No thoughts Sunday – just canoes

Being Sunday, I had planned a post on philosophy as applied to the real world. More so, my opinion of what is useful and what is not. 

The description next to the name of this blog says the following:
“Thoughts, photographs, and writings from a would-be philosopher, photographer, and writer making his way through an all-too-short life.”

“What is this ‘philosophy’ you speak of?”

Well, Bob, that is a tad misleading . . . I’m not really a would-be philosopher in the classical sense of the name:
Philosophy (from Greek φιλοσοφία, philosophia, literally “love of wisdom”) is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. The term was probably coined by Pythagoras (c. 570 – c. 495 BC). Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, and systematic presentation. Classic philosophical questions include: Is it possible to know anything and to prove it? What is most real? However, philosophers might also pose more practical and concrete questions such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust (if one can get away with it)? Do humans have free will?

While I read all sorts of . . . wait . . . you almost had me there! A classic tactic that I often fall for, but not this time. Nope! That discussion will wait for another post. 

Today? Today we deal with this:


No, wait . . . that’s a cat. I meant . . . 


So, here we go . . . 

This past Labor Day Weekend saw us attend the Queen Lili’uokalani Canoe Races, organized and hosted by the Kai ‘Opua Canoe Club, a member of the Big Island’s Moku O Hawaii Outrigger Canoe Racing Association.

The races span a number of hours, and for these first shots, we were sitting at location “1” or location “2” as labeled in the following screen capture of Google Earth.


Location 1 is about 300 yards from the pier. Location 2 is about 100 yards from the pier. The photos were captured over the course of a few hours.  

Location one offered me the opportunity to torment my readers with some wave shots. 



If one looks carefully on the left side of the first wave, one sees shapes. One of them, yellow. Fish. I wonder about sitting there, a few inches underwater as waves roll over you. I know people do it for fun at one of the popular beaches near here. One of these days, we’ll have to go and eat some sand and wash it down with water with a high salt-content and FSM knows what else. Yum!

When shooting waves, I try to catch the moment they start to crest.



These are not the best shots ever. I shot everything at ISO 800 in anticipation of fast and furious canoe action. I wanted to minimize the user-induced blur by cranking up the shutter speed, but I should have done a better job of camera control. Or, I should have used a monopod or tripod. 

Such are the trials and tribulations of the amateur photographer. Also, that means that while these are on SmugMug (HERE), there’s probably not that great of an advantage to going there. Also, you can always click on the photos here and see them a bit larger. 

Here’s another wave  . . . yes, we sat there waiting for a long while as we waited for the teen races to begin. This was one of the most disorganized race I’ve ever seen. Yes, it’s the only one I’ve seen so far, but it was annoyingly disorganized with a couple of false starts, notices of delays, calls to get ready followed by announcements of five to ten minutes delays. 

. . . I shot waves.


Finally, the race was off . . . 



I should mention . . . there are 51 photos in the gallery . . . I will not be posting all of them here, but a good number. For them with slow Internet connections, go grab a snack, make a cup of tea, chat with the neighbor, and by the time you are done, the post should have loaded. 



At first, I thought this was the boys division, but there are girls in the teams. Some teams were all boys, some were mixed, but I did not notice any all-girls teams. There could have been, but I wasn’t all that attentive. 

Both Melisa and I felt bad for these guys . . . 


We did not see what happened, but most of the team was out of the canoe and in the water. The ones inside were bailing. The rest of the field quickly left them behind . . . 


They finally got back in and five of the guys paddled while one bailed . . . 




They were really behind . . . imagine training for the race all summer and having this happen on race day. I imagine they were somewhat frustrated . . . disheartened, maybe . . . somewhat inconsolate, perhaps, but they weren’t giving up; their pace could be classified as aggressive. 

Hey, look! A few more waves.



You can’t really blame me . . . they went out a number of miles before making the turn. I could have cleaned my belly button or harvested ear wax but decided to shoot waves, instead. 

I mean, look at this next one . . . look at all them fish.


Right after this shot, we moved. 

And, here are the winners crossing the finish line . . . 


. . . and shortly thereafter, ahead of a number of other canoes . . . 


These guys looked exhausted, as well they had a right to be . . . they not only made up a lot of time but passed a number of other boats in doing so. We were glad they did not come in last. Of course, someone had to come in last, but on that day, it was not those guys. 

Here are the last two canoes racing for the title of penultimate. The ones hanging around had already finished and were there to cheer the others as each crossed the line. Or, maybe it was jeer; I don’t speak Hawai’ian but I like to think good sportsmanship carried the day. 


And, here come the next racers . . . 



Mixed adults 12-persons teams.



You’re going to notice swimmers in the water . . . they swim outside the racing lanes. Pretty much every day there are swimmers out there doing laps across the bay. 

This was just before they screwed up the start . . . they sent off four canoes and had to call them back as other canoes came to join the race. 


Here’s one of the teams making it back to the start so they can start again. 


Or, maybe these were the late-comers. My memory is not perfect because I was more interested in the photos than what was happening.

However, the singles and the paddleboarders were bunching up waiting for their races as things were being worked out. 



I like the idea of outriggers . . . but, to me, the canoes still looks top-heavy. I think I would prefer an outrigger on each side. But, that’s just me . . . 


. . . still looks small and unstable . . . 

So, here is a panorama as the double hulls race was trying to get underway and the other racers were trying to figure out what was going on. 


If you want to see the full-size panorama, click HERE (12888 × 3332 pixels, 9MB) and then click anywhere on the photo to zoom in or out.

Eventually, the double-hulls took off . . . 


and the people began gathering at the start line . . . except I wasn’t sure who was going to race, the singles or the paddlers. 




