Roughly translated: Ready, Set, GO!
We are now card-carrying members of the Maui Canoe Club. Motto: Paddling For Fun. We go out on the ocean 3 or 4 times a week in outrigger canoes and, boy, is it FUN! Whenever you come for a visit, this will definitely be one of the outings we will be encouraging you to do with us.
We've seen whales, turtles and even a manta ray up close & personal. We've floated out over amazing coral beds (Michael swears he saw electric blue coral flowers). Just being out on the ever-changing water is soul-quenching.
It's so interesting, too, the physics of the boats. They are apparently very easy to tip over ("huli"), if you lean the wrong way (which would be toward the right, the opposite side of the "ama" - the outrigger float on the port side). We haven't huli'ed yet.
The club is full of really nice folks, many of whom, like us, maybe more on the September side of that May/September age reference. (There was a big birthday party for a member and the theme was "Hawaii Six-O".) . We're finding that many are "snowbirds", only here for the winter. Kinda sad to see them go. But plenty live here year round. And there are events beyond simply paddling - so lots of opportunities for music and eating and all around camaraderie (which I'm pretty sure I can't spell).
This quote, from past MCC President Mike Elam (the Hawaii Six-O birthday guy) really sums it up:
“One of our main goals is to promote the culture of Hawai‘i and the ancient sport of outrigger canoe,” said Elam. “We really hope the public will continue to embrace the many benefits of canoeing which are social, physical and spiritual… not to mention you see some great sights up close. With canoeing, you increase your strength and flexibility, make new friends, and experience the beauty of the ocean in a very special way.”
We're so excited to have found this treasure. (Thanks to a new friend, Metha, who splits her time between Maui and Petaluma.... but we didn't meet her until we moved here. Go figure!)
By the way... if you are at all interested in the pronunciation of the title, here is is phonetically:
And Ready-Set-Go is too anglicized a translation. It's the call that the captain makes once you are in the canoe and ready to go again after a "lava" (a stop). It's almost more of a chant. The captain calls out "Makaukau!" (asking "Paddlers, are you ready?" and everyone holds their paddles up over their heads in response). "Hoe Hapai" (directing the paddlers to "assume the position" and everyone positions the paddle towards the water, ready to dig in). "Imua" (commanding "Forward!" and off we go!) There's a sort of pagentry and cultural tradition that's in lots of what you do, that makes it fun and special.
I think this will be my new sign-off: Aloha & Imua!!