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Reflection Helicopter Crash Pearl Harbor 18 February 2016

One year ago today a Bell Ranger Helicopter made a ‘auto rotation’ controlled crash into the water of Pearl Harbor. I was approximately 100 yards incident. On board were a family from Canada & the pilot. The aircraft sank to the bottom in about 18’ feet of water. All onboard were able to exit the aircraft except 16-year-old Riley Dobson. The helicopter had flipped over once it sank & was resting on the bottom, blades down, skids up. Riley was stuck in the port side aft seat, with a twisted seat belt keeping him from a clean egress. I ran to the waters edge & met my friend who is a Federal Police Officer at the park. He was removing his gun belt & shirt. He told me that there was a person still in the chopper. We dove in, me headfirst like a dumb ass. I went straight to the fuselage from the dive. I swam through the front of the cabin thinking that Riley might be trapped there as sometimes the front seats of helicopters have ‘4-point’ seat belts that are harder to exit from. He was not there. We continued to dive taking turns trying to get Riley out of the aircraft. Finally we were handed a knife & took turns cutting the belt.

Riley was extracted after about 7 minutes. EMS assets had arrived & he was revived, at least for now. The following was written just for Riley about 2 weeks after the crash. I now feel the need to share as Riley Dobson would pass away 4 days later.

February 26th, 2016

“The following is kind of long & rambling; I don’t expect everyone to read it but I am struggling of late & it has been challenging to put Riley’s death behind me. I needed to share this, with someone, so why not my friends & Ohana which most of my FB friends are.

It’s been a year since we lost Riley Dobson in the crash of a Bell Ranger at Pearl Harbor. Its been tough for me, but I cant imagine what Riley’s family is experiencing. My friend Makani Christensen encouraged me to write about the crash & subsequent extraction of young Riley. Makani is a former Marine Officer, Annapolis Graduate & combat veteran of Iraq & Afghanistan and a mentor to me. He has seen combat, death & battle injuries so he knows what PTSD is first hand. His suggestion to put pen to paper has been a God Send. My mental issues pale in comparison to the men and women serving our country in the Armed Services, EMS, Fire & Police departments. In no way is my experience as heavy as what they go through, but I still needed to share my words to Riley with Ohana. I settled on writing a letter to Riley vs just telling the story of the crash & extraction.

Mahalo to everyone for your support & kind messages especially Vanessa Finland & Marcus & Mel Luttrell. I am no hero. I am positive all of you would have dove in to help Riley. Maybe it’s a surfing thing, a Hawaii thing, a Jax Beach thing but it’s just the way we all roll in our beach & island communities…

“We in Hawaii do not run from a fight, we run to it” I actually said that to George Stephanopoulos from ABC News when he asked why we ran to the crash. George is one reason I watch FOX News and not the liberal media but that is another story. He just does not understand surfers I am guessing.

“I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity. My Nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates and to accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight.” Marcus Luttrell said this in his book ‘Lone Survivor’. We watermen & women all have a tiny bit of SEAL strength in us. Never Quit…..

Love & God Speed-cg

Dear Riley,

We would have surfed together, gone spearfishing with Uncle Kevin Sakuda, skateboarded with Chase, Makena & Gary Owens, eaten Poke at Tamuras, gone fishing with Uncle Makani Christensen, gone freediving with Kurt Chambers, hiked Laie Falls with Kahana Pukahi, gone pig hunting with Uncle Stephen Dewald, paddled outrigger canoe with Denise Oceanplayground, worked the loʻi with Lisa Dewald, & Douglas A. Ka’ehuiki & Darren, go Big Island & mountain bike with Aunty Wendy Minor, ride horses in the Kahuku hills with Uncle Jim Russi, walk Chuck with Baja Brock, play herding with Carol Jaxon & Ed’s puppies Rudy & Wesson, celebrate an Awa Ceremony with Kiliona, work on a Koa canoe with Uncle Bobby, go Kauai & hike with Aunty Lisa Kaili Ledesma go for a surf lesson with Uncle Bruce Irons at Pinetrees, check out giant surf with Jamie Sterling or just hung with my boys on the North Shore. This is my Hawaii & it rips my heart open to think you won’t be able to join me. You would have fit in. You would have been one of the crew. You would have been accepted as Ohana into our crew.

I looked into your eyes as I struggled to get you out of that chopper and wanted to hear your story, to know you, to be your friend. We heard how hard you fought in the hospital; a true Hanai son of Hawaii. You were a warrior to the end. Canada must be proud…

Come to find out your were an awesome kid, a horseman, a show jumper, animal lover & friend to all who were lucky enough to know you.

We tried so hard to free you from that fuselage as fast as possible. Get you out so you could go surfing with me. I will never forgive myself for not holding my breath longer. I am so sorry it was not quicker.
A US sailor, a Federal Police officer and me, an old North Shore surfer fought hard to bring you to the surface but it was not fast enough. I wanted to be able to show you my Hawaii once we all stopped smelling like jet fuel. I am so sad this wont happen…
Hawaii weeps for your families’ loss but they need to know we are here if needed to “talk story” or just cry together. Everyone must know that you kept giving even after death. Many sick folks from Hawaii are now blessed with the “KoKo” from your organs.
So Pono…
I must confess I am selfish as I feel like I lost a potential little brother in you, a surf partner, dive buddy, paddler and a friend.

When I heard you left us on Monday I drove to the crash site at Pearl Harbor and floated flowers & placed a Lei on the shore where I had dove in to free you. I also scattered the ashes of my beloved puppy, Kolohe, so you two could hang out. He was a great dog; you will be best friends. Kolohe loved horses as you do. Take care of each other & someday we will surf, play on the beach & you can teach me to ride one of your show horses…
Rest in Peace my friend…

Love Chris

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Valentines Day In Hawaii

Valentines day comes once a year.   It’s a time of opportunity and adventure. If you miss making a reservation or planning ahead, then it could be an adventure making things happen at the last minute.   For example, here in Hawaii most restaurants are booked 2 to 3 months in advanced.   Especially the fancy ones.   It is also an opportunity to shine.

This Valentines day let us help you create a magical moment for you and your significant other.   Enjoy an evening sail on one of our yacht with one of our private chiefs or watch the sunset at a remote beach.   How about a luau?   Hire a private chief to come to you.   The possibilities are endless.

If you are looking for adventure on Valentines day, how about a romantic horseback ride on one of the north shore beaches with a picnic lunch?   Hiking, surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, or private guided tour?   If you have an idea, then give us a call.

E Hele Lawaia (Let’s Go Fishing)

On Monday, I came into work and started the normal daily routine we do every morning. Makani wasn’t in the office yet. I started ordering tickets for tours, replying to emails, and other normal office stuff that I knew that needed to be taken care of for the day. Makani came in and took one look at me, he said “Good you got on board shorts, we’re going fishing today!” (What a hard job right?) Makani then told me that we (and by “we” I mean Makani because he knows how and where to fish the specific type we targeting) were going to be filming for a T.V. show called “Hawaii Goes Fishing.” I started getting all the gear ready; fly-fishing rods, spinner rod, tabbies (hard felt sole shoes for walking on reef so you don’t cut up your feet), and two throw nets. After getting all the gear in the truck, we were off to a secret fishing spot to hopefully find and catch an Oio (pronounced o-e-o) or bonefish, a prized fish that people come from all over the world to fish for in Hawaii. Now, I grew up fishing all my life but that was in lakes, rivers, and creeks on the mainland, but in Hawaii I spearfish, which is a very different skill set than using rods and reels. I was excited and intrigued to learn a new way to catch fish.

On the ride to the “secret spot,” (all spots are secret when fishing) Makani and I spoke about various laws and bills trying to be passed that will affect fishing here in Hawaii. This is a big part of the Hawaiian culture and fishing in order to provide for your Ohana. We pulled into the secret spot and we were met and greeted by Margo, the hostess, and Dean, the camera man, from “Hawaii Goes Fishing.” After getting all set up Makani gave a lesson on how to use a fly-fishing rod to Margo (and me) on camera. Makani is a self-taught fly-fisherman, who’s been doing this for 10+ years and has caught some amazing fish using a fly-fishing set up. As he was going over how to cast the rod and fly to Margo, I was intently listening. I’ve tried, and failed horribly, to fly fish before but never in the ocean. After listening to Makani for 5 minutes, I learned more about fly-fishing how to’s, the do’s, and the don’ts than I have in my 20 something years of fishing. Now that Margo had the jest of it down, Makani then went over the basics of using a throw net, another method of fishing used here in Hawaii. We started to walk out to the reef, so Makani could show the crew how to use a throw net to catch fish. “10 minutes or less and I know we’ll have fish,” Makani said half jokingly as we walked out.

On the way out we were all keeping an eye out for signs of fish, such as the tails of the Oio breaking the surface when they eat in shallow water ranging from 10 inches to waist deep.  As we were walking Makani, who was in the lead with the net, stopped and pointed out a school of Manini or Convict Tangs (side note: Margo had stated that she loved Maninis as they brought back childhood memories of fishing). He slowly crept forward trying not to spook the fish. Then, he slightly bent at the knees and in one fluid movement threw the net in a perfect cast, or throw, and landed it right on the school of Manini. He had at least caught about 15 good, pan-fry sized fish, so it was back to the shore to change our gear. Walking back in I thought to myself, “Ha, Makani was right! Only about 15 minuets to get fish using just the throw net, and most of that time was used on the walk out to the reef.”

Now, we broke out the fly-fishing rod and a spinner rod. Using two types of rods would increase our chances of getting the elusively prized Oio. Makani took the fly fishing rod and Margo used the spinner rod, with a simple set up of a small lead, a small hook, and some shrimp for bait. It was now go time with all the fishing gear. With Dean and I following Makani and Margo set up, we were hopeful to catch an Oio. As we walked the reef waiting for a bite, I kept watching Makani and how he was using the fly rod, intensively studying his movements. We were waiting and talking story (local slang for having conversations or sharing old memoires) when Margo started to get a nibble! Makani told Margo to wait for just the right moment to set the hook, as fish would nibble at the bait for a little bit before they fully bite down.  At the perfect moment Makani told Margo to reel in the fish. As Margo did, she stated she thought the fish came off, but as she reeled the line in we could see the fish swimming in towards us still on the hook.  As the fish got closer I could tell it was a Weke or better known as a Goatfish. Makani went to unhook the Weke, it twitched and jumped off the hook. “Ha that makes it easy,” Makani  said jokingly. I thought that we got some good video footage of us catching fish, now we was to get the Oio.

We fished for a few hours and Dean stated that his battery had about an hour left and we hadn’t got an Oio yet, so unfortunately we decided to head in. Makani was determined to catch an Oio, so as he was walking back to the truck wading through the water he continued to fish.  Margo, Dean and I walked back on shore; we talked story about as we waited for Makani to get back to the truck. This is when Makani came walking up with a shine in his eyes. “BRAH, get the net I just seen a school of like 30+ Oio,” Makani stated excitedly. He grabbed the net and headed back out. I threw back on my tabbies and ran to catch up so I could help. Following behind Makani, I was slowly moving to make sure I never spooked the fish. Makani froze and said that the fish were right in front of him! Again with a perfect throw, he threw the net right on two Oio. CHEEHOO!! As we wrangled the fish out of the net and into the bag Makani said, “Bra, look another Oio!” Slowly creeping up on another school, Makani got prepared into his stance to throw. After a second or two, he threw the net and landed another Oio. Now, with three Oio in the bag we decided to head in.  We got in, cleaned off the gear with a quick rinse, got the fish in the cooler with ice and brine. Makani stressed that this last step was super important to keep the fish fresh. After saying our good byes to Margo and Dean, Makani and I got into the truck and headed home. Not a bad day of work, I got to learn the basics of fly-fishing and watch my boss catch some fish in a traditional Hawaiian way, and in my opinion pretty bad arse technique. Lucky we live Hawaii nei!

