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Transpac “Fever”

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

Aloha Celerity!

Another Transpac has come and gone….it will remain in the spirits of those who participated in the race, volunteered, or had it touch them in some way; if they are a sailor or water-lover of life here in these islands.

For those of you who aren’t sailors, here is a brief history of Transpac, which is the longest running sailboat race in the world. The former King David Kalakaua, of the Hawaiian monarchy, had conceived of the idea of a sailboat race to the islands. Sadly, the king passed away before the race ever became a reality but the idea had inspired some local sailors, who kept the idea alive. It wasn’t until, 1906 when the first race actually occurred. It starts near Long Beach, CA with the finish off the Diamond Head lighthouse & buoy; establishing a distance of 2,225 nautical miles; being held in odd numbered years.

This Transpac, I only had the opportunity to greet a  finishing boat once, due to work obligations. That was on Friday morning the 24th of July.

The morning of the 24th was a gorgeous Hawaiian day, plus it was Aloha Friday.  The Santa Cruz 37, “Celerity”, had come in 1st in Division 7 & 1st overall.  Way to go, Celerity!  It was time to get to the harbor to greet her and her crew. I had been following the race via the “Yellow Brick Road” app on my iPad (thank you Roy Disney and friends) and I could see “Celerity” was due in anytime at the Diamond Head buoy. It was just after 4:30 AM (normally I’m not awake this early but an escrow needed some serious attention too).  I packed up my backpack and off I went to Hawaii Yacht Club, where the welcoming party was awaiting her arrival.

Skipper/Owner Harry Zanville (center)

I arrived after “Celerity” had already pulled up to the Aloha Dock at HYC.  The festivities were in full swing. The camera crew from KHON-TV was on the scene, the families of the crew members were too, and an assorted group of sailors from Waikiki Yacht Club and Hawaii Yacht club as well. Of course, the committee people from Transpac Yacht Club wouldn’t miss this arrival either. We were all on hand to do what we do when a boat finishes Transpac—share the Aloha Spirit. What a great way to start Aloha Friday!

Female Crewmember

I feel why Transpac is such a special race, to the racers and us local sailors, is best summed up in the words of the winning Skipper/Owner—Harry Zanville, “I don’t race my boat on the mainland, I only race it here to Hawaii”. Needless to say, his excitement at their accomplishment was infectious. The crew’s camaraderie and sheer joy, at having achieved such a milestone was evident.

I think that sums it up for us local sailors here too. Why we get “Transpac Fever” as it is called, because we want to share the Aloha Spirit when they arrive. At whatever time they arrive, day or night. Anyone who has ever sailed past Diamond Head, seen that beautiful lighthouse, then crossed the Diamond Head buoy, into the blue waters off Waikiki. We become fast friends in the Spirit of Aloha and Transpac.

 

Ala Wai Harbor & Diamond Head

As the words to a very well known local song go, “Home in the islands…in the middle of the sea.” Pollyroger, signing off for now.

Polly Personification

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Well my friends, near and far—it’s been quite some time since our last writing.  Pollyroger needed to take a breather from her world-wind year of travels to be honest.  She’s now rested and ready to go out meet some new folks once again.  Since that is what Pollyroger thrives on is friendships… =)

Her “mom” got the opportunity to dress as a pirate for her company’s annual awards banquet a couple of weeks ago.  The event was held at the Halekulani Hotel (the only remaining 5 star property on Oahu) from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm.  The invitation read “Attire- Pirate Bling”…oh if they only knew!!  So in broad daylight we invitees go strolling in our pirate bling costumes—what a hoot!  Talk about some looks from the hotel’s guests….

Polly Personified

The event was first class and FUN!!   Did we ever pick the right company to go to work for or what?!

But the fun didn’t end there, when “Polly” is getting out of her car in the parking garage where she lives, along comes a man and his little 3 or 4 year old daughter, just as Polly is getting out of the car.  “Arrghh, little girl” she says, “Would you like some goodies from me booty bag?!”  The little girl stares at her with eyes wide open in fear, Polly pulls a chocolate gold coin from her booty bag and hands it to the little girl.  The father asks, “Is that chocolate?”  “Arrgghh, yes it be!” Polly replies.  The little girl lights up with a grin from ear to ear as we step into the elevator together…she believes she’s met a real live pirate woman!! =)

Got FUN?!  You betcha….

Pirate Pillage

From Duke’s on Sunday; to Duke’s 121st Birthday; to Duke’s on Sunday…. =)

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Aloha amigos—my last writing was of a man known for his “Aloha Spirit” Henry Kapono who has been performing music in the islands since the early 70’s.  This post brings us full circle with the Oceanfest Celebrations we had this past week, celebrating our first Ambassador of Aloha, Olympic medalist, Duke Kahanamoku.  He would have celebrated his 121st birthday last Wednesday, the 24th of August.

Duke's Ohana (Family)

Our mayor, Peter Carlisle went out surfing in Duke’s honor on Wednesday along with the Australian mayor, Michael Regan, of Warringah, which is across the harbor from Sydney.  Duke Kahanamoku first introduced surfing to Australia in this little town at Freshwater Beach, back in 1915.   As serendipity would have it I arrived on the beach just as they finished their “Goodwill Surf Session”….

