Christmas is almost upon us so, naturally, it’s time for Santa Claus to fill his sack with presents, gather up his reindeer and head to Canoe Beach to hop aboard a double-hulled canoe.
Most of Europe and the mainland United States may be covered with snow and experiencing major transport chaos (one look at the scenes in English newspapers confirming this) right now but here in Hawaii we’re still galavanting around in our bikinis and board shorts and loving it. Loving.It.
Santa's favoured mode of transport on Maui.
Somehow 2010 has rushed by and Christmas is but 5 days away, so as part of the annual festivities in Ka’anapali, Santa was getting ready to drop in ‘paddling-style’ at Hula Grill, Whalers Village. Who better to help than the paddlers of Lahaina Canoe Club?
Santa arrived at the beach, so I grabbed him for a photo op.
I hear that this has been a tradition at LCC for some time now and when I got down to Canoe Beach, our double-hull was looking fantastic (an excellent job from Spud and his helpers), we had lots of assembled elves and even Mother Nature had done her bit – providing some wintery rain and choppy conditions. By ‘wintery’ I mean grey skies and some (much-needed) rain, bikinis were still the outfit of choice with perhaps a Santa hat thrown in for good measure. English folk, I can hear you howling at me right now. Sorry!
Yoda, Santa's little helper...
With a lot of “Hut, ho ho ho’s” and many “Mele Kalikimaka’s” us elves paddled Santa and his reindog down to Black Rock. This was actually a bit painful! We could only paddle on one side and sorry Santa but it was heavy having you on the canoe. The beach wasn’t as busy as normal due to the rain but the children who were there were beside themselves with excitement. I think a few adults were quite excited too.
On our way to Hula Grill. Pic courtesy Jules Arboleda.
We pulled the boat up onto the sand in front of Hula Grill in front of lots of waiting kids and quite a few flashing cameras. Santa went and did his thing and us elves. Well, we hit the bar…
Pulling up at Whalers Village. Pic courtesy Kip Marley Payne.
I’d like to mention Amy Schilt at this point – it was her last paddle with us for some time and it was great, so great to have her in the boat one last time. Amy’s military posting is taking her to Qatar after Christmas and I wish her all the best over there. Salaam Alaikum Amy, we miss you already and we can’t wait to have you back!
We'll miss you Amy!
After Santa had done his rounds at Hula Grill we launched the boat and headed back to Canoe Beach in the pouring rain. Our “ho, ho, ho’s” were echoing off the hotels and lots of people came out to take pictures of us paddling by. It was a great paddle and I’ll definitely be there next year. Thanks LCC, Santa and everyone else for the experience and Mele Kalikimaka/Merry Christmas to you all!
Just before I go I’d like to point out that Hoe means paddle in Hawaiian. Wouldn’t want the wit of my headline to be lost on anyone now would I…? Heh heh.
Aloha, many thanks for reading, Laura.