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World’s Top Paddleboarders Converge on Hawai’i

July 25th, 2014
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The desire to cross the ocean between two islands is rooted in the history of ancient Polynesian explorers. The thrill of adventure and the anticipation of a great challenge experienced by paddlers generations ago make up the common thread that runs through today’s athletes who compete in the Moloka’i-2-O’ahu Paddleboard World Championships (M2O).

This is how close the men's prone stock paddleboard race could be this year. Jack Bark and Zeb Walsh are each one-for-one in the victory circle. Who will it be this year? Photo: Kurt Hoy

This is how close the men's prone stock paddleboard race could be this year. Jack Bark and Zeb Walsh are each one-for-one in the victory circle. Who will it be this year? Photo: Kurt Hoy

 

On Sunday, July 27, hundreds of paddlers from around the world will gather on the shores of Moloka’i with their sights set on the island of O’ahu, ready to take on the Ka’iwi Channel. It's a 32-mile journey that involves a new category, stand- up paddle boarding - the world’s fastest growing water sport- in addition to the traditional paddle board division.

M2O Pic of the Week: The view from above provides a unique perspective as an armada of paddlers leave the shore of Moloka'i toward the open water of mid-channel. Photo: Erik Aeder.

M2O Pic of the Week: The view from above provides a unique perspective as an armada of paddlers leave the shore of Moloka'i toward the open water of mid-channel. Photo: Erik Aeder.

A sum of the key competitors:

Stand Up Paddleboard Division
Travis Grant is back to defend his hard fought victory last year in the unlimited stand-up paddleboard (SUP) division. The 31-year-old Australian surprised race fans who were focused on a battle between the sport’s top American paddlers, Kai Lenny and Connor Baxter. Grant slipped across the finish line in a time of 4 hours, 50 minute, 12 seconds. This year he leads what will again be the most hotly contested race at M2O, driven by famous Maui downwind experts.

After what seemed to be retirement from the solo SUP race, legendary big wave surfer Dave Kalama is back. Kalama is in outstanding race condition and is looking to reclaim his title from 2010 (4:54:15) before turning 50 this year.

Scott Gamble, 37, from O’ahu returns after finishing second last year (5:00:53). This will be the sixth solo SUP crossing for the talented race veteran.

Kody Kerbox, 20, from Maui is making his debut in the unlimited category and could be a contender after a strong second-place finish last year in the stock category (5:26:21) and a respectable finish at the Maui-2-Molokai race.

The women’s SUP division will depart the start line without its current champion, Australian Terrene Black.  Leading the charge this year are Hawaii’s Andrea Moller, Jenny Kalmbach and Talia Gangini-Decoite.

At 34, the Brazilian born Moller is in position to capture her third championship. Kalmbach, 30, won in 2009 and nearly added to that victory last year, but was edged out by Black to finish second in 5:45:22.  Under favorable conditions, Gangini-Decoite, 21, set the course record in her 2012 victory (4:55:12).

German surfing pro Sonni Hoenscheid, 33, returns after finishing third last year in a time of 5:52:07.

The stock SUP race will likely come down to a battle between the 2013 winner Travis Baptiste, 17, from Maui, and the former stock record holder from O’ahu, 28-year-old Andew Logreco.

Traditional (Prone) Division
Jordan Mercer already holds the women’s course record (5:22:31), which she set in 2011 during her attempt at the age of 17. This accomplishment makes her the youngest champion in the prone division to win in their first outing.
Now, at the age of 20, Australia’s Mercer could set the record for the most consecutive wins of any woman at M2O.

After repeat victories at M2O in 2012 and ‘13, Australian paddler Brad Gaul seemed unbeatable. Yet, in 2014 he has decided to step aside to paddle in a two-man team with legendary Australian surfer and friend Tom Carroll.

Australia’s Matt Poole, 26, is the odds-on favorite. Poole furnished one of the best results for a new paddler at M2O last year, finishing third in his second solo attempt (5:11:09).

