Category Archives: Paddling

Get Up Stand Up

My lovely wife bought me a wonderful birthday/Christmas present; a 12’1″ Laird Hamilton Standup surfboard. It’s the coolest thing I’ve ever gotten. Took it out surfing last weekend, and I can’t wait to head out tomorrow too. It’s a great combination of surfing and paddling, and getting out the SUP is great exercise and loads of fun.

Thanks go to Fred and Mae at Lotus Surf, they really brought the board in fast once we made the order. I highly suggest shopping at Lotus for all your surfing needs. This couple recently took over the store and they are great people and good friends of ours.

Samoa SPG – Paddling Update

This week marks the 2007 Samoa South Pacific Games Va’a (outrigger canoe) regatta at the Mulifanoua Reserve in Samoa. Monday and Tuesday marked the sprint regatta, whilst today’s race is the solo va’a distance event and tomorrow culminates with the team distance event.

Stories, photos and results are available at the Sporting Pulse’s paddling web page.

It is bittersweet following the results. No, not bittersweet, just bitter. I’d like to say “Well there’s always next time,” but I know there won’t be a next time, at least for me going to SPG.

Quiksilver Paddle Rashie and Boardshorts

Got my hands on one of the new Quiksilver Paddle rashies last week and took it out for a paddle this week. Pretty nice stuff, so nice we are thinking about using them as uniforms for the paddling club in the future. So this set of links is for me…

And as a sidenote, I came across this little blurb about Eddie Vedder (of Pearl Jam) trying to do Molokai in 2005 and he needed to be rescued after he was swept from his one man canoe. Interesting…

Beached

The South Pacific Games begin on August 25. A mere 23 days from now, a bit over three weeks away.

I will not be going.

Months of training were all for naught. Paddling, swimming, running, weight lifting, Pilates… in the end I was too slow on the va’a. Too slow to make the cut. It is a disappointment, and ever since I missed the time trial I have been in a funk. I don’t rightly know what to do next here. I have been aiming for this goal since last year and now I am a bit adrift. It’s been difficult since the rest of the men’s team dropped out several months ago, leaving me to train for the va’a, a canoe I know very little about. It took almost a month to get my hands on one, get it repaired and into the water so I could train. Valuable time wasted.

I don’t know. I am discouraged. All those months of training and I was no faster on the canoe than someone who only practiced twice before coming down and joining the time trials. That was just humbling, and it made me think I’ve done nothing but waste my time.

On the bright side, I don’t have to come up with three grand to pay for my ticket (go figure that one out) and for the first time in over a year I am sleeping in mornings instead of paddling OC-1’s in the pre-dawn hours.

But I am still adrift, and like the va’a I could not master, rudderless.

Aloha Mike Tongg

Sorry, I’ve been remiss.

On July 13th, one of the great truly great paddlers and watermen of Hawaiian sport passed away. Michael Tongg passed away after a long battle with lung cancer at the age of 63. I was lucky enough to know Mike and he was truly a great ambassador of the sport of outrigger canoeing. His love of life and the water was palpable, as was his desire to introduce and coach new paddlers in this great sport. He was instrumental in the development of paddling in Micronesia and throughout the Pacific. The last time I spoke with Mike was last year at the 2006 Heineken Cup, he paddled with Imua for our sprint races.

His family has created a memorial web site for this great man and his full life. Please take a moment to visit and write in the guestbook.

Back On The Rock

I returned home to Guam Thursday night and slept for the next couple days. Call it jet lag, exhaustion, whatever; I just needed to stretch out and sleep after that 13 hour Houston – Tokyo flight.

Now that vacation is over, the hard training is upon me. I’ve slacked off recently because of the confusion surrounding SPG, and I am feeling like sloth. I need to recapture the fire in my belly and get serious for the next couple months, because it looks like I am going folks.

One last note on my father’s passing. The Webster Kirkwood Times ran his obituary in last week’s issue.

