Day 116: Look! Cook

Wherever you go in the Pacific, you see statues or other memorials to Captain Cook, and Hawaii is no exception. The man certainly got around. Unfortunately he met his end in Hawaii. When he first arrived, he was believed to be a god and was treated royally. After he left, one of his ships lost a mast in a storm. When he had to limp back to make repairs, it became clear to the Hawaiians that he wasn’t a god, and they killed him. His monument is near Kealakekua Bay, where he was killed.

Hawaii has a long tradition of ranching and has some very large spreads, like the 300,000 acre Parker Ranch. The Hawaiians were given several breeding pairs of cattle by Captain Vancouver, who came to the islands with Captain Cook in the 1770s and revisited on his own expeditions in the 1790s. With no natural predators, the cattle soon multiplied and became a nuisance. Spanish cowboys were brought over to teach ranching techniques to the Hawaiians. When they finished the job and returned home, some of them left guitars behind. The Hawaiians didn’t know how to play guitar in the Spanish way, so they invented their own method, called the “slack-key style.”

Laetitia and her group went hiking on Mauna Kea and in the evening went to a slack key guitar concert, after which she presented the limerick of the day.

That ubiquitous salt Captain Cook
Has stone shrines wherever you look
Australia, Alaska
New Zealand, not Nebraska,
And Hawaii, the last trip he took.

Day 115: Maui Wowee

Laetitia took her group to Maui. First they did a whale watching tour in the shallow sea protected by Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and Kahoolawe, where the humpback whales come to give birth to their young, traveling thousands of miles from their feeding grounds in Alaskan waters.

That evening the group went to a Luau. A fellow from Gilroy, California, named Gilbert (Gil to his friends) joined the tour. He hadn’t been to either a luau or any of the Hawaiian Islands before, but he had been to the annual Garlic Festival that his hometown puts on every year. He told Laetitia that he liked to put garlic sauce on everything, which perhaps explained why he didn’t seem to be popular with other members of the tour. His complaint about the relatively bland food at the luau provided one limerick of the day. A local amateur bird watcher who had joined the tour to view tropical birds, especially boobies (genus Sula), provided another.

At a luau, when Gil from Gilroy
Took large helpings of roast pig and poi
He found it lacked zest
And thought ‘twould be best
When smothered with garlic and soy.

A birder who’s from Hala’ula
Could only think of genus Sula
When he saw boobies brown
As the girls danced around
At a Luau, while doing the hula.

Day 114: Air Amour; Paramour

Kauai is one of the prettiest of the Hawaiian islands, and it is frequently chosen as a setting for movies. Laetitia and her group had lunch with a view of the conical peak that was filmed and then extensively edited to serve as “Bali Hai” in the film South Pacific. That afternoon they watched some hang gliders. A rather indignant local girl told Laetitia that a man from Kentucky had bought her a few drinks and then tried to get her to go hang gliding without her bikini. It provided Laetitia with the limerick of the day.

When a man who came from Marshes Siding
Sought amore in the air while hang gliding
His reluctant wahine
Kept on her bikini
For she wanted to be law-abiding.

Day 113: PooPoo Place

Sipping a cup of freshly brewed Kona dark roast, Laetitia browsed the books in the Emerald Victorian library looking for something else to do before she moved from Oahu to the other islands. She once again came across the three books from British authors Rob Bailey and Ed Hurst, titled Rude BritainRude UK, and Rude World. The authors had collected names—mostly from the United Kingdom, but some from around the world—that have rude-sounding place names. They provide whatever information they can find about each place and its name, and leave it to the readers to discover what is rude about the name if they don’t already know.

In scanning the books, she paid most attention to Rude World, which listed some places in Hawaii, including one in Oahu called “PooPoo Place.” She decided to take her group by PooPoo Place before touring Bernice P. Bishop Museum. At dinner that evening, she presented the limerick of the day.

A shy young teenager named Grace
Found her parents’ address a disgrace
‘Twas the name that did spoil it
For she thought of a toilet
When she came home to PooPoo Place.