Wednesday, April 17, 2013

O is for Ocean

A lot of people come to Hawaii to be by the ocean, and insist on staying in an oceanfront accommodation and being able to see the ocean from their window. A lot of people live in Hawaii to be by the ocean. There are some people who never go to the beach but they are truly exceptions.

The ocean is far more than a symbol of Hawaiian culture, and more than a clich̩ or theme Рit influences everything: the weather, the wind, the plants and animals and where they live, the economy, real estate values, how long it takes a package to arrive from the mainland, the supply and demand of toilet paper.

Stand up paddle challenge from Maliko Gulch, April 2011.
Participants are not standing up yet, they are still paddling out  to get past the waves. 

What??? Toilet paper? Yes, because if there’s a serious hurricane or tsunami warning, then people will often flood the stores and stock up on toilet paper plus other ”essentials.”

For recreation, the ocean provides a lot of activities: snorkeling, surfing, scuba diving, whale watching, boating, fishing, kiteboarding, windsurfing, stand up paddling, paddling or kayaking, swimming, and just hanging out at the beach.

There’s a saying here, never turn your back on the ocean. The ocean is beautiful but deadly, so pay attention. When you’re not paying attention to the ocean, a big wave can come by and knock you over or a riptide could drag you out to sea.

Windsurfers in the distance at Ho'okipa Beach on the North Shore. 
In a post on M for mountains, I mentioned that directions are given in terms of mountainside or oceanside. When you live on an island, there are two ways to move: around the island in a circle, or toward the center (the mountain) or the shore.

The mountain-ocean relationship was so important that it affected how ancient Hawaiians arranged the land. I think I’m going to save that for another post.
Going kayaking from Olowalu on the West Side of Maui. 
Lastly, living by the ocean isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. There are definitely pros and cons to living close to the ocean, which is why I live at least three miles away from the shoreline. I’ll tell you why later.

Aloha and mahalo (thank you) for reading!

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  1. It's funny that you mention never turning your back to the ocean. My post today talks about never turning your back to a wave. I know what happens. If I were to go to Hawaii, it would be for the view of the ocean. I have a healthy respect for its power but it is a beautiful sight to behold. Great pictures.

  2. I absolutely love your blog and the pictures make me so homesick. I lived on Oahu in Ewa Beach and I can honestly say everyone should go to Hawaii at least once. Because you brought back so many wonderful memories I'm nominating you for the Liebster Award. You can check it out over at my blog if you'd like to participate. I'll be back so keep posting those beautiful pictures.

  3. From landlocked Colorado, the ocean looks pretty nice but I understand it can be dangerous and must be respected. Also, I really like the photographs.

  4. I do love the sea, but definitely have respect for its power, while on holiday I was knocked down by a wave, tossed and thrown down as I turned my back to run away from a big wave. Managed to overcome the fear and got back in.

  5. Toilet paper!! Ha ha ha. Here in RI, if they say it's going to snow, the markets are packed with people buying milk and bread. Even when only an inch or 2 is predicted, they all flock for milk and bread. Personally, I go to the liquor store and get some vodka!

  6. Wonderful photos. Yes, the ocean can be deadly, but how beautiful are the enticements. I want to go there now and fling myself into the water.

  7. I forgot to sign off.


    A - Z Challenge

  8. Really pretty pictures, Courtney. Thanks for sharing.
    J.L. Campbell writes Jamaican Kid Lit


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