Afterwards there was a lei draping ceremony at Duke’s statue on the beach in Waikiki which I put into a little video here for you to enjoy.  But the fun didn’t end there, since the weekend had everything from house blessings for friends in their new home, to a birthday celebration, to a fantastic brunch off Diamond Head on Sunday and where did we all wind up at?  Duke’s Restaurant of course!  With Mr. Henry Kapono bringing his aloha to the end of another wonderful Hawaiian weekend.  Here’s a link to the video with Henry playing some new music, a song entitled quite appropriately “Across the Sea”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvdlg2WCV-c

I know there are friends in some 26 countries around the world now checking in on Polly’s Pals postings.  I want to know if you’ve heard any of Henry Kapono’s music beyond what I’ve shared so far.  If so what is your favorite song?

In the meantime…ahoy & aloha!

Lucky live Hawaii

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Henry Kapono & Reef

Aloha amigos!  Another week ahead and another one just gone by… 

I ended last week yesterday at a local institution known as Duke’s Restaurant in Waikiki.  It’s become an institution in many ways due to a local performer that has played there every Sunday afternoon from 4 to 6 p.m.; his name is Henry Kapono.  I’m not sure how many years he’s been playing at Duke’s but I would guess going on 10 years.  I first heard Henry back in the day when there were still “Crater Festivals” at Diamond Head Crater.  My brother who had gotten stationed in Hawaii back in 1971 “turned me on” to C & K, or as they were known then “Cecilo &  Kapono”.  They in my opinion modernized Hawaiian music in a way no one had until then. 

 They still play together on different occasions for different events such as the one recently to aid the victims of Japan’s tsunami disaster relief, held at the Hilton in Waikiki.  It was a pretty star studded line up from the likes of Michael McDonald, Mick Fleetwood, Willie Nelson, the list goes on and on–with Henry bringing his special mana to share in the aloha spirit for the people of Japan.  Henry has done many solo albums since his days with C&K, Michael McDonald has done several cuts with him on some of his work.  Henry’s newest album was just released about a month ago, it’s entitled simply, “Henry” it’s great!

I want to dedicate this post to a man who in my humble opinion is the true meaning of aloha.  He is a Hawaiian gem of an individual.  Here’s a picture of him with a little regular star these days, “Reef” who sings, “Don’t Worry About a Thing”, by Bob Marley, when his mom brings him down to Duke’s.  Henry has no problem with Reef stealing the spotlight for his one song, of course.  Because when you are at Duke’s on Sunday….well here is Henry singing it. 

 The song says it all…..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIx-tcj7z94

Pondering possibilities…

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Aloha Amigos!!  Such a great week gone by, which ended with celebrating Leo family & Leo friends…

In the spirit of a very well known Hawaiian singer fondly called “Brother Iz” I want to share this picture taken on a Friday night sail last weekend,  I call it “Over the Rainbow”…… 

Where I’ve chosen to live there are rainbows in abundance, but we still do not take them for granted.  It speaks to people around the world of something sort of magical coming down from the heavens, sending us blessings, putting smiles on faces that see it. 

With that said, I wish you all a wonderful week ahead–even if you don’t see a beautiful rainbow like this one I’ve shared with you…know there are blessings in abundance all around you.  Just take a minute to think about it and you’ll find your very own rainbow right where you are.

Have a fantastic week friends & FUN!!

Polly Pondering…

Monday, August 1st, 2011

A new week ahead with so many wonderful possibilities on so many levels!  Amazing things can happen when you hold on to your dreams in spite of what may appear as “setbacks”, when in reality they are just opportunities to explore new paths.  I wish each and every one of you wonderful pals; a week that brings you much happiness, adventure, and most importantly–FUN!  A hui ho! =)

Transpac Life

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Where to begin?  What an amazing week of excitement in these islands for the sailing and boating community.  It all began on Friday the 15th(just one short week ago) with the first boat to finish, Bella Mente in the wee morning hours while it was still dark out.  She was then followed by Magnitude 80 in the beautiful morning sunshine you see here from the view by Diamond Head Lighthouse.  What a fantastic start to a wonderful week!

Magnitude 80 arriving Hawaii

The boats all began arriving in a pack over the next 48-72 hours.  Something like 40 vessels finished within 24 hours. Talk about some high energy at the harbor front down at the Ala Wai… 

Communications, pier operations, escort vessels–you name it everything was in full swing.  Maitais were waiting for each and every boat as they arrived into their designated dock, regardless if it was 2 p.m. or 2 a.m, that is the aloha spirit the vessels look forward to meeting them on their arrival.  The folks from all the various yacht clubs on all the different committees were pitching in to make this one huge welcome party, as the tradition has been for over a 100 years. 

Pollyroger was in her most favorite mode of all—FUN!! =)

And so we write this with our regular Friday night races going tonight, while all the crews from all the different vessels that made the passage to our island paradise; gather down at the Waikiki Shell for their awards ceremony.  Tonight WYC & HYC will both be brimming with friends new and old, celebrating one more time before the visiting crews head on back to the mainland.

We wanted to share this video with you Polly Pal’s, of the wonderful folks that make it all happen, right here each and every Transpac year, the volunteers… 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6GByYlw_QU

Mahalo nui loa!  Ahoy & aloha…….

Transpac 2011 heading to Hawaii!!

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Pollyroger has not forgotten you folks, she’s been pretty busy taking care of a lot of important matters—but one very important one is about to happen…TRANSPAC.

Pals near and far, the longest running sailboat race on the planet is heading back to Hawaii for its 46th biennial race!  What began as an invitation from King David Kalakaua, to celebrate his 50th birthday in 1886, finally started in 1906 from Los Angeles to Honolulu.  It’s been running biennially with a few exceptions since the start of this fantastic tradition.

The harbor front is starting to buzz in anticipation of the racers heading to our islands.  The vessels are more than midway here now and the celebrations are going to be under way soon enough.  Here is a link to the official website so you can have a look at their progress: www.transpacrace.com  There are such a wide variety of committees that it takes to make this event a success, from communications, to escort boats, to the ship stores, each yacht club on island, you name it; everyone that loves sailing wants to help out.

Diamond Head Lighthouse

Pollyroger has chosen to volunteer where she loves best at the Diamond Head Lighthouse Finish Line Committee.  It’s a pretty exciting job, since you are the person actually calling the vessels finish, along with the timer who records the exact second you call out “MARK”!!  One Transpac year she had the good fortune of calling the finish for three vessels within fifteen minutes of each other.  Talk about fun… =) This year’s watch is on a full moon—good timing!  Here she is with her watch partner, Lita Shelton at the lighthouse.  Note the “pvc-style scope” for the finish.  Believe me, that baby is accurate.

Finish Line

Lita & Pollyroger

Pollyroger also had the good fortune to go out on an inaugural sail/ride with Lyle Holden’s new vessel “Loco Moco”, last Friday night for the beer can races.  She made wonderful new friends that evening as you can see here from these photos.  Well pals as we say in the islands, “A hui ho!”… (until we meet again) 

There will be many more posts coming sooner than later with the fantastic fleet of boats sailing their way to the place we call home here in these islands–Hawaii.

Pollyroger has come full “circle”… =)

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

Dear friends near and far,

What an amazing year of traveling around the planet!  What wonderful friendships made during that time all over the world.  Now the world seems like a much smaller place with all these newfound friendships.  I put together this video that highlights some of those experiences but there are so many faces I wish were in it that aren’t–the video would have played way too long!

Round the World with Pollyroger 2010 compressed_0001

New adventures await as I prepare to leave for Brazil in less than two weeks too.  There will be Carnaval to experience in the sweet little surfer town I’m heading back to.  The name of the town is Lagoa de Conceicao or “Lagoa” for short.  I consider it my “alternate universe” of my hometown of Haleiwa, Hawaii.  The main city that Lagoa is associated to is called Florianopolis or “Floripa” for short.  Let’s see what this next step in the journey brings.  This one thing is true in all that has transpired in the few months I’ve been back in Hawaii; it’s all about the journey, not the destination these days and how you go with the flow of it all.  So far I sure have not been dissappointed.  Tchau (bye) amigos & amigas–todo bem!! =)

Lagoa de Conceicao

Sand dune Surfer dude

Pollyroger’s Planetary Pursuits….

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Pals what can we say other than it’s been quite a busy summer and past couple of months since our last post.  But fear not, Pollyroger has been making pals in some amazing planetary places! =)  So we will bring you up to speed, so to speak, of some of her planetary adventures, places she’s been spotted, and fun she’s been having.

She was last written of while in Europe in Vienna, Austria with pals Kathi & Conny.  Well she made a few more stops while in this fantastic continent, starting with her pal Gitte in Prague!

Gitte & Pollyroger in Prague

Astronomical Clock & Pollyroger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 But Pollyroger’s Eastern European time was not over there.  She went on to the fantastic city of Berlin, Germany where she took it all in with a panaroma view at sunset (her favorite time of day) from the TV Tower building in Alexanderplatz.  Here is Berlin with the lovely river Spree running through it’s amazing city and Pollyroger taking it all in…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Berlin she headed up as far north as this sun loving spirit would venture to Scandanavia, where she set sail on yet another body of water, The Baltic Sea!

Ahh, but dear pals, she had something ahead even more amazing in store…a wonder of the world–The Taj Mahal.  Unfortunately upon arrival to said palace she was not permitted to enter the grounds.  Why you ask?  Was there fear of espionage? Fear of a pirate?  Fear not–Pollyroger persevered… =)

Taj Mahal at a side glance...with Polly pride!

 So you ask, “a wonder of the world, great cities of Europe, another sea set sail upon, what more???”  Pollyroger being the adventurous spirit she is knew she was heading to the highest mountains in the world, the Himalayas of Nepal.  So what does she decide to do?  She goes paragliding off of a mountainside in Pokhara, Nepal!!  You can see the city in the distance with Lake Fewa below.

Paragliding Pollyroger

Got FUN?!

Hell yeah…….

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