Kanesa Duncan-Seraphin will log her 416th mile in competition at M2O. She is a trailblazer in women’s paddleboarding, having claimed eight world championship titles at M2O. After taking a year off from competition to become a new mother, the winningest woman in race history returns to complete her 13th crossing.

In the stock category, the men’s race will once again take shape around the head-to-head battle between Los Angeles paddler Jack Bark, 20, and Australian Zeb Walsh, 31. The two are evenly matched. Bark won in 2012 (5:28:16) with Walsh just a minute behind. Last year, Walsh came out on top, winning in a time of 5:46:13 with Bark trailing by six minutes.

Enter 18-year-old Australian Lachie Lansdown and the men’s stock prone race could get even more interesting. M2O race founder Mike Takahashi said Lansdown has a strong paddling style that reminds him of 10-time champion Jamie Mitchell. This will be Lansdown’s first solo attempt.

The women’s stock prone race will be led by Coronado, California lifeguard Carter Graves. At 21, Graves won the 2013 Catalina Classic. This is Graves’ first attempt at M2O.

Graves will be joined by Mavericks big wave surfer Savannah Shaughnessy, 25, who will test the strength that propels her into one of the world’s heaviest waves against one of the world’s most unpredictable channels.

Going for 20
Matt Sack is humble for a guy who made his career as a North Shore lifeguard, saving people caught in powerful surf. He is equally humble about the record he has established over the past 18 years. At 43, the traditional stock paddleboarder has finished M2O every year since the race’s inception.

Visit Molokai2Oahu.com for more race information and follow live updates on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ all found at Molokai2Oahu.

DIY Puppy Popsicles

July 23rd, 2014
By



The summer time is a blast for dogs and their owners, but it is important for dogs to stay cool during the hot and humid season. Pet nutrition expert and owner of Parker’s, A Natural Dog & Cat Market, Katie Pottenger, offers DIY puppy popsicles to dog owners as a great way to cool off their canine companions.

“DIY puppy popsicles are really simple to make and most of the ingredients are already in your pantry at home,” says Pottenger.

Below is a list of different ingredients that can be mixed together in any way you like. Just freeze your mix of ingredients in an ice tray or in an easy tear paper cup or cupcake wrapper to create your very own puppy popsicle.

●      Peanut Butter (All-Natural, No Sugar)
●      Yogurt (Low fat, Sugar-free)
●      Answers Raw Goat's Milk
●      Honey
●      Canned Tuna or Salmon (In Water, Not Oil)
●      Canned 100% Pure Pumpkin
●      Pureed Fruits and Veggies (Veggies must be steamed)
●      Canned Dog Food (Preferably All-Meat)
●      Chicken Breast or Beef (Cooked, Small Pieces)
●      Chicken or Beef Broth (Sodium Free)
●      Applesauce (Sugar Free)

No one knows your dog’s taste better than you do. Play around with the different ingredients and see what your dog enjoys most. Puppy popsicles are a fun and easy way to keep your dog cool this summer while giving them a delicious treat as well!

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Counting coins

July 21st, 2014
By



We're still working on getting Olivia to understand the concept of money. She earns allowance for doing little chores at home, but she has no idea what a penny is versus a quarter, so on and so forth.

I'm sure it'll come eventually, and by way of encouraging her to see the connection between working, saving, and spending, I invited her to bring her coin purse to the mall with me and she could buy something with her money.

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She decided to buy a gold owl necklace at the department store. It was the first thing she saw, and I told her she should look around at a few more stores before just buying the first thing she sees.

I have to give her credit for decisiveness because she still wanted the owl after touring a few other kid-friendly shops. Must be a Diane-gene; I'm very decisive, too.

We returned to the owl, which cost $17.99. She handed over her entire coin purse to me to do the counting. I asked her to pay attention and watch me count.