-Jack Wells is a tour guide at Keawe Adventures. Between 2005-2009 he served in the US Marine Infantry and is an Iraq veteran.

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KEAWE’S HERO

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“KEAWE’S HERO”

Respected American writer and mythologist Joseph Campbell once said, “A hero is someone who has given his life to something bigger than himself.” I agree that a hero is somebody who is selfless, but he is also generous in spirit and tries to give back as much as possible and help those around him.

Keawe Adventures employs only the exceptional and those who demonstrate such desired attributes on a daily work basis. Former professional surfer Chris Gardner is such a man and he would be called into action on a calm morning of February 18, 2016. At mid morning a Bell 206 helicopter loudly grounded and slammed into the glassy waters of Pearl Harbor 20 feet from shore. Chief warrant officer Ryan Rohner, who also flies Black Hawks in the Hawaii National Guard piloted the aircraft and carried four passengers inside. After the hard impact of the crash, the helicopter quickly sank, trapping a 16-year-old Riley Dobson of Ontario and tragically claiming his life.

At the time however, Chris Gardner did not know the condition of the boy who was still strapped in his seat. What he did know, was that the mother was able to swim safely from the wreckage and screamed her son was inside the helicopter. Without hesitation two men and Chris dove into the murky waters, about 10 ft deep. They took turns cutting the teenager’s seat belt from the back of the aircraft with a knife provided by a federal officer and pulled his limp body out.

Although the heroic effort to save a young boy was in vain and ended tragically, what this incident demonstrates is that altruism emerges in many disasters and many forms. Defining a hero is more difficult than defining a coward as it is not the everyday man or woman who will run into a hellish glory of bullets without a second thought and at the risk of their own life. This is why it is with pride that I can say that Chris Gardner is a selfless hero. He does not ask for recognition for his deed and reflects on that traffic event with regret in that they were unable to save the young man. Nevertheless, Chris Gardner is a hero. Chris is a friend. And I am proud to work with him at Keawe Adventures.

IMG_20160303_194219-2 -Kate Bodendorfer is a historic guide for Pearl Harbor and battle sights at Keawe Adventures. She has worked for the five-year veteran owned company for three years and studied Asia Pacific and Military History at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

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Find Our Marines

 

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“Find Our Marines”

