Doing Nothing Really, Really Well
I have not been very good about writing on my blog. I have not been very good at doing anything. I have gotten very good at doing nothing. It is very easy to do nothing on an island. Especially on an island that I am going to be on for a while. If I don’t do anything today I can always get to it tomorrow.
I start out almost every day with a trip to the gym. It is a little less than a mile walk so I am warmed up by the time I get there. After my workout I usually pick up a few things at the Sack and Save supermarket.
The next part of the day I usually spend up on the roof. There is a really good view of the coast, hills and town. So I have been reading up there until huger or the need for a nap makes me come in.
And then it is three o’clock which is the official start of Happy Hour. Happy hour actually lasts three hours. I think it is a state law or something. It also happens to be when Sunday, Monday and Thursday Night Football start and there are lots of TV’s in my favorite bar, Humpy’s. There are 29 beers on tap at Humpy’s and I believe I have had one of each. The bartender now just mixes a couple of them together so there is a virtual unlimited number of beers on tap.
Sheldon usually shows up at some point. He is the wheat farmer from Moose Jaw, Canada who is escaping the Canadian winter here for a few weeks. Really, he is from Moose Jaw. I can’t make this stuff up. After we watch the game there we usually wander next door to Rosa’s Cantina for some Happy Hour margaritas and the best shrimp cocktail in town. Then it is early to bed with a good book. It is a simple life but I like it.
I did hear from my neighbor Nick, who steals from me, that they were having a cold snap in Manteca. He had gone in and turned the heat on in my house to supposedly protect the pipes from freezing. I am sure he just went in there to steal from me which is what he does when I am gone.
We had a bit of a cold snap here too. It must have dropped to the low seventies and I had to put a shirt on. I don’t think the pipes will break though.
I woke up this morning to find a big inter-island cruise ship in the bay. The streets were crowded with snow white tourists that are doing nothing but running up prices and ruining things for us locals. They were gone by happy hour so we had the town back to ourselves. Luckily they only show up on Wednesday’s and sometimes on Sundays.
When I was at Rosa’s I met Tio the bartender. He is also a tournament fishing boat captain who is tending bar while awaiting a new boat to captain in Costa Rica. He told tales of landing 800 pound fish on 50 pound test line which seems like quite a feat. That is why it is a fish story I suppose. According to Capt. Tio once you catch a big fish the next challenge is to catch it on light tackle and then to land it in record time. He claims to have 6 records in this extreme arena of fishing. He makes a good margarita so I forgave him any exaggeration.
Excerpt from Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament
second place in this year’s HIBT. “I’ve been “”But the story of the tournament goes to HIBT team #8 Out Of The Blue from Waianae, Oahu. Fishing today aboard the Miss Mojo, captained by Tio Kearney, angler Ted Morikawa boated a whopping 779-pound Pacific blue marlin, earning his team second place in this year’s HIBT. “I’ve been fishing in the HIBT for three years and I guess you could say three’s a charm,” said Morikawa. “Captain Kearney encouraged us to fish on live bait. We set up the bait, trolled for a bit and bingo!” As the largest fish of the day and the tournament, Out Of The Blue finished with 1479 points on the scoreboard in the HIBT for three years and I guess you could say three’s a charm,”
There is also this weird contraption out behind the bars that is called a fish pipe. One gets in it, they add about twelve gallons of water and then it rotates and you supposedly do whatever. Looks like fun but I got to wondering how big a margarita you could make with this thing.
Fish pipe girl
On Thursday I did the usual routine before heading over to Rosa’s for margaritas. Sheldon and I were joined at the bar by this lady from California, Jeannie. When I asked her where in California she came from she said I would not know where it was. Her home town is Rio Vista which is a few miles from where I live in Manteca. She could not believe I was from there but I was wearing my Willow Berm Marina shirt which is a marina that is very near Rio Vista. So it is a small world. We drank to that.
Friday. I skipped the workout and went on a car tour with Sheldon. He has been renting this car and not using it so we thought it would be a good idea to ride around the island. Done at a leisurely pace this takes all day. It is about 75 miles around the southern end of the island and about the same around the north end. I know 150 miles does not sound like a lot but Hawaii has such varied climates that you see a lot in that short of time. For instance it rarely rains in Kona and it rarely stops in Hilo on the eastern side of the island.
I like old trucks
First we went to South Point which is the southernmost point in Hawaii and therefore the southernmost point in the USA. There is not much out there but the remains of a space shot tracking station and the remains of a wind farm. The wind mills at the wind farm are out of date and rusting apart and pretty much an eye sore. I wonder if anyone took into account the cost of cleaning that mess up when they were getting all of that supposedly free electricity.
But we did find a guy fishing off of the cliff there. He would tie an inflated garbage bag to his line and then let the wind take his rig out to sea. I mean like way out ! It probably went about a third of a mile off shore which put him in some pretty deep water. He had a bright orange bottle tied to his down rigger and it would sink when he had a fish on and then he would reel it in. Interesting.
Black sand beach
We next stopped at Black Sands Beach which is really pretty. Normally there are big sea turtles sleeping on the beach but they had all gone back out to sea by the time we got there. So we pushed on.
As we headed into Volcano national park we started climbing. As soon as we got to the summit it started rainy. We went from the desolate lava fields to a rain forest in a couple of miles. We drove into Hilo which is a pretty industrialized and rather normal town that is not dependent on tourist trade. We had pizza for lunch and then headed back to Kona using the northern end of the island
At the top end of the island we went through Parker Ranch which has 30-35,000 head of cattle. It was started when John Parker jumped ship with a musket and King Kamehameha let him shoot the cattle that were on the island. The herd had started with 5 head that were left by English visitors. Apparently they liked honey mooning in Hawaii and they had become so numerous they were pests. So John Parker got to shoot them with his musket and turn them in to salt beef and it became a big export for the island. John later married into the family and the very large Parker Ranch was started and is still there today. I don’t know how big it is but it has 850 miles of fence. I wonder who measured that. On an island that measure 75 miles wide and 95 miles high, that much fence show go around the island a couple of times.
We eventually got back to Kona and called it a night.
I went to the gym and then came home and had a pineapple for a snack. The fruit is so good here it is hard not to eat a lot of it
Then I wandered down to the street and watched The Moppets put on the Christmas story. There were all of these mops made up as sheep and camels and wise men and there were kids behind this back drop making them act out finding the baby Jesus. It was all set to modern music and really quite entertaining.
After messing around all day I went over to Humpy’s and was soon joined by Sheldon and Jeanie. Soon after they arrived the Kona Christmas parade started and it was quite the spectacle in a small town sort of way. Everyone who was not in the parade was lining the streets and watching it. The announcers were on the balcony of Humpy’s so we got an adequate description of every entry as they went by. It must have lasted and hour and a half.
We went on my roof and had a beer. My roof top is the best part of this condo. I spend a lot of time out there.
Island Christmas Sunset