Honolulu Star Bulletin (3/17/01)
By Ray Pendleton
Aloha! That was my one-word greeting to Honolulu Star-Bulletin readers in the first Water Ways column nearly eight years ago.
Mike Fitzgerald (the sports editor at the time) and I had met at the Honolulu Quarterback Club. After learning I wrote for several mainland boating magazines, he asked if I would be interested in doing a locally-oriented boating column for the newspaper, and, as they say, the rest was history.
Now, some 400 columns later, saying aloha again seems appropriate.
After all, the Star-Bulletin has a new owner, new offices, new presses, a new morning edition, not to mention a new Sunday edition beginning April 1. I imagine we even have quite a few new readers as well.
Since its inception, this column's sole purpose has been to provide a source of information on any and all topics related to Hawaii's recreational boating community.
We have covered, and will continue to cover a broad spectrum, from sailing and fishing activities, to boating facilities, pollution, legislation and safety.
We will continue to spotlight international regattas such as the venerable Transpacific Yacht Race, the Kenwood Cup, the Pacific Cup, the Victoria-Maui Race and the Asahi Cup, but local events like the Lipton Cup won't be ignored either.
Likewise, world-renown fishing tournaments such as the Hawaii International Billfish Tournament, the World Billfish Challenge, and the Maui Jim Marlin Series won't overshadow local events like the Hoolea, Lahaina and Ahi Fever tournaments.
We will also continue to monitor and maintain communications with the state legislature, the Boating Division of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, and the Coast Guard to keep up with all new laws and enforcement procedures relating to boating.
And finally, we will continue to meet many of the interesting individuals in our boating community. Whether they are world-class sailors, local anglers, or unknown cruisers just passing through, all of their stories enrich our lives.
For an example, Water Ways readers may remember meeting Charles Coleman, author of "Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! This is the Haleakala." His tale of being shipwrecked in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and how he was rescued, should be required reading for anyone going offshore in a boat.
Another sailor readers may remember is the McKinley High graduate Brian "BJ" Caldwell. For over a year, in 1995 and '96, we were able to follow his exciting voyage around the world, when he became the youngest person, at the time, to sail a singlehanded circumnavigation.
We should also remember a Waikiki Yacht Club member named Bill Klimpl. Incredibly, for well over a decade he has been teaching blind people the art of sailing. He's still at it, and, as always, its free.
A great fishing tale that should be remembered came from Hawaii Yacht Club member and veteran fisherman Al Bento. After more than 40 years of trying, he finally boated his first "grander", a Pacific blue marlin weighing over 1,000 pounds.
And finally, there was Dr. Marc Miller, a cultural anthropologist working with the Pacific Ocean Research Foundation. Contrary to the usual studies done on fishing, he analyzed the cultural values of the fishermen doing the fishing and how to view our fisheries in human terms.
In retrospect, it has been this rich calabash of people and subjects that has made this column a joy to write and, hopefully, an interesting read.
So, again, aloha. Welcome back, or for the first time.
HoloHolo Hawai`i Ocean Sports News