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isabel anderson : surf riding in hawai'i, 1916. 

Isabel Anderson : Surf riding in Hawai'i,  1916.

 Extracts  and colour photograph from
Anderson, Isabel
The Spell of the Hawaiian Islands and the Phillippines;
being an account of the historical and political conditions of our Pacific possessions,
together with descriptions of the natural charm and beauty of the countries
and the strange and interesting customs of their peoples.
 The Page Company, Boston, 1916

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Page 5

As we approached the dock, we forgot to watch the frolicking porpoises and the silver flying fish, at sight of the daring natives on their boards riding the surf that broke over the coral reef.
The only familiar face we saw on the wharf as we landed was Mr. George Carter, a friend of my husband's, who has since been
Governor of the Islands.

Facing page 16

Page 16
After lunching with the American Minister, Mr. Sewall, one day, we sat on his lanai at

Page 17

Waikiki and watched the surf-boating, which was most exciting, even from a distance, as the canoes came in at racehorse speed on the crest of the breakers.
That day L. and I put our bathing suits on, as we did indeed several times, got into an outrigger canoe with two native boys to handle it, and started for the reef.
They skilfully paddled the boat out between the broken waves, waiting for the chance to move on without meeting a foaming crester, and then hurrying to catch a smooth place.
At last we got out far enough and turned, watching over our shoulders for a big fellow to come rolling in.
Then the boys paddled wildly and allowed the crest, as it broke, to catch and lift the boat and rush it along on top of the roaring foam, right up to the beach.
On one of our trips our oarsmen were a little careless and we were upset.
But instead of swimming in shore we swam out to sea and pushed the boat until we were well beyond the breakers, where we could right it again and get in which, for those not used to it, is not a particularly easy thing to accomplish.
The people on the shore became frightened about us and sent out another boat to pick us up, for we were quite far out and there were many sharks around.

By the way, one hears it questioned even to-

Page 18

day whether sharks really do eat men, notwithstanding two men were bitten lately while bathing as far north as on the New Jersey coast.

I will simply say I have seen a black diving boy at Aden with only one leg, as the other was bitten off by a shark, and have myself even worn black stockings when bathing in tropical seas because it is said sharks prefer white legs to black.
Page 32 [Myths and Meles]

Boxing, surf-riding and hurling the ulu a circular stone disk, three or four inches in diameter were some of the favourite amusements, as well as tobogganing, which is interest- ing as a tropical adaptation of something that we consider a Northern sport.
The slide was laid out on a steep hillside, that was made slip-

Page 33

pery with dry pili grass.
The sled, of two long, narrow strips of wood joined together by wicker work, was on runners from twelve to fourteen feet long, and was more like our sleds than modern toboggans.
The native held the sled by the middle with both hands, and ran to get a start.
Then, throwing himself face downward, he flew down the hill out upon the plain beyond, sometimes to a distance of half a mile or more.

Page 91

The Hawaiians also plant taro for poi, which, although now manufactured by machinery, is still their favourite food, and is also eaten by the whites: Doctors pronounce it most digestible and strengthening.
Duke Kahanamoku, a native who has always lived on poi, is the champion swimmer of the world.
It is true that not only poi but also the climate is favourable to our race as well, for white boys brought up in Hawaii have proved themselves to be strong, all those who have gone into athletics in American colleges having made fine records.

Page 115

On the shore , at the extreme western point of the island [Kaui], are the Barking Sands, a row of sand dunes.
"The wind on the sands makes them rustle like silk; to slide down them produces a sound like thunder; to stamp on them makes them cry out in different cadences."
Not far away is an old bathing beach, where a bath was supposed to bring good luck.

Anderson, Isabel
The Spell of the Hawaiian Islands 
and the Philippines
 The Page Company, Boston, 1916

Internet Archive

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Geoff Cater (2013-2018) : Isabel Anderson : Surf Riding, Hawaii, 1916.