One thing I noticed — and was envious of — were the drones flying around, capturing live action shots from ahead and around the racers. Bastards! (the drone guys, not the racers, although I don’t really know them; there could have been bastards among the racers as well)


And then, the paddlers got into position and took off. 



Now, take a look at this next photo . . . if you want, click on it. You are going to see the three waves of racers all running the same course but for different lengths.


Honest, I had no idea what was going on.

I think these guys won the double-hull . . . 


. . . but I did not hear an announcement. However, the announcer was all excited about these guys racing in . . .


In the background of this 12-person canoe, there is a 2-person canoe heading back in. I did not see them start. I did not even see the 2-person canoes lining up. 

By the way, notice that by now we were back at position no. 1. It took a long time for the racers to make it back (it would have been nice if they had staggered the races) so we walked around. 

I think this next guy won the singles . . . 


. . . as these two really sprinted for the finish


I think this next shot has the winner of the paddlers coming in alongside one of the single canoe racers. 


Like I said, I had no idea what was going on, who won what, or how fast they ran the courses. 

However, I think everyone had fun (except, maybe, the boys who capsized their outrigger) and worked up a sweat. 

By then, we got bored and left . . . although I did stop on the way home to snap photos of this wave heading onto shore. 



For them who complain about the number of photos, know that I had around 180 photos. I think I showed great restraint limiting myself to 51 photos. 

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


Note: if you are not reading this blog post at, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.


Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Finally, if you interpret anything on this blog as me asking or wanting pity, encouragement, or advice to better my life, know my subtle mix of irony, sarcasm, and humor is blowing right by you.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Hawaii, Photography Stuff, Travel Stuff and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to No thoughts Sunday – just canoes

  1. sandra getgood says:

    It was fun looking at your photographs and reading your narrative….. but I can see that sitting there waiting for hours for something to happen could be a little sleep-inducing. Luckily, you had some nice waves. those are always fun to watch, although I can’t remember actually seeing bright yellow fish swimming around in them! Nice!


    • disperser says:

      Thank you, Sandra. As for the fish, I only started noticing them on my second or third trip to the islands. I usually look at waves in the aggregate, but when I look specifically for the color of the water, I now notice the fish in there.


  2. Brings back wonderful memories of the year I raced outrigger canoes. It was a lot of fun.


    • disperser says:

      It does look like fun. Were I a better swimmer, I might think about joining a team.

      But then, I would probably remember all the problems with politics and personalities once more than three people gather for any purpose and decide to spectate or get a single-person outrigger.


  3. oneowner says:

    I might have enjoyed paddle boarding 50 years ago (before paddle boards) but now I think I would prefer to lounge on the beach and be an observer with a camera instead. What happened to the other 129 photos?


    • disperser says:

      For now, they are resting comfortably. Some, likely will not make it, and be lost to the memory of man, ceeding their pixels back to the background noise of the Universe. Others will remain in silent vigil awaiting repurposing, maybe being adapted to this or that plugin, serving the whim of their creator. It’s a thankless job, but such is their lot in life.


  4. mvschulze says:

    Since you mentioned drones, in Disney there was a neat light show, with points of light seemingly hanging mysteriously in the dark over the water (Disney Springs area,) and then changing shape from a Christmas tree, to a swan…etc. “What IS that!!!” I asked. Drones. 300 computerized drones… Whooo! M Oh.. What’s a peer? M :-)


    • disperser says:

      I remember videos of small drones being flown in formation and following various flight patterns. Neat as it was, I remember thinking at the time what they could be used for. I was thinking military, but light shows are probably a better application.

      As for ‘a peer’, it could be the misspelling of ‘appear’ or ‘a pear’ but it’s likely my brain being busy looking ahead and letting the fingers to the mundane task of actually transcribing my thoughts. I fixed it, so thank you; you are a man without pier. No wait; you own a boat, so you probably have a pier.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Shoot! And here I was thinking about what you might have been thinking about when you thought on Sunday! :-)

    I prefer kitty-cats to philosophy. It IS Monday. My pea-brain is on vacation from the whirly-activity of the whee-kend (Ha!) and doesn’t want to ponder much of anything!

    Yay for canoes! And muscly determined paddlers! How cool to watch them race!
    Your photos captured the action beautifully!

    HUGS!!! :-)
    PS…so is your belly button still linty and are your ears still waxy? T’will give you something to do tonight.
    PSS…you made me snort laugh a few times in this post.
    PSSS…What is the cat’s name?!


    • disperser says:

      Words, even on this blog, are not enough to capture the depth, breadth, and scope of my thought. Literally, thinking about the meaning of life, the futility of hope without action, the foolishness of undirected anger, the selfishness of empathy without compassion, the stupidity of hubris in the moment while ignoring future consequences, and the fact I gained a few pounds and will need to cut back on snacking for a day or two.

      No lint, no wax, no snacks, no grooming left undone.

      I’m always happy to hear I made someone laugh.

      That cat hangs around a cluster of souvenir shops in Kona. I assume it belongs to someone as it looks well-fed and is very acclimated to people in his (her?) vicinity. There are a few other cats around but you can tell they are feral because just looking at them will have them scamper away.

      I don’t know its name, but I will call it ‘Phelix’ . . . it’s like Felix, but that name might be trade or copy righted.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. For some idiotic reason that type of canoe, with all it entails has become quite the thing around Bays and inlets of Sydney Harbour.
    I must admit to shaking my head in disbelief, at the effort and sweat, that goes into propelling these things through the water, when one can just as easily hop on, one of the many Sydney Harbour ferries, if one wants to travel upon its waters.


Voice your opinion

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.