We are staying two blocks off of Kalakaua Blvd, the main stretch of the tourist mecca of Waikiki Beach. With such easy access to a wide variety of water toys, everyone ends up in the waves sooner or later. We, for instance, obtained beach towels from our hotel desk, walked the two or three blocks to the beach and strolled along for a while looking for an area that offered easy access to waves (other areas have walled-in swimming where waves are blocked out) as well as no cigarette smoke, the right slope to the beach (has to be just to your liking), and interesting buildings to look at. It sounds like we're picky, but we had a few places to choose between. The Royal Hawaiian and the Moana Surfrider offer the most options for things to do, ease of access and protection from possible theft. So, we set up our spot and fit right in.
We waded out into the rock-a-bye motion of the waves shortly after we slathered on a few handfuls of sunblock. Hundreds of people were playing contentedly at whatever suited them, all ages, all happy. Outrigger canoes, surfing classes, stand-up surfers, boogie boarders and plain ol' swimmers came and went.
Then a catamaran came sailing in. Ah! Now that looked very appealing. After watching them unload a set of tourists, we decided we needed to sail with them. Come back at a bit before 5 PM and see the sunset, the beach boys said, dark and muscular, lithe as cats. This boat was smaller than most of the others; the size appealed to us. They would offer drinks, but drinking was not the main focus of the trip as most of the others do.
So, we set off with about eight other passengers and three crew and made our way out past the surf lineup under power. Then, they cut the engines and the two sails were set. We caught very light air, so we just doodled around peacefully with waves slapping the hulls of the vessel. Slack key and Hawaiian favorites played on a sound system, and we watched kayakers, the other larger catamarans stuffed with people, shipping tankers on the horizon, and, of course, the sunset.
The sun went down in a flaming blaze of glory, lining clouds with a thin crisp of gold around all their edges. The gold reflected off the thousands of windows in the tall skyscrapers on Waikiki; they looked like gilded tiles from a distance.
After an hour of lolling about with sunset soaring and then waning gradually, we motored back to the beach, landed and disembarked. Now we have hit vacation mode, just as if someone beamed Time To Vacation Now! into our minds at last. Tomorrow, we'll take the top down on the convertible and head to the north shore, far from the city.
Causes Christine Bottaro Supports
The Nature Conservancy, California State Parks, The United Way