This is What It’s Like to Spend 24 Hours at Kaimana Beach
A day in the life of one of Honolulu’s favorite stretches of sand.
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KAIMANA BEACH HAS A DAILY RHYTHM THAT'S ALL ITS OWN.
PHOTOS: COURTESY DIANA KIM, THINKSTOCK
12:01 a.m.—Four local men in their 20s fish near the Natatorium. They consume Doritos and Steinlagers. They say they have already cooked and eaten pulehu steak. Topics they have discussed tonight include: movies, issues related to their jobs as barbacks and food runners at Dave & Buster’s, their student years at Kaimuki High School, and the trouble a certain girlfriend’s cousin from Oregon has caused recently. They describe their activities this evening as “male bonding.” They say they arrived on beach around 8 p.m. and did not expect to still be here at this time. Bait they are using: squid. Number of fish they have caught: 0.
12:40 a.m.—Two police officers patrol the beach on ATVs. The fishermen exhibit discretion. No open-container citations issued.
4:21 a.m.—High tide (+1.8 feet). Nobody on the beach.
6:45 a.m.—Dawn. Strong offshore breeze. Four pigeons and several mynahs pick at something in the sand. Subsequent investigation reveals that it is a corn tortilla. Several joggers are observed on the dirt path along the wall that separates the grassy area from the sand.
6:50 a.m.—An elderly Caucasian man with a rake cleans the ground in front of the Natatorium. His name is Arno Bann, and he is the retired cold-items manager for the Sheraton. He says he rakes for exercise, and because, “Somebody has to do it.”
6:57 a.m.—Sunrise, technically. Kaimana Beach faces west, so the sun rises behind the beach. But sunsets are awesome. More joggers.
6:58 a.m.—A local woman wearing a wetsuit and carrying a surf kayak enters the water and paddles away. An Asian man in a “Duke’s” T-shirt and running shoes stretches on the beach near the Natatorium wall.
7:00 a.m.— The man in the Duke’s shirt finds a pair of sunglasses in the sand, tries them on, then places them on the Natatorium wall and walks away.
7:05 a.m.— The female sea kayaker rides a long wave at the Sandbar, one of several surf spots accessible from Kaimana Beach. The man in the Duke’s shirt shakes sand out of his shoes at the Diamond Head end of beach.
7:26 a.m.—A Caucasian woman near the Natatorium wall tries on the sunglasses, twice, then returns them to the wall and begins practicing tai chi. A prior investigation revealed the sunglasses are Oakleys, and probably counterfeits.
7:41 a.m.—An older local man, with a fit build, carrying a paddle and a stand-up paddleboard, enters the water and paddles away. More joggers.
7:50 a.m.— An elderly Japanese woman with a cane walks in the sand.
8:00 a.m.— Interview with Ken Obayashi, 69, a retired nurse who has been picking up cigarette butts along the wall between the sand and the grassy area. He says the woman with the cane is his mother. She is 97 and he brings her here every morning. While she walks, he picks up butts. “I don’t want to sit on the beach doing nothing,” he says. Meanwhile, a black man with a metal detector searches the sand for lost treasures. A subsequent attempt to contact him is thwarted when the man is found in the water up to his waist. Apparently, he’s got one of those waterproof metal detectors.