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Thank goodness there was no line because I'm sure the other shoppers just love to see handfuls of coins tumbling out on the counter to be painstakingly added up.

After we bought it, I asked her if she was proud of herself for saving all that money to buy her necklace. She was; good!

I asked her if she paid attention to how I counted the money so she could do that next time. "No. I'll just let the cashier guy do that for me," she said.  Uh, not quite the answer I wanted to hear. Not even a motivation to try. Hmm.

So. One lesson completed, one more to go. I guess this just means more trips to the mall!

Film director Adam Braff on life in Hawaii

July 18th, 2014
By



The new film Wish I Was Here is a story about midlife anxieties and suburban discontent, starring Zach Braff and Kate Hudson. Former Scrubs star Braff co-wrote the dramedy with his brother Adam, who happens to be an Oahu resident.

Film director Adam Braff

Film director Adam Braff

I met up with Adam Braff right before the movie opened and talked to him about life in Hawaii. How did the New Jersey native, and longtime Los Angeles resident, decide to make a life in the Aloha State?

"My wife grew up here and I met her in college. We lived in L.A. for 25 years. I was a writer and she was a costume designer. We decided to get out of town and she had always wanted to move back. What we didn't know was how I'd feel about it but I ended up loving it, not just for the reasons everyone knows but after living in L.A. for 25 years this feels like a small town. I love seeing people I know on the streets," Braff told me.

Film director Adam Braff and me

Film director Adam Braff and me

"I came here with the intention of doing lots of water sports but I have spent time taking care of my house. It's so nice, I own a home. I always lived in a condo in L.A. I take care of my kids."

Braff says his goal for next year is to log more time in the ocean. For now, though, he hints at the difficulty of launching a Hollywood career from 3,000 miles away. "I spend a lot of time writing. I'm not somebody who's a success yet and I hope I don't have to move back to L.A. to get a job writing on a TV show. I want to stay here. That's always a struggle."

Braff believes Hawaii audiences will respond well to the movie because "it's about family, and people respond to that. It's about family, spirituality, going through dreams at the expense of everything else. I think those are universal themes."

The Focus Features movie is out today in theaters.

Shrimp talk

July 16th, 2014
By



Reader Tess asked me to update the status of the opae ula. Well, Tess, thanks for asking.

They're the same as at last check: I have the original group living in the ten gallon tank, and I don't feed them anymore because there is a lot of algae growing on the glass.

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I started with about 175 shrimp, which started breeding after about a year. As they hit their breeding peak, I would sometimes see about 12 berried females swimming around, and dozens of juveniles floating vertically.

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I guesstimate there are probably 500 or so shrimp living in the tank now, of all life stages. That's good. It's a healthy population. Now that they've hit population density I no longer see berried shrimp, but I do always see a batch or two of newly hatched larvae floating around.

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I started a second unit, initially in a ceramic flower pot. I wanted to experiment with the substrate and conditions to mimic what I thought might be the conditions of the natural anchaline pond habitat. I postulated that since the pot walls are opaque, it would encourage breeding in cave-like conditions.

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I used abalone shells rather than coral rock as the substrate, wondering if the rough exterior would pacify the shrimps. Plus, it's pretty to view from atop.

Nothing happened with the shrimp after about six months, and then the pot cracked and leaked, so I did that all-too-common "temporary permanent" thing. I grabbed a five gallon plastic bucket from the garage and used it as a stopgap measure, with the intent to buy a pretty pot later. Later has never arrived.

It's been about a year and the shrimp are not yet breeding in the bucket. I'm not sure if it's the wrong substrate, the wrong environment, or plastic leaching chemicals into the water, but nothing is happening. I'll just keep waiting.

Meantime I've created a dozen or so shrimp bowls for friends or my desk, and because the shrimp are hardy, they thrive.

So that's my shrimp update - if you have an idea as to why they're not breeding in the bucket, please comment! Thanks!

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