The 2011 Prince Kuhio Celebration


The Prince

Prince Jonah Kuhio


Turtle Cove Suites, our Poipu Beach vacation rentals are in the heart of the Prince Kuhio Celebrations each year with most of the venues within walking distance.

The celebration began on March 19 with the 42nd annual Prince Kuhio Long Distance Canoe Race from Kalapaki Bay to Poipu Beach. The start was delayed by 30 minutes so that conditions could be assessed, but here in Hawaii that is considered right on time.

The sixteen sleek fiberglass canoes went out quickly into Kalapaki Bay and once out of the protected waters of the Bay they encountered strong 20 knot winds and 6-8 foot swells.

Heading towards the South Shore and Poipu Beach two canoes capsized, and one canoe swamped and had to be towed in by the escort boat.  The first boat arrived into Poipu Beach Park at 11am just 90 minutes to manuver the high seas and the 12 miles. Kukui’ula canoe team were the winners.

Paddling is a Popular Sport on Kauai

42nd Annual Hawaiian Men's Canoe Race

March 20 we enjoyed the ‘Wisdom of the Kupuna from the ‘Olelo No’eau or Hawaiian Proverbs. The Hawaiian elders are culturally important in the transfer of  wisdom to the next generation. Stories with themes of tolerance for others,  learning the ancient ways and making them relevant in a modern world. Honoring the past, living with the natural world and being sustainable for the future generations. These are topics that we can all embrace.


On March 21 we were at the Hanapepe Salt Pond to learn how the art of salt making is performed. Mrs. Janet Kahalekomo and her family told us of the steps required to grow the salt crystals from the Hanapepe salt flats. Always thinking of sustainability the salt makers use a series of ponds each one with a higher salt concentration than the previous where you use the waters from these ‘reservoirs’ to replenish the salt beds. We learned of the obstacles to producing quality salt and crystal sizes, how the wind can blow dirt and even man made debris and the benefits of homemade wind screens.

March 22 we enjoyed the author Lisa Yee and her editor Jennifer Hirsch as they discussed the business of bringing the American Girl of the Year Doll, Kanani Akina to market.

The American Doll Series at Prince Kuhio Week

The company, American Girl Publishing does market research nearly two years before a product launch where they float ideas on the theme for the next American Girl doll series. Once a decision is made they discuss story lines with select authors and time lines our are set, a story is produced to coincide with the marketing of the doll and the clothing line. Sounds easy, but it is not. Experts were hired for the Kanani Doll story to ensure that the story stayed true to the characters location on Kauai. Hawaiian words were studied  and throughout the story to bring its readers closer to a Hawaiian girls experience. Most of the 8-14 age group that this is targeted is on the mainland. The series has a passionate following of children and parents throughout the country. In New York City you can dine at an American Doll restaurant where if the Doll is in attendance she will be served also.


Taste of the Islands is always a fun event at the Kukui’ula Village, its located only steps from Turtle Cove Suites and they have a wonderful market on Thursdays from 4-6pm. This was an overblown extension of ‘market day’. Jonathon Rivera and Pali Carbonel played great music while cooking demonstrations were taking place in the common area adjacent to Merriman’s. My favorite was banana/ sweet potato lumpia, which is similar to an egg roll with a lighter pastry wrap, lightly fried.

The 24th had ancient Hula, called Hula Kahiko at the Grand Hyatt. Far different than the shaking of hips that is a western stylization of Tahitian. This is characterized by much slower movements and chanting using native plant materials as instruments to accompany the performers. Chants are used to describe and honor the fish and fishing to gathering plant materials.

Friday March 25th was the first of three evenings for the PAL Hawaii State Amateur Boxing Championships, held at the Kaua’i Veterans Memorial Convention Hall. It’s a great opportunity to for our at risk youths to learn discipline and have a safe place to hang out under the guidance of the Police Athletic League.

Saturday the 26th was a lei ceremony honoring the Birthday of Prince Kuhio held at his birthplace in Poipu at Prince Kuhio Park, just steps from Turtle Cove Suites where the crowd celebrated his achievements and his importance to the people of Hawaii.

Later in the evening we saw the Taiko Drummers of Waimea, Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko perform at the Grand Hyatt Kauai. Their hypnotic drumming and movements energized the crowd.

About Joe Sylvester

Aloha! I have lived on Kauai for 33 years where I have worked as an Agronomist for 17 years, owned an art gallery for 11 years and own a vacation rental for 17 years in the town of Poipu. I am a former Peace Corps volunteer and have been married since 1985.
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