Life is Good – We Neva Huli

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We Neva Huli

My good friend, Kawika Ramler, wrote this after “experiencing” this year’s Molokai Hoe as the steersman for Kai Ola Canoe Club – Men’s 60, the oldest division in this competition, the most prestigious in the world and the defining long distance outrigger canoe race —  in adverse conditions.  Everyone in this crew is 60 and older.  Photos coming.

We Neva Huli
Dedicated to the 2011 60 Menʻs Crew. KAIOLA CANOE CLUB
Niumalu, Kauaʻi

Experience; n.     1. a particular instance of personally encountering or undergoing something.
2. the process or fact of personally observing or encountering, or undergoing something.
3. the observing, encountering, or undergoing of things generally as they occur in the course of time.
4. knowledge of practical wisdom gained from what one has observed, encountered, or undergone.
5, the totality of the cognitions given by perception; all that is perceived, understood, and remembered. – v.t.
6. to have experience  of; meet with; undergo; feel.
7. to learn by experience.
8. to undergo a spiritual conversion by which one gains or regains faith in God.

As defined by Webster you could interpret an experience in a number of ways, and yes, we should. It could be safely noted that we all had the same “experience” as pointed out in  1, 2, and 3. Number 4. is subject to interpretation. 5, and 6. are subjective. 7. is a must. And youʻre on your own with 8. For myself definitions 5. and 6. most describe my adventure. An experience of a lifetime.

At a time of struggle an angel came to my rescue, I had no resources to consider participating this year. Out of the blue and at the 11th hour I was summoned by a virtual stranger. To be a crew member on an All Star team with a ticket to ride. But that became less important than the events that would surround it. How could I have ever expected to spend a week on the beautiful Island of Kauaʻi ?  How could I have ever imagined meeting so many first class men ;  men who live life to the fullest. My dream to steer the channel was about to come true. And the ocean didnʻt disapoint. It was what I had hoped  for. Something to test my instinct; to pit myself against a challenging sea;  I was able to affirm what I believed true but never got the chance to prove . With no hesitation and total confidence I welcomed the conditions. I was in  my element; that is what I came for. I thrive on it. It consumed me ,  down to the last cell, another step closer to enlightenment. I am proud of the total effort and the results, No question , a respectable showing in a daunting field. The fact we were only three minutes behind Keauhou is proof enough to show the credibility of the talent on our boat. Experienced men in tough conditions donʻt lose their cool, they donʻt blame, they donʻt make excuses. The Kaiola men paddled with heart, soul, and dignity. And sure we could say with more “experience” we will get better, Or we could say if we had more “experience” we would have done better. And we could say we all learned from the “experience”.   My personal “experience” went deeper than that. Waikiki Beach , my children, fellow paddlers, all came closer to definition 8. It renewed my spirit and opened a hinge bound door. Thank You Ellis, I could never repay you for everything you did for me. Thank You  Barbara and Minitab for making it possible. Thank You Phil, Andy, Doc, Niel, Mike, Steve, Jack, John, Ellis, Mike, for  trusting in me. I am still a rookie. It was a leap of faith on your part.  With all my humility I Thank You.  And a special Mahalo to braddah Al Konishi, my steering coach!!!!

“are you experienced?”           ……..                      Jimi Hendricks

Kawika Ramler
Kailoa  Canoe Club. Menʻs 60.

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