On Saturday January 23rd 2016 I was part of a Memorial Service/Continued search for our 12 Marines who were lost at sea following the collision of the two Helo’s (helicopters) carrying them on a training mission off the north shore of O’ahu, Hawaii. First off as a Marine veteran I know we leave no fellow Marine behind, no matter what we will bring our brothers and sisters home. Being able to help out our Marines is always an honor. The morning of the 23rd, I arrived too early to work. I remember feeling hope and that is the hope to find my fellow Marines. These are men who signed up to protect our country and way of life, men who risked it all every day to make sure that we have the freedoms so many of us take for granted. On that day, we got the truck loaded with supplies and headed to the location of the base camp, Keana Point on the north shore. When we got to the “Base Camp” area there were already some volunteers waiting. To see this many people this early in the morning to go look for our lost Marines was a humbling experience. As we set up our pop-up tent and linked up with the other volunteer organizations, more and more people started to show up. I remember thinking to myself how impressed I was that “Makani got all this set up in two days”. We established the shuttle service and started to set up for the prayer ceremony, which was a local Hawaiian Kumu (priest) doing the traditional Hawaiian ceremony called a Ha’ule Lani. This ceremony provided means of closure for many, as our search was being done after the official search had been called off and was now a recovery operation. The ceremony itself was very powerful. Makani gave an emotional speech and then did final roll call for our 12 Marines. I don’t think there was a dry eye in sight. To see the outpouring of love and support for our Marines from our local community was awe-inspiring. After the Ceremony everyone went to his or her respective search areas. I’ll never forget looking up toward the point and seeing so many people looking for debris, wreckage, anything at all and even god forbid our Marines. It wasn’t long until calls and texts started coming in. Questions like “is this part of the wreckage?” or “what about this?” were coming into base camp at about 1-5 texts every ½ hour or so. Then came a call about a parachute that had been found a little west of Mokuleia Beach Park. Makani and I immediately jumped into the truck and headed down to the area to check it out. Upon our arrival we found a group of volunteers and they pointed out something in the water. Makani and I were watermen and experienced (it was winter and the waves and current can be strong) and we jumped in without hesitation. Makani was smart enough to borrow a mask from some beach goers; once we got to the item we able to confirm it was a parachute and decided to pull it out. After going back to shore and retrieving my dive gear I was headed back out. However, unbeknownst to me at the time the Marines were alerted to our find, and when I got back with my dive gear in hand two Marines were present to help. A young Private first class and myself swam out to the chute and were able to cut it to get it off the reef and back on shore. It was then put in the Marines’ truck to be taken to Schofield to be checked out. After getting the chute out the water we returned to base camp. When we got back to base camp we had a small potluck and started to breakdown the camp. As we started our long drive home, both Makani and I sat in silence and let the whole day and the community’s support sink in. The amount of local support was mind-blowing and the support from all over the country was amazing. The Family that had discovered the chute had flown in from Kansas to help with the search, as the dad was a Marine veteran. It was a humbling day, from all the organizing done by Makani, to the volunteers, both the people who just heard about it thru Facebook and the volunteer originations such as Team Rubicon and Red White & Blue. This goes to show how much support the local community and this country has for our armed forces, these brave men and women who put them selves at risk everyday to protect our freedoms and way of life that many take for granted.

The selfless sacrifice of these 12 Marines is a solemn reminder of the price of Freedom.
Maj. Shawn M. Campbell, 41, College Station, Texas.
Capt. Brian T. Kennedy, 31, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Capt. Kevin T. Roche, 30, St. Louis, Missouri.
Capt. Steven R. Torbert, 29, Florence, Alabama.
Sgt. Dillon J. Semolina, 24,Chaska, Minnesota.
Sgt. Adam C. Schoeller, 25, Gardners, Pennsylvania.
Sgt. Jeffrey A. Sempler, 22, Woodruff, South Carolina.
Sgt. William J. Turner, 25, Florala, Alabama.
Cpl. Matthew R. Drown, 23, Spring, Texas.
Cpl. Thomas J. Jardas, 22, Fort Myers, Florida.
Cpl. Christopher J. Orlando, 23, Hingham, Massachusetts.
Lance Cpl. Ty L. Hart, 21, Aumsville, Oregon.
“FAIR WINDS AND FOLLOWING SEAS”

Jack Wells is a guide at Keawe Adventures. Between 2005-2009 he served in the Marine Infantry and is an Iraq veteran.

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First Time: Korean Barbecue

Here in Hawaii there is a saying, Broke Da Mouth, which means food is so good that it literally broke your mouth. This would be the perfect explanation to how I felt about lunch the other day!

Each day at Keawe Adventures brings something new. I’ve done incredibly exciting things like go to fish markets and visit pearl harbor to not so exciting, but ever important, things like filling out paper work and answering phones. You never really know what you are going to get coming into the office and this day was no exception.

Usually our days start off ordering tickets for the Pearl Harbor USS Arizona  and then generally I do some office related thing, which is my forte so I really enjoy that, however this day Makani had other things in mind. He told myself and Jack* that we were going to being going on a few errands, which I immediately dubbed a field trip.

First we needed gas so while Jack finished up his office work we ended up running to the gas station where only upon parking in front of the gas pump did we realize we had a full tank of gas. I mean at least we went to take the car for a test drive, right?

Well after going back and picking up Jack we started our field trip. Our first stop was to foodland where we picked up some great wine for some of our friends for christmas. We love our partners in this business and we can only hope we show how much we appreciate them and all they do for Keawe Adventures.

