Water Ways says aloha after 16 years


POSTED: Sunday, April 12, 2009

I first wrote this column's obituary back in September 1999, when the demise of the Star-Bulletin appeared to be imminent. In fact a wake at Murphy's had already been planned.

But by October 1999 the paper had been given something of a stay of execution by the courts and by March 2001 it had a new owner and my Water Ways obituary thankfully turned out to be very premature.

Nevertheless, as you may have heard or read by now, the Star-Bulletin will begin a new life tomorrow as a morning-only newspaper in a compact tabloid format. As a result of the new look, the Sports section will no longer run Water Ways.

So today, even after having written Water Ways' obituary nearly a decade ago, who knew I would find it so difficult to express my final aloha to readers now?

Ever since Water Ways' inception in April 1993, my goal has been to present news and commentary about the events, the people and the issues that affect Hawaii's recreational boating community.

Its content has included topics such as sailing and fishing activities, public and private boating facilities, ocean pollution, boating safety and education, boating laws and legislation, and numerous sea stories from both local and visiting sailors and anglers.

Water Ways readers and I, for instance, were privileged to meet and learn from Charles Coleman, author of “;Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! This is the Haleakala,”; whose tale of his shipwreck and rescue in the middle of the Pacific Ocean should be required reading for anyone venturing offshore.

Another sailor's story that was covered in this column for more than a year thanks to exclusive reports from his parents was McKinley High School graduate Brian “;BJ”; Caldwell's exciting voyage around the world. He became, at the time, the youngest person to sail a single-handed circumnavigation.

For the anglers, writer Jim Rizzuto has been this column's go-to authority for solid information on who's catching what along the Kona Coast of the Big Island, one of the finest fishing holes in the world.

Rizzuto's annual Kona Fishing Chronicles (Volume 8/9 is available now at FishingHawaiiOffshore.com) offer a combination of “;history, how to, whodunit, and a bit of humor,”; which I always enjoyed bringing to my readers' attention.

As I have noted on other, albeit happier, occasions, I have found this column a joy to write and hopefully it has been an interesting read. I will miss researching and writing it and will miss the delightful interaction I've had with its readers.

That it was possible for someone to find this column by making a Web search when they are living in the Persian Gulf country of Qatar was a bit unusual.

But then to ask if I would be interested in knowing about a boat race she had organized that resembled a race around the Hawaiian Islands was unbelievable.

To her and all of the other lovely folks that have graced me with their knowledge, their wisdom, and their aloha, I can only say mahalo.

Aloha nui loa!