Everything except a boat under the tree
A merry Christmas can come in a variety of ways for the recreational boaters of Hawaii.
For the largest number of boat owners here -- those with trailered outboards about 25 feet long -- I would imagine that if today's weather is calm and bright, as predicted, things will have started out perfectly.
Then, if Santa has left them a few new Joe Yee lures, or Kimura rods, or maybe some Penn reels, and they're given the time to go fish for a few hours, there are bound to be some very merry anglers.
The same weather will certainly appeal to our canoe and kayak paddlers, and if their presents under the tree included things like T & C boardshorts, Gillespie paddles, or possibly John Martin one-man canoes, they will soon be on the water having a merry Christmas of their own.
Of course the predicted calm, bright weather might not be what the islands' sailboat owners are looking for to make their Christmas merry. For them, no matter how big or small their boat, once their presents are opened, replacing the calm with an offshore breeze will be what it takes to make things right.
As for their presents, they would have covered the whole range of boater accessories, from Sperry boat shoes, Icom handheld VHF radios, or Garmin GPS navigators, to North sails, Zodiac inflatable dinghies, or Laser class sailboats.
There is of course another, less merry side of the recreational boaters' Christmas that is grounded in reality, the reality of unrealized expectations.
Boaters, I think by nature, are somewhat romantic about this activity they indulge in with so much time and energy.
Paddlers speak of their communion with the sea, its creatures and among themselves. Sailors have spun yarns for centuries that tell of heroic adventures and exotic ports of call. And the imagination in an angler's "fish story" has made it a common term for an expansion on the truth.
So perhaps they can all be forgiven for romantically wishing for a few Christmas presents they're not likely to see.
The biggest wish, without question, would be for the movers and shakers of our state to finally have an epiphany regarding Hawaii's ocean resource potential for recreational activities.
Such a leap of understanding might then move them to seek immediate remedies for the decades-long spiral into disintegration apparent in virtually all of Hawaii's state-run facilities -- and this in spite of the economic growth found in all other aspects of our community.
It might also move them to find solutions for the pollution -- both seen and unseen -- that degrades the water quality where paddlers, boaters, surfers and swimmers spend much of their time.
Such wishes may have as much chance becoming reality as a romance novel, but then, that's what this season is all about.
Mele Kalikimaka all.