After our extremely exhausting and difficult morning, I mean lugging around wine is just SO strenuous, we were on our way back to the office when Makani saw a Korean Barbecue Place he really liked, Budnamujip (try saying that one 10 times fast), so we pulled in for lunch.

Now, I don’t know if you guys remember but I’m thoroughly inexperienced when it comes to foods found here in Hawaii. I mean I’m a Chick fil A and Chipotle girl all the way so this Korean barbecue stuff was a whole new ball game for me. When we walked in the first thing I noticed were what looked like stove tops on each table and these large cylinder things hanging from the ceiling. At the time I didn’t know but those large cylinder things were my saving grace, they sucked all the smoke up so we didn’t leave smelling like walking Barbeque.

I will admit, at first this place was a little scary I mean all the pictures on the menu were of raw meat and I don’t know about you guys but I don’t like my cow moving when I eat it. Needless to say I was a little weary when Makani ordered about 6 different RAW meats. Luckily they brought out the big pot of steaming coals and a grill to cook the meat on. After it was all nice and dead cooked it was absolutely amazing. I think they use only the nicest quality of beef which made for some awesome barbeque!

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During lunch they brought out some interesting appetizers. The waiter told us that all their sides and appetizers were homemade every day. They were eccentric but it was nice to try things I have never had before. 12463495_10153804624578908_1982786859_n

My first time trying tofu and I must say it was not bad at all. 

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Successful use of chopsticks throughout the ENTIRE lunch. 

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Treebark. 

Jack was a little more adventurous than I was but I am happy to say I tried most of them. There was even tree bark, yes you read that right like from a tree, that I successfully tried. I mean you can’t get this stuff in Texas that’s for sure.

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Jack trying all the sides and appetizers.

After our delicious lunch we stopped by a few more places before returning to the office. The thing I love about Keawe Adventures is that no two days are alike, I have probably done more in the last month than I have in the last 6 months combined and all while getting to learn about the industry that I want to work in!

 

*Jack is a marine veteran who has served two tours in Iraq. Makani found that veterans have a hard time finding a job after they leave the military so he has started a company around providing jobs for military vets and affordable tours of Pearl Harbor for guests, called Infamy Tours. Jack is the first veteran he has brought on to work with the new company.*

-Becca

 

Why hiking with Keawe Adventures is a much better idea than going without.

Being pretty new here (I’ll hit my two year Hawaii anniversary in February) there is still a lot of things I have not yet done.

I mean of course I’ve hit a few beaches and done a few things but not nearly as much as I would like to do.

This past summer was actually the last time I’ve ever been hiking and I’m sure if I had gone with Keawe Adventures I probably would have gone back hiking.

So my very best friend came in to town from Texas and we had planned this week long trip filled with beach days and hiking adventures. The first day we decided to tackle the big one, Koko Head. I had been before but I guess this time I wanted to be all big and bad and hike super fast and get up to the top. BAD IDEA.

If you’ve never done Koko Head it is 1,048 steps of pure torture bliss. The views are incredible and generally on a good day its breezy enough to not feel like your dying sweating. However this day was exceptionally hot. We made our way up in a miraculous 45 minutes (which is a big accomplishment for two girls who’s idea of exercise is opening wine bottles). Once there we took selfies galore for about 20 minutes and then made our way back down.

Going down is always easier and we thought everything was going great. We walked back to the car and started our hour drive home and then the worst thing happened. My very best friend who had come all the way to Hawaii for adventures had gotten heat exhaustion, not enough water and too much heat caused her to start throwing up and we had to pull over in H1 5pm traffic so she could recover. It was not a fun time. Needless to say I haven’t been hiking since.

Now here’s where Keawe Adventures comes in. Had I listened to Kahana, one of the wonderful hiking tour guides at Keawe adventures, we would have been much better off.

After interning here for about 2 weeks I got to talking with Kahana about Hiking tours he does including Diamond Head, Makapuu, Manoa Falls and many others at undisclosed locations. He was telling me the three most important things to remember when hiking.

1.) STAY ON THE TRAIL

I mean you know what they say *curiosity killed the cat*

2.) NEVER GO ALONE

I’m going to safely say this is never go without a tour guide like Kahana because after telling him this story he was like, yeah sometimes you get so caught up in hiking and the views and you forget to drink water and that’s where I come in.

3.) EMBRACE THE JOURNEY NOT THE DESTINATION

This was probably the most important one that I thought anyway. We spent the whole time trying to just get up the dang mountain that if we had just embraced the journey and enjoyed ourselves we probably wouldn’t have had that traumatic of an experience.

Overall, lesson learned. Always ask Kahana to go Hiking with you so you don’t get dehydrated and die pass out.

– Becca

There’s never nothing to do in Hawaii. There’s always an adventure waiting for you.

Aloha, my name is Chelsea. I am one of the new interns at Keawe Adventures. I’m from Southern California and am currently attending University of Hawaii at Manoa and majoring in Travel Industry Management.

Fresh out of high school, I came to school in Hawaii not knowing anyone. The first couple of weeks were rough. I really missed my family and friends back home. However, when I met a solid group of friends and we started exploring the island, I knew this is where I was supposed to be.

I’ve only been in Hawaii for about a year and a half now, but I’ve already done so much. Whether it’s a day spent at the beach or an afternoon spent hiking, there’s never nothing to do here. When you are in Hawaii, there’s always an adventure waiting for you.

My friends and I have made it a goal to go on an adventure every weekend. That is of course if we get our school work done first 😉

A typical weekend might start off as early as 5:00am. I know what you’re thinking. What college student willingly wants to wake up at 5am on a weekend?! Well, the way I think about it is you that you have to make the most out of every hour of the day. Especially when you are in Hawaii.

So after rolling out of bed at the crack of dawn, we start our morning of with a sunrise hike. One of my favorite hikes is Koko Head arch. For breakfast we make a trip over to Diamond Head Health Bar for some delicious acas bowls.

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Of course at this point you may be a little tired from waking up early and hiking. So the next best thing to do would be to take a quick little power nap at the beach. My car is always packed and ready for a beach day so after we finish our acai bowls we head over to Makua beach (West side of Oahu) to hang up some hammocks and fall asleep listening to the crashing waves.

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After our quick power nap we have all the energy we need to start off our beach day. From playing frisbee and football in the sand to catching a wave on a blow-up whale, before you know it, the sun is already about to set.  Everyone stops what they’re doing to sit at the edge of the beach and enjoy beautiful sunset marking the end of another successful day.

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Although the sun may have set, the day full of adventure isn’t over just yet. The night has just begun.

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As the sky gets darker and darker, our only source of light comes from our blazing bonfire in the middle of our camp. With guitars and ukuleles in hand, everyone gathers around the fire to enjoy each other’s company while eating some delicious s’mores.

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As our beach day draws to a close, you may be thinking our day of adventure is finally over. But we’re not done yet.

As we make our way back to campus we make a quick pit stop at Haunama Bay to hike up the ridge. Yes, a night hike. I believe the key to a successful day is to start the day with a hike and end the day with a hike. Some say I am crazy but I like it that way. At the top of the ridge we sit under the bright stars and talk story into the night.

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Of course not every weekend looks like this. School and work are a priority, but when you get that break, you can never be bored here. There’s never nothing to do in Hawaii. There’s always an adventure waiting for you.

Thanksgiving, the Hawaiian Way.

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Should we pick up a turkey or a ham? Well, on the day before thanksgiving Keawe Adventures decided to add another item to the menu. Ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and Oio, a local Hawaiian delicacy. Bringing Oio to the dinner table changes the norm of a traditional Thanksgiving and adds to the Hawaii spirit of having all your loved ones together to celebrate how fortunate we are.

With a camera crew in hand, well more like a GoPro operator, we stalked along the sandy, shallow coastline of Oahu’s South Shore, with a net in hand, in search of the elusive Oio. With the right tide and depth, we were gifted with one 8lb Oio and another 7lb Oio in 30 minutes. This is enough fish to feed the masses, and a usual Thanksgiving in Hawaii can bring in 10 to 20 people easily, the more the merrier.  A ton of people and plenty of food to share with your closest friends and family.

Life is short, spend time with your loved ones and be safe this holiday season.  From the Keawe Adventures family to yours, Happy Holidays.

Mahalo,

Makani Christensen

Owner

Keawe Adventures

The Intern Likes Fish?

Aloha!

To start I’m the new intern here at Keawe Adventures! My name is Rebecca and I have been in Hawaii for about 2 years now. For a big city girl from Texas, Hawaii is a big change but an incredibly inspiring one. I spent the first 19 years of my life here and there with a very dedicated father in the military and then ended up here for my last two years of college. I’ll be graduating soon but wanted to have something on my resume that shouted adventure and experience.

I mean what better way to do that than by actually having the word Adventure in there, am I right?

I came into this industry not really knowing anything about tourism or hospitality and to say I was hungry to learn is an understatement. So, I applied for this internship hoping for something new, and boy did I get something new! I have to do 400 hours of my internship and I’m so excited to have the opportunity to do that here. This will just be a fun way to document my time at Keawe Adventures.

As for my first official day ‘on the job’ I learned more about fish, fishing, and the fishing community in three hours than I have in my whole 21 years of life. I feel like I’m going to be learning a little bit of everything with my time here.

I came into work this morning at 6:30 with my venti Starbucks coffee in hand. I’m definitely not a morning person however I was really excited to start my internship adventure. I was expecting to sit at a computer, answering phone calls and spending the day in an office, but let me be the first to tell you guys, that was not the case. As soon as I walked in Makani, the owner of Keawe Adventures, was ready to go! He told me that we were going to be spending the morning “taking people fish”.

Now being the naive city girl I am I assumed we were taking frozen fish, or already cooked fish to friends, and while half of that is true (everyone we took these fish to were friends) the fish was definitely not frozen or cooked. It was fresh. Like from the ocean, probably was alive 24 hours ago or less, fresh. I’ve never seen a real fish, because in Dallas about the closest thing we get to fresh live fish is a cow, so this was a real eye opener!

*No Pun Intended*

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The first place we went to was a concierge friend of Makani to drop off some fresh fish he had caught. Keawe adventures is so appreciative of the relationships they have built with the local community and so far I’m learning just how to spread the Aloha Spirit and be thankful to all the people who make this industry successful.

*Sidenote: Keawe Adventures does do Fly Fishing tours! How awesome! I seriously might just need to take one myself because when it comes to fishing I knew nothing before today.*

Anyways after, we went to the fish market to really open my eyes to what the fishing business is truly like. (Pictured above and below) I can honestly say I have never seen so many fish in one place.

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(Pictured above, fisherman boots, because apparently slippers are not acceptable in the fish auction, and for good reason it was freezing in there and there was fresh fish EVERYWHERE!)

Honestly, I felt like a fish out of water.

*Okay, Pun definitely intended.*

But overall it was so cool to see all of the fish and to see all the fisherman interact. Relationships are so important in this industry and being able to gift someone with fish and even just make connections with fishermen is priceless.

After the large scale fish adventure, we headed over to a small pier where Makani met with his friends who had just returned from fishing. Man did they have a lot of fish! The boat seemed so small but the amount of fish they had was a ton! Literally!

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They were all so nice and they worked so hard for all the fish they had caught! Two whole days of fishing, but you know what they say hard work really does pay off. They were kind enough to give Makani some more fish and instead of just keeping it he decided to pay it forward and go to more concierges with gifts of fish! It was so much fun and everyone was so appreciative!

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Overall today was great although I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not a morning person, I might need to start because look how productive we were, and mind you this was all before 9am!

I can’t wait to see what this next few months has in store for me and Keawe Adventures. And don’t worry, I’ll keep you all posted on what this new chapter brings.

–Becca