Akaru-Hime…Part 8

From my new book, currently being written. Hope to have it completed by next summer. It is in rough draft. It has not been edited as yet.

Writing like this gives me a nice and welcome respite from the Covid 19 madness. I can escape to my own world of past adventures and excitement without a care in the world.

I went below, found my toilet kit, a towel, then left, after securing “Akaru-Hime.” Wearing just a white tee and khaki shorts, sandals, I almost felt like a local. My pasty white skin gave it away though. I was a newbie. No doubt about that. It will take a while to become acclimatized.

I could see the clubhouse with its dark brown shake roof away far to the northwest of my position. It had to be because of its array of flags at the hoist and ceremonial mast and yardarm that one could see from every vantage point of the yacht basin. The US stars and stripes was prominent as was the State of Hawaii flag with its combination of a union jack in its upper left hand corner or canton, with alternating white, red and blue stripes and a third rectangular flag. The Hawaiian flag reflects a very unique history. The canton of the Union Jack in the upper left hand corner of the state flag harkens back to the British economic and imperialist influence in the islands between Captains Cook and Vancouver with the emperor and king, King Kamehameha I. Hawaii was at once a kingdom, a protectorate, a republic, a territory and then a state.[1] And who among us doesn’t know of the unprovoked attack on Pearl Harbour, just down the way some to the north and west of us. The third rectangular flag was very interesting as I would later find out to be the club’s Burgee. All sailing clubs the world over had their unique Burgees: kind of like a nautical calling card that reflects the yacht club.

I left “Akaru-Hime,” walked down “G” dock to the dock access gate, then up to the parking lot, over toward “F” dock then up a two lane, paved access road that led straight up to and ended with the clubhouse. There was a grass medium separating the lanes that was about 6 feet wide. It was adorned with royal palms and clusters of flowers no doubt indigenous to Hawaii. I just didn’t have a clue as to their names. Vibrant colours they were: reds, yellows, white, purple and scarlet blooms emitting a sweet Hibiscus and Bougainvillea no doubt, perhaps, but I had no idea. Lets just say it was a beautiful site: tropical, welcoming and rich. This yacht club had money. You could tell by the ambiance of the place and the style and quality of the sailboats, and sailors and sailorettes. Well dressed in very expensive nautical wear.

That access road was a good quarter mile long that ran from the Ilikai parking lot terminating at the Clubhouse. On the way I passed what would be known to me as the communal showers, toilets and washing area, complete with a pay yer own way laundromat. These communal facilities used by those sailors who were not part of the Ala Moana Yacht Club, for this was also a marina where sailors could find moorage at a monthly cost, as long as berths were available. There were hundreds of sailboats here, aligned to port and starboard of the roadway. Besides that, if one looked out across the way to the east and the towering hotels and apartment buildings of the Ala Moana district, with the Ko’o-lau mountain range beyond, one could see and feel the existence here of a small floating village with narrow streets and laneways called docks and finger jetties. Sailboats upon sailboats upon sailboats. I had never seen so many although I must admit I was new to this game. how many times do I have to say that? One could spend hours just exploring the docks and marvelling at the various yachts. Yachts of all sizes and shapes, functionality, luxury and expense. I made a mental note to myself to do just that at some point in time. And time was clearly on my side here.

To the west of where I was walking there was a long and very large reef of large stone and rock fill. No doubt an artificial reef: a man made protective barrier against the blue Pacific. Today as calm and as inviting as bathwater but they do experience gales and storms here. Interestingly, there were a number of sailboats at anchor on the inshore side of the rock barrier but they were also secured from their stern cleats to hard-points on the rock barrier itself.[2] Kind of reminded me of man made nautical Moai that guarded the place against evil spirits for like those Easter Island monoliths of volcanic rock and basalt for these boats all faced inward toward the clubhouse and the yacht basin and the docks, apartment blocks and hotels and away from the blue Pacific Ocean that lay just beyond the reefs. I am getting beside myself here. Moai for heaven’s sake. Give your head a shake Jim yet this array of boats at anchor in a straight line, as if on some nautical parade and inspection, was an amazing sight to behold, especially for someone like me who had never been exposed to this world. I mean I hail from the Great White Northern city of Tarawna, after all.

[1] Statehood in 1958.

[2] Mediterranean moorage.

Check out my two books. Click on the links above. Great reads.


Hope you are enjoying these short snippets.