Sunday, April 7, 2013

Shooting Search for the Perfect Day Episode 3 in Kauai

What a whirlwind the last three months has been! We've been back in Portland for almost three weeks and we're just beginning to recover. We apologize for the delay in posting our report on shooting Episode 3 in beautiful Kauai!

First, let's catch up on recent and upcoming events...

March 27th: We were given the opportunity to give a slideshow presentation to a great local paddling club; Oregon Ocean Paddling Society (OOPS), on our OSOM mission and shooting Search for the Perfect Day Ep 1-3.

April 16th: Jason will be the featured guest on the Double L Show on Kayak Fishing Radio. Click the link to listen in at 8pm EST. He'll be talking about shooting Episode 1-3 as well as showing a few clips and photos in the chat room during the show.

April 25th: The team will be showing a special Portland only 5 minute preview of Search for the Perfect Day, followed by Q&A at the Portland showing of the Reel Paddling Film Festival at the Mission Theater. Advanced tickets are available at both Alder Creek locations for $6, or at the door the day of the show.

April 27th & 28th: We'll be at Alder Creek's Spring Paddle Festival giving kayak skills clinics as well as running a cleanup contest during the event and spreading the OSOM message.

Mid May: Shooting Todd Fischer Surf Art and Paul Kuthe for Episode 1.

May 25th & 26th: Joining Rivers for Change for the Cal 100 paddle festival, relay, and river cleanup.

September 13th: We're partnering with the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership, the Schooner Restaurant, and Kayak Tillamook County to host a  day of promoting awareness in around the importance of clean and healthy waterways. The day will consist of an open paddle on Netarts Bay, where we'll enjoy the scenery touring the bay, learn about the local environment and the threats facing it, pick up any trash we find, maybe catch a few crab :) We're always open to help anyone brush up on their paddling skills as well. That evening we'll enjoy drinks and dinner at the Schooner Restaurant, where we'll give our presentation, and show our slideshow and video clips.

And what about those backer rewards for our Kickstarter campaign?

Prints from Todd Fischer will be shipping within a week. T-shirts, stickers, and photo calendars are on order/being produced and will be shipping within a month. Editing on the film series has begun and we're on track to have the series ready for release by the end of August 2013. Contributors to 2012's Trashpedition will receive their backer rewards as well! 

On to shooting "Search for the Perfect Day" Episode 3: Kauai

We arrived in Lihue, Kauai on March 8th late in the day. After sorting out all of the gear we brought with us, including a Valley surf kayak, three folding sea kayaks from Trak Kayaks, paddles, all our camera gear, etc we made our way to the beach near Kapaa on the East side of the island. We found plastic, but this was different than what we normally find in the Pacific Northwest. This stuff was right out of an ocean gyre, not from the island. 

What we found was an infinite amount of near microscopic plastic particles mixed in with the sand. As plastic degrades in ocean gyres from UV and abrasion it breaks into tiny particles. This stuff is literally becoming part of the planet.

The next day we scouted the entire island for shooting locations (and good surf breaks). When we made it to the North Shore, we were certain we had found paradise.

Bali Hai was calling, but we had work to do. We met and interviewed Barbara Weidner from Surfrider Kauai at Hanamaulu Beach, where she told us about the problem with derelict fishing nets and how they kill an immense amount of wildlife, especially turtles, seals, and whales. There happened to be two on the beach that day, and we proceeded to remove them, bit by bit with the help of a few friends and volunteers. 

The following day we made our way back to the North Shore and paddled the Hanalei River through taro fields and jungles of flowering mango trees. North Shore Kauai is one of the cleanest places we've ever paddled. In contrast to the South and East sides, we only found two pieces of litter the entire day here. Inquisitive sea turtles appeared frequently, swimming right up to our kayaks to check us out.

Though the river may be near plastic free, there are many problems with pollution caused by human waste/lack of infrastructure, as well as toxic chemical run off from fertilizer & pesticides from Mansanto's GMO experimentation on the island.

At dawn the next morning we met with Miguel "Micco" Godinez, local waterman and owner of Kayak Kauai,  a local kayak, surf, and snorkel outfitter and guide shop on the island.  After a fun dawn paddle at "Gauntlet" at Pine Trees in the middle of the beach at Hanalei Bay, we interviewed Micco about his perspectives on the outdoors.

 That afternoon we interviewed local surfer Kaikane Wong after shooting a surf session at Pine Trees.
The following day Kaikane and crew invited us to a secret surf spot on the North Shore. As we were setting up to shoot on the cliff above, a 15-20 foot shark swam into the lineup. None of the surfers seemed to mind, and went about there business laughing and playing on the waves. The shark meandered away from the lineup and back out to sea with no issues. We enjoyed an amazing surf session all the same, Kaikane's crew on boards, and us in surf kayaks. Sorry there is only video footage available of this session. You'll have to wait for the film premiere to see it!

On our last full day on the island, we decided to hike the Kalalau trail on the Na Pali coast. The scenery was incredible and we spotted dozens of migrating humpback whales from high upon the cliffs. The trail was relatively litter free considering the sheer number of people hiking it on a daily basis, but we did find it.

The next day we spent our last few hours taking as much of Kauai in as we possibly could. None of us were ready to leave. Just one more!

If you look closely at the right horizon line in the photo below, you will notice a humpback whale breaching the surface. As we surfed, dozens of them played behind us, launching strait up in the air and crashing back down.
We caught our flight with seconds to spare. The night spent on the floor of the San Jose airport while waiting for our 6am flight back to Portland would only serve to remind us how warm and friendly this place is. The people of Kauai are some of the kindest and most welcoming we'd ever met, and the natural beauty and outdoor adventure opportunities are second to none. We're looking forward to producing the episode so we can show you just what we mean!

If you find yourself on the North Shore of Kauai, be sure and look up the good folks at the Hanalei Inn. These guys are super friendly, steps from the beach, incredibly affordable, and they cater to surfers and paddlers!

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