Monday, June 1, 2009

Kealakekua Bay Portal to Dolphin Heaven

Visuals - Left, then right view with Birgit, Ariya's childhood friend from Germany

“This is the absolute best place I’ve ever been on vacation!” We hear these words often from family and friends who have shared our stays at Gary and Apolonia Stice’s “Hale Naia” house on Kealakekua Bay, Kona side of the Big Island.

Eileen Borgeson and I are staying here for a few days with our ‘daughter-in-law’ Ariya and my grandson Naiya De before they fly off to Germany, Ariya’s homeland, for five weeks.

This amazing home, as are all of Gary’s 17 beachfront houses on 6 islands, is strategically located in literally the best spot on the Bay. It’s also known as the ‘point house’ since it’s at the end of the road adjacent to the Dolphin viewing point and closest to Captain Cook’s monument.

Kealakekua Bay, Captain Cook, is known by locals to be THE BEST snorkeling in Hawaii. A monument has been erected in the memory of Captain Cook where he was killed on February 14th, 1779. It’s placed on a piece of land that is the only property in the United States owned by England. This is also the destination landing place for kayaks and snorkeling boats taking off from Kona.

Dolphins are frequently seen swimming and spinning here and during whale session you can see Grey Whales breaching in the Bay. Our friends, artists Willa Martin and David Carlin, whose place is just a couple of blocks away, tell of seeing the birth of a baby whale right in front. Eileen and I swam with the dolphins many times just beyond the house. Remember…these are beautiful, wild creatures in their domain, and the experience is both exhilarating and reverent at the same time. It really does seem to change you. You wonder who is the most ‘evolved’. For one thing, they’re always playing. How uncivilized?

Eileen and I especially like to ‘brainstorm’, as well as ‘execute’ business strategies and future art editions here. With FedEx and Internet access there are no limits on conducting inspired and effective virtual communications from almost anywhere…so it might as well be paradise. Last year a business acquaintance flew in from Canada for a ‘relaxing’ intensive where we reviewed some holography opportunities with his holographic glass company and my business associations in Dubai.

Gary, the talented and savvy businessman/owner of these 17 Hawaii locations, was previously involved with mapping the shorelines on Hawaii and got to know the best locations on the island. His passion for Hawaii combined with his knowledge of unique beach locations inspired him to ‘collect’ houses in some of the most desirable areas in the Hawaii island chain. He and Apolonia now share their houses, as vacation rentals, to individuals and families looking for a ‘treasured experience’ in real Hawaii. Check out their website for pictures and descriptions of their hand-picked beach front locations on every island.

Eileen and I, without reservation, suggest to anyone coming to Hawaii for vacation, sabbatical or as a ‘creative retreat’ to stay in any of Gary’s locations. Many of the homes Gary and Apolonia have designed and built themselves using exotic woods and materials from Apolonia’s homeland, the Philippines. Their Anini Beach house in Kauai is a masterpiece with the white sands adjacent to the property and the gentