, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Outrigger Canoe

Outrigger Canoe

I’ve been absent from my blog for a while because Ms. Mar hasn’t been telling me any of her adventures lately.  But yesterday, she was taking photos for her daily blog (throughmylens365.wordpress.com) when she came across some outrigger canoes by the Deschutes River.  That must have brought back some memories from Hawaii because as soon as she got home, she put me on her lap and started telling me about the good ‘ol days.

Ms. Mar likes to tell stories about when she lived in Hawaii.  Being that she was surrounded by water, many of her stories involve the ocean.  Me, not liking to get wet, just have to sit back and listen.  She makes me sit there . . . I don’t have a choice.

A team of strong women (Ms. Mar is in the middle - the tallest one)..many years ago.

A team of strong women (Ms. Mar is in the middle – the tallest one)…many years ago.

One year, Mr. C recruited Ms. Mar and five other strong women (remember, Ms. Mar is from Minnesota where all the women are strong, the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average . . . at least according to Garrison Keillor on The Prairie Home Companion) from her gym, to join an outrigger canoe racing team.  You’ve probably seen pictures of an outrigger canoe if you’ve seen pictures or movies from Hawaii.  It’s a single hull canoe with a lateral support float called and “ama,” or outrigger.  Anyway, being a novice adult team, their races were .25 mile course without turns.

How it all started

How it all started

I had the giggles when she told me this. With her serious face, she said, “What they don’t tell you when you start paddling is that the canoe with one “ama” will flip over very easily.”

“Oh,” I said, like I cared.



She continued, as my eye lids started to droop, “Once the ama comes out of the water, the canoe flips like a slingshot and you end up upside down in the water.”  Not knowing what a slingshot is, I put on my surprised look on and brought my right paw to mouth to suppress a yawn and made a growling sound from my throat signaling my discontent for that “ama.”  BAD ama.

Thinking that was the end of her story, I removed my paw from my mouth, touched her lap and started to walk away.  But not so fast Tux, the Sophisticated KAT, she digressed further.

“Over the course of our season, we flipped many times in the ocean.”   This is the part I lost my cookies laughing,  I’m thinking, hmmmmm, six pairs of legs dangling in the ocean trying to right a canoe . . . what does that look like?


The canoes that Ms. Mar raced in were made of fiberglass which made them much lighter than the traditional koa canoes.  But when you’re out in the middle of the ocean, trying to turn it back over is hard work, and then having to bail the water out, that is a workout in and of itself.  But guess what? No bail–no land.  These warriors of the ocean quickly learned that you don’t want to flip over too often–once is enough.

Crossing the Finish Line . . . First

Crossing the Finish Line . . . First

As a racing team, they did well.  Ms. Mar doesn’t like to brag, but they won every race they were in except one where another canoe accidentally flipped them at the start line and they weren’t able to get back in before the start.

Besides that catastrophe, Mr. C was proud of his “waihini” paddlers.  They came to every practice and never complained about their workouts.  So let me tell you more about Ms. Mar’s workouts in my next post.  It is a humdinger.

Ciao for now,