A panorama of Makapuu looking across the Molokai Channel to Molokai and West Maui
Driving around Makapu’u Point on Oahu you might notice Paragliders and or Hanggliders flying above the beach. The Landing Zone at Kaupo Beach will have a gaggle of just landed PG or HG pilots swapping stories about how great the flying was.
This time of year another group of flyers will be taking to the air from the same place. This group doesn’t need flying harness, variometer, or parachute. They use what God gave em. Feathers. They are racing pigeons getting in their preseason workouts. In August their owners will send them over to Molokai or Maui or the Big Island and have them released to fly back to Oahu. The fastest ones will be high on the pecking order.
I didn’t realize how popular pigeon racing was until I talked to the breeders while they released their pigeons. For instance, South Africa is the home of the richest One-Loft Race in the world, the Sun City Million Dollar Pigeon Race. The Sun City Million Dollar Pigeon Race pits 4,300 birds from 25 countries against each other for a share of $1.3m in prize money. The runners-up win cars and smaller monetary prizes, while the overall winner can expect to pocket $200,000. Sun City’s "one-loft" race, sees birds from across the world air-freighted to South Africa as squabs, months before the race, and trained to orientate to a single loft. On race day, after being released 550 km (330 Miles) out on the South African veldt, the birds all race back to the same destination.
The next time you see a flock of pigeons beating wing from Makapuu you’re watching athletes in training.
On Saturday Sea Life Park Hawaii | Oahu, Hawaii had a coming out party for five Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles. Sea Life Park has been maintaining a breeding colony and releases a few young ones every year. About two years old in this case. Even though they’d been raised in captivity these boys were ready to hit the swell while waiting in a temporary corral on the beach. The turtles weren’t light either. Weighing about 60 lbs each. They don’t reach full maturity until 25 years old. Hopefully these guys will lead long lives (upwards of 80 to 100) and will continue to grace the shores of these Islands.