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Weekend Wanderer

Wandering the Weekends in California and beyond

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outrigger

Molokai – It’s About the People

I spent last weekend on my favorite island. Molokai. It may have only been for about 48 hours, but I got my fair share in of soaking up the sun, and breathing in the good energy from everyone. The Na Wahine O Ke Kai race is a 42 mile outrigger race for women from the island of Molokai to the Island of Oahu and it is more than just another channel crossing. It’s a Channel Crossing from Molokai to Oahu with girls from all over the world with one common goal – to get to the other side. make-horse-2

But before we even get to the race start – theres so much more to take in. Molokai is about the people. Not just the people in your crew, or the people in your friends crew but also the people of the island of Molokai. There are the families that take in paddlers, greet everyone in town and help make everyone feel happy. You can’t walk to the grocery store in town without someone waving at you. I meet new friends EVERY DAmake-horse-3MN TIME I get to Molokai. I mean, NAC may be a handful sometimes – but we always bring swag to give out! I’ve met women in my first crossing in 2010, that I may only see once a year but I still go and pick up with them like no time has passed! All because this race and this island has brought us back to together. It literally is the FRIENDLY ISLE. The friends that I have there, that live there, make me their home feel like my home away from home. Molokai is about respecting the beaches and the land around you, being thankful that you are able to continue year after year to visit this island for an outrigger race. I couldn’t be more stoked to stay a weekend on Molokai and I wish I had more time!

Each crew is it’s own family. They bond together, support each other, and get each other across the channel. I was lucky enough to have a super special crew this year for the crossing. My close friends, a mother and her two daughters, new friends and all around a great group of girls to cross the channel with. It was a challenging crossing, I don’t think anyone would disagree. But your crew makes it fun! You can’t have a good crossing without positive vibes all around and smiles!

Molokai is about the people, the friends and the family. We may have trained all year for this race – but the reward isn’t getting to Oahu. The reward is the time spend together on this island, playing and relaxing. It’s meeting new friends and catching up with the girls you only talk to on Facebook!

So take the time, breathe deep, smile more and enjoy everything and everyone around you.  Because you deserve everything the world has to offer around you.

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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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Lake Arrowhead – Last Minute Adventure

IMG_6564Sometimes the best weekend getaways are the ones that don’t take much planning. I’m lucky enough to have a family cabin up in Twin Peaks near Lake Arrowhead and a great tribe to travel with. This used to be one of the only “vacation” spots my family would regularly go to, with 5 kids it’s hard to go anywhere. It always surprises me how easy it is to head up the mountain, and every time I go up I’m stoked on the weather and surroundings. IMG_6598

What makes the weekend trips epic, are the people you travel with. Luckily we had a good vibe tribe heading up the mountain with us. The loop our cabin is on isn’t filled with AIRBNBS or VRBO’s, it really is a quiet family community. We barely get cell phone service, cable has a few channels and we’re forced to actually interact with each other and spend the night trying to figure out how to play pictionary properly. The mornings were the best time, I’d wake up first and let Biggie out for his morning roam. That was my favorite time of the day, when it was literally no other sound except for the pug snorting around the nearest tree. We’d make waffles and bacon, and within 37 seconds the entire cabin was awake by the smell of breakfast. Which really isn’t that hard, because you can stand in the living room and see into the other two rooms and bathrooms without rotating. Hey, everyone likes to be cozy.

But as usual, where ever we go, we find something to paddle and somewhere to paddle on. Lake Gregory  has a greaIMG_6567t spot to set up a chair and drop a cooler for a few hours while enjoying the fresh air and the lake itself. It’s one of the best kept secrets in the area, as most people spend their time on Lake Arrowhead or up in Big Bear. You can bring your own equipment, however they have a fee to launch. During the summer the water is super refreshing, which is convenient when your sisters try to flip your boy scout canoe!

Friday night the electricity went out, a power outage that affect the entire loop. It was about midnight and we were still awake playing board games, just like you normally would in any cabin setting – am I right? Once we got over the IMG_6487“OMG this is a horror movie waiting to happen” mode, we grabbed all the candles we could to lighten up the small cabin. But the best lighting we got was outside under the stars. Everyone laying down on the porch just staring up at the stars and watching them appear from behind the trees was one of the most relaxing moments I’ve had in months.

Lake Arrowhead has a killer summer set up for concerts at the lake ( http://www.lakearrowhead.com/village.html ) and also fun things to do all day. I mean, we just walked around, stopped for tacos and fed the ducks; but we totally could have spent the entire day there like we used to. We just wanted to head down the mountain (which took all of 20 minutes) before the sun went down.

Fresh hikes, fun days and a margarita to join the sunset. I need to spend more time up the mountain. IMG_6522IMG_6658

If I learned anything in 2015 it was…

That white wine is one helluva drug.

Jokes.

If I learned anything in 2015 it was that theres ALWAYS room for self improvement. Whether it’s personal, work related or relationships; there’s aways an opportunity to make life better.

If I learned anything in 2015 it was that theres ALWAYS room for error. Get organized; something will fail or go wrong. Just smile and roll with the punches.

If I learned anything in 2015 it was to accept that trailers and old boats are and will always be apart of my front yard decorations. Along with the truck, the 4HP motor, the new canoe we just picked up, the chair Bruce got at goodwill…

If I learned anything in 2015 it was that I work to travel, and I travel to paddle. I work a lot. I travel a lot. I paddle a lot.

If I learned anything in 2015 it was that your core group of girls will always be there for you, no matter how far out across the state they are.

If I learned anything in 2015 it was that amazon prime has changed my way of shopping.

If I learned anything in 2015 it was that set backs come and go. And sometimes they just keeping coming. And then you’re suppressed down by a feeling of multiple setbacks; but in the end everything happens for a reason and there is a way back to the top.

If I learned anything in 2015 it was that if you don’t grind, you don’t shine.

There’s no New Year – New You. There’s just a New Year…and YOU. What will you do with it? Keep evolving as a human, keep learning, keep growing. Take what you learn and fly with it.

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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.

Kona 2013

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A video I made a few weeks back about our trip to Kona with the Junior Outrigger Kids! Enjoy!

Dads Center~ Queen Liliuokalani~ Catalina ~ Breathe!

The last month has gone by SO fast. I’m just now being able to sit down and reflect on how lucky I am to be able to travel as easily as I do (thankful for sisters that live in cool places) and race as much as I do! The last three races I just did were some of the most fun paddling I’ve ever had! I’ve finally had the time to BREATHE and recap on the past three events in my life!

 

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I have NEVER done this race before! When my good friend Maddie asked if I had any interest in steering that race- OFCOURSE I jumped on it! Hello! A weekend in Hawaii with good friends, my sisters AND I get to paddle? I’m in.

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This race is on Oahu from Kailua Beach to Waikiki. Roughly a 26 mile change race. I had heard that there is all sorts of different water you encounter in this race. Flat water, rough water, big water and STUPID water. We had all and more. It was the biggest washing machine I had ever been in. I kept looking over at Jimi (our escort coach) and ending up telling Maddie “I just need Jimi to tell me it gets easier!”

By hour two of steering, Jimi can get close enough and say “It’s going to get easier Kel, but first it’s going to get a lot shittier.”1150505_10201889121413666_1145914327_o

I learned a lot in that race, not just about steering an and paddling. I learned that I can put myself in a tough and new situation and by staying calm and trusting the girls I have with me, we’ll come out on top!

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Thanks to Imua Outrigger for letting me come along for the wild ride!

Queen Liliuokalani 

This was my 8th appearance in Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii for the Queen Liliuokalani, and my 7th time accomplishing the 18 mile long iron long course. I’m serious when I say it gets easier every time! I got to spend this race with some my best friends!

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We had an open crew and a masters crew! We had another open crew which was filled with just juniors. It was awesome to coach these girls all summer and see them work hard. They set their goals and stuck too it. I’ve never been prouder of a crew I coached. And to see them all working together and having fun to make it happen- that’s the most rewarding thing as a coach in my opinion. When a crew comes together after months of hard work, I feel like there’s nothing better then pushing them off the beach.

My crew lucked out and got another unlimited boat! All wood, very beautiful boat! The unlimited category means that the boat can be of any design and way under the 400 lb weight restriction. The unlimited division starts 5 minutes behind the 400lb boats and crews. We ended up 32nd out of 133 crews and had a blast!

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Catalina 2013

Catalina! The race that means the most to us California people! A race from Newport Beach to Avalon, Catalina! Just about 27 miles! This is TOTALLY my favorite race of the season- and not just for the after party 😉1268510_10201612021996905_1446212873_o

Us girls all come together as one and get ourselves to Catalina! It’s what we work for all season! I love this race just because we know it’s the final race and we are going to give everything we got and leave it on the water!

This year was really challenging. We had a strong headwind and the swells were coming from the side. We couldn’t catch much, but we did what we could with what we had! And we had fun! We did better than the year before, and that’s all you can hope to do! We even made a new friend- Dana! A super awesome girl from Kauai who came in a helped us fill a spot!

We made it in 5 hours and 5 minutes. 1264107_10201612022596920_2004676474_o

We got 7th and at the end all I wanted was a root beer.

The next day, after a good nights sleep of course, I was able to help run the mens crews back. Usually I’m an escort for the second mens crew- but since Sam has that “no girlfriends allowed on escorts” blah blah blah rule, I couldn’t escort the second crew. Which means Sam was stuck with me helping him with the first crew!

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Now that all the racing has slowed down, I can finally breathe! Relax! Catch up on things I never get done during the summer! But I always find myself wishing that distance season wasn’t over. We always have the most fun!

xoxo

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