Chickens Offer Up Telltale Clues

So archaeologists have found evidence of Polynesian chickens at a site along the Chilean coast, proving that Polynesians made their way to South America in Pre-Columbian times. Sort of a reverse Kon Tiki, and a testament to the skill and power of Pacific navigators.

I’ve known about this Polynesian/Asian chicken thing for a while; I remember reading about it back in my undergrad days at Beloit. The hard evidence was lacking, but all the pointers were there, specifically Magellan’s logs that mention bartering for chickens along the Patagonia coast in 1521. Considering that Columbus touched ground in Trinidad in 1498, so it is highly unlikely that chickens made it across so many thousands of miles of jungle and became a common food source among the Patagonians in less than 23 years.

Requiem For A Dream

One week ago it fell apart. I’m still picking up the pieces, but if I go, it will be solo. The men’s team voted to not go to Samoa last week. After months of hard work and preparation, our numbers dipped too low to sustain a full team for the games and we tossed in the towel. I am disappointed to say the least. I’ve spent most of the last six months training for this event, paddling every day, running, swimming, Pilates, weight lifting and more doing more paddling. And now my only option is to pursue the solo va’a races. I’m not giving up, but this is a major disappointment for me. All the rest of the team mates seem to have this ‘what the hell, we can just try again in 2011’ attitude, but that’s really not an option for me. I’m 38 years old, not 20 like the rest of the men. I can feel my age in my bones. This was my swan song, and I’ll never get a chance to sing it again.

Oh and this is my personal opinion folks

Some Loose Ends

I am hoping this is not much of a typhoon. My internet is via cable now; and after the last typhoon it took six months before the cable company fixed the downed lines in Yoña. That’s a long time without the internet.

Anyway, here’s the update on the paddling thing. Been paddling a lot, and won a few medals the last couple weeks. I don’t know if I mentioned it, but I am trying out for the men’s outrigger canoe team for the South Pacific Games in Samoa. Here’s some pictures and stories related to the events.

The long distance OC-1 races are scheduled to start next Saturday with a run from Umatac to Agat. I am a little worried that this storm will curtail any training I might do this week.

And here’s a few photos of me from the GKCF sprints last weekend, courtesy of Dianne:

Gee and I paddle the OC-2

Me after winning the 1000 meter sprint

Collin and I watched the second heat of the 1000 meter sprint

That’s it. Still don’t know about the SPG paddling roster, nothing’s been said yet. And there is still some controversy over whether Guam will even send a contingent to Samoa for the the games in August.

Hokule’a Due In Palau

Just got off the phone with David in Palau. He’s waiting down in Melekau with a large crowd for the arrival of the Hokule’a and the Alingano Maisu into Palau. The two sailing canoes left Yap on Friday and are expected to arrive any minute now.

Apparently there was something here on Guam for some sailors heading down to relieve the crews in Palau last Friday. I didn’t get word until late that evening though, so I missed out. It’s sad, but I’ll survive. Now I need to go batten down the hatches for this storm’s approach.

Piggies Across The Pacific

Scientists are tracking the dispersal of humans across the scattered islands of the Pacific Ocean by following the genetic markers of feral pigs. While pigs can swim, the distances between the islands are too great, meaning their porcine subjects could only have arrived via human effort. And what they have found is a clear link between pigs in Vietnam and Indonesia with pigs in Oceania. This goes against the traditional view that the Pacific Islands were peopled by humans from Taiwan and the Philippines.

Hawaiian Canoes Reach Satawal

A pair of Hawaiian sailing canoes, the Ho-kule’a and the Alingano Maisu reached the island of Satawal yesterday. The Alingano Maisu is a gift to Mau Piailug, the navigator who taught his skills to the Hawaiians and reintroduced traditional navigation to the Hawaiian Islands.

The Hawaiians left Oahu in mid January, and battled stormy seas, constant rain and contrary winds to reach Satawal. After the presentation of the canoe to Piailug, the Ho-kule’a will continue on through Micronesia, visiting Palau and Yap, before heading to Japan to celebrate that country’s strong ties to Hawai’i. The Ho-kule’a even has a blog to track the voyage.

Oh Yeah…

Since I’m finding the time to update today, let’s drop this little nugget out there…

I bought a truck. I bought a Dodge Dakota pickup last week. Traded in the Blue Torpedo. I’m pretty conspicuous now, driving around in a red truck with a canoe on the top. But it is a better fit with my life now.

Pictures to follow…

Hello

Well, I’ve obviously got a little bit of a problem getting back on the blogging bandwagon. Good thing? Bad thing? I went to Josie’s birthday party last month (happy belated birthday again!) and I’m just now getting around to mentioning it. Oops. She’s noticed too, giving me this what’s up with you dude? look. All I can say is I am very busy in the real world these days, seems like every waking moment is spent working or paddling canoes. Of course there’s more to say, and I am writing it down in somewhere, but it’s not for public consumption folks. Dilf it dude. Just dilf it.

Catching Up

So what then? What have I been doing to fill the hours away from my computer? Simple really.

Paddling.
I spent a great deal of time this year in canoes. And I loved every minute of it. By late September/early October, I was paddling every day, mornings, evenings, sometimes twice a day. Still am paddling everyday, though schedules are a little messed up during the holidays. With the new year comes a firmer resolve to push my paddling to the next level. Off island competition, perhaps trying out for the Guam National Team.

Running.
Yeah, running. And I hate running. But I started jogging before paddling, trying to lose some more weight and increase my stamina. Before I knew what was happening, I was running miles and miles every day. Started doing 5K runs, then a 10K a few weeks ago before I was sidelined (more on that later). I knew something was up when I was driving home late one night, a little tipsy, and I muttered to myself, ‘I am really starting to dig running.’ Uh oh.

Drinking
Yep. I fell off the wagon. After over a year without a drink, I started up again. And I made up for lost time kiddies. I’m not exactly talking Bukowski here, but I’ve been raging for a while now. It’s good to go off on a bender every now and then, and I’ve been on several lately. ‘Well I have been drunk now for over six weeks | I passed out and I rallied and I sprung a few leaks…’ I’ll probably be tapering off after the holidays though, as I kick up the training regimen in 2007.

Working
Well, it’s been busy at the old office, and the new offshore office. But I don’t like talking about work. So I won’t tarry here for long. Got a trip to Manila this year though, and a couple people under me. Next year promises more of the same. I’ll keep y’all posted as things develop.

Recuperating
Well I go slammed by some crazy infection this year. What started out as a bug bite turned into a nasty boil, then multiplied on my legs. Yes, the infamous Guam sores hit me hard folks. Basically these are virulent staph infections that affect lots of people on Guam. Let’s just say the water isn’t the cleanest in some locations (cough cough Boat Basin cough cough). Most of September and October I was on antibiotics, trying to clear out the infection. A couple guys on the paddling team also got slammed by the bacteria, one ended up in the hospital in Hawaii for a week on an IV he was so bad. I thought mine was vanquished, but late November/early December the sores came back, my lymph nodes in my groin became hard and painful and I fell into violent chills and fevers for a few days. The infection got down into my bones apparently and I almost got stuck with an IV. Luckily the horse pill antibiotics worked and while I still ain’t feeling 100%, I am feeling much better. My lower leg is still tender and a bit swollen, so I haven’t been running is a few weeks. I stayed out of the water for a couple weeks too, though I am paddling again now. I’m hoping the leg heals up soon, I am really twitchy for a run.

That’s about it. Now you know what I’ve been up to, or at least the part that’s safe for public consumption. I leave the rest up to your imaginations. Probably start off the new year with a post on what I read, watched and listened to in 2006. And maybe plans/resolutions for the new year. One of which will be to continue blogging.