Monday, October 8, 2007

Ma'ili Beach Park

Farrington Highway is the main road on the leeward side of Oahu. From Ko'Olina west, the Farrington follows the coast. Along the paved portion of the Farrington there are 10 official (government maintained) public parks. Ma'ili Beach Park is one of the local favorites.

Ma'ili (ma-E-lee) Beach Park is often crowded on weekends. During the summer tents start popping up on Thursday afternoons and many remain until late Sunday or early Monday (permits are required, but they are free). Extended families often camp together. A big pavilion type tent will be surrounded by smaller personal tents. Assorted furniture is brought from home, often tables and folding chairs, but I've even seen easy chairs and recliners outside these temporary weekend villas.

Ma'ili Park boasts picnic areas with tables, barbecue pits, public restrooms, and public showers. The showers are open air and their primary purpose is not for cleanliness, but for rinsing away sand and salt from skin and clothing. Some people get quite intimate with themselves while doing this and I was understandably startled by the number of people fondling themselves in public. The reason for such behavior was slow in making itself apparent.

My first encounter with the sand in Hawaii left me completely unprepared for its tenacity. Once the sand sticks to you it is there until forcibly removed. Unlike the sand of my childhood acquaintance, this stuff doesn't just fall off once it dries. OC says that is because it's coral and basaltic sand, not quartz sand. Some of the sand grains are bigger, they retain moisture longer (looks dry; isn't) and may have rougher edges then quartz sand. The showers help remove the sand (sort of).

The first time I went to the beach I wore a swim maillot -- one piece, form fitting -- and a t-shirt to protect me from the sun. After swimming I quickly rinsed in the outdoor shower, then went home to discover a good three-quarters of the beach had secreted itself away inside my swimsuit. The suit was a mess. I was a mess. The house was a mess.

The second time I went to the beach I wore very loose shorts and a t-shirt. When it came time to shower I reached right inside my clothes -- yes, in public -- and made certain the sand was dislodged from my skin. I had a much happier, sand-free homecoming and it was well worth the loss of a little dignity in the park.

Maili Beach Park also has manned life guard stations. The beach is a popular place for family outings and body surfing. The life guards are quick to tell newcomers that the rocks are very slippery and the undertow is surprisingly strong. They also warn that one should never turn his back on the sea because the waves are unpredictable. Even so, Ma'ili is a favored beach for novice swimmers. I will explain why in my next post and supply you with beautiful photos of sand, surf and sea.

More info about Maili Beach Park can be found here: Little Pebbles.

1 Comment:

Kclam said...

baby powder helps with the removal of stuborn sand too.


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