Pirates In Paradise - Day 2
March 5, 2010
Aloha Pirate Nation,
We’re into day two in Honolulu and it has been a lot of fun for everybody. We started the morning with a trip to the beach and the players went through an afternoon practice before heading back to the hotel to get ready for tonight’s luau.
“I think everybody was excited to go to the beach. We all woke up way earlier than we would in Greenville.”
Our hotel offers a continental breakfast it calls “Breakfast At The Beach.” Everything is to-go. You pack the food into an insulated lunch bag you get when you check in and take it to the beach. For somebody who has not been to a lot of beaches, it was awesome to take my bowl of cereal to Waikiki.
When we got to the hotel last night, it was dark so I wasn’t really sure of our proximity to the beach. I found out this morning. If you walk out the hotel’s front door and cross the street, you’re at the beach.
It was a little cloudy this morning with a few showers, but that did not dampen too many spirits. The players enjoyed taking some time to lie on the beach and get in the water. The team also walked along the beach and saw the different stores that lined the opposite side of the street like Billabong, Hawai’i Casuals, Harley-Davidson and an ABC Store on what seemed like every corner.
Senior Kaui Tom said, “It was exciting to see the reactions of those who haven’t been here before. What I see as little things, my teammates would get excited about.”
What struck me when walking along was how clear blue the water was. You could see straight to the bottom. There were also numerous statues that were along the beach. Each represented a famous Hawaiian or an island principle. Next to some of the statues were surfboards with explanations about how Waikiki got its name and the history of the beach.
After spending about two hours enjoying the sun and sand, the players went to practice at Hawai’i Pacific University. Senior Charina Sumner’s grandfather, Howard, is the softball coach there, so the team was able to utilize his very scenic field. The outfield is lined with trees and the mountain looms in the background. It was beautiful.
While we were driving to practice, I was in the van with Aona and Tom, who both pointed out everything that we passed along the way. Every road and building had a story. It was a great way to take a look into their lives and to experience what they grew up with.
All five of the Pirates’ Hawaiian players spent time at the field growing up and it was coming full circle to be able to have an East Carolina practice there. Aona said, “It was so unexpected. It brought back old memories and made new ones for us.”
Tom added, “It was a nice way to have a practice on the field where it all started for some of us.”
Following the workout, Howard gave everybody a few history lessons about Hawai'i and took us through the jungle behind his field. We learned that the mountain divides the island and keeps the far side five or more degrees warmer each day.
While we were walking through the jungle and examining the foliage, Howard found a vine that was strong enough to swing on. He explained that when it rains, the area under the vine that is dry now becomes a river and you have to swing over it. Senior Christina Merrida and sophomore Suzanne Riggs both tried their hand at swinging over the area and found it much more difficult than at first glance.
The parents of our Hawaiian players then brought sandwiches for us to eat before we headed back to the hotel to get cleaned up for the luau.
Tomorrow, the Pirates get down to business as the Bank of Hawai’i Invitational Tournament begins. East Carolina faces defending Women’s College World Series Champion and current No. 1 team Washington at 9:00 p.m. EST.
Kai Clark’s Hawaiian Word Of The Day