So much for Lanikai Beach

@postaday 59; #postaday2011

Yesterday after John was through running, I was through with my bicycle ride, and the girls were through with their piano lessons, we decided our Hawaii Kai family was due for a day at the beach. Having taken the girls to Sandy Beach the week before, which was too rough for me to relax about them being in the water, we Benderettes lobbied for a trip to Lanikai Beach. It was after 2 p.m. as we headed out, so I was hopeful parking would clear of early birds who had been there a few hours already.

Back when I was a student at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, I took a Geology 101 requirement. Aside from a memorable trip to visit the volcanic sites on the Big Island, I was also taught by a graduate assistant who was soon to become a force for all things good for the earth’s oceans: Chip Fletcher. Many people in Hawaii know Chip as the arch enemy of sea walls.

Pity the wealthy owners of beach-front property at Lanikai who didn’t listen to him years ago.

Loaded down with our big Costco bag full of towels, goggles, my beach chair and surf shirts, we exited the van while John circled around for a long time looking for parking. We hoofed it down several beach access paths between estates to get to the ocean. At one point we were following a woman about my age talking about having cybersex into her cellular phone. Great. My girls get to hear this?

Back to our search: Where once were beaches, the sea lapped at the path. Some people set up hibachis and chairs right there at the end of the access. People like us would get down there and turn around rather than walk through the water toward another fractional piece of sand to set up our own sand chair.

Party time at Lanikai Beach.

Finally I found a stretch of beach, as did probably a 1,000 other beach goers. It was as crowded as the Jersey Shore on Labor Day Weekend. And as stupid. There were lots of kids, lots of beer, lots of tattoos, lots of promiscuous behavior. I’m no prude, but, doll show some self respect! Fortunately, our girls got right into the water and were busy exploring the reef with their goggles. I took a quick dip, and revisited by my rotator-cuff injury, couldn’t really swim. But all I really wanted to do was get a salt-water treatment for my hair anyway. So when he finally got a parking space, John joined me and we sat on the beach while the wild youth around us smoked cigarettes (yeah, I told them to stop blowing at me and they DID!), and talk about how drunk they were last night. I must be so out of it. I don’t think this is great conversation for getting a guy to ask you out. Is the message I drink, I get drunk, so quite possibly, you could get laid? Well, maybe it is.

Lots of Corona beer.

As we were leaving, John had to direct the girls away from this rollicking party of guys with beers, girls in bikinis, lots of indiscriminate sand wrestling, and what looked like a fat chick in about a square foot of fabric about to squeal like a pig because of this guy who was all over her.

What does all this have to do with sea walls? Well if the rich and well to do hadn’t built them, the ocean wouldn’t be lapping under their bedroom windows but below the stretch of soft, glistening pristine sandy beach that extended from their homes. Obviously, they wouldn’t want this kind of party atmosphere there, either, but I would wager it would instead be small families like mine, visiting for the day, taking with us everything we brought in, without dogs leaving  poop in their sand. It used to be that way.

Few of Oahu’s beaches are family friendly for residents like us. I think we might just go close to home next time and take the family over the hill to Hanauma Bay for an afternoon instead. It’s in our own backyard, and probably isn’t a big draw for the party crowds.