and we RAN. There was about 70 crews in the women’s race that day. The water was perfect, the wind was perfect and the temperature was perfect. I love racing with the girls, and hottin and hollerin at the other crews around us. We are all a big group of sister paddlers all out wanting to do the same thing…BEAT EACHOTHER! The intensity is brought up when passing another crew, the excitement is through the roof when you can feel that swell pushing the back of your canoe and the POWER is so great when everyone is working together; I can’t think of a better feeling right now.

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NAC Mens second boat steered by Bruce Schwartz photo credit Chris Silvester
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NAC Mens first crew photo credit Chris Silvester

Even though the top mens crew of NAC started late (200 yards behind the start line) they still finished third across the line, out of about 65 boats! My boyfriend Bruce steered a strong group of men in the second boat around all the turns. They had a strong second crew and help their own towards front of the pack! The third boat had a paddler not show up so I stepped in and steered back to back races that day. A good 22 miles seemed like a good idea at the time. I get 5 miles into the first race and i’m like “THIS IS GUNNA HURT”. All in all it was a great day in Santa Barbara! You can’t complain with waves like that! A sun beaming down on you and all your friends around!

Marina Del Rey here we come!

instagram: KelThompson
Twitter: @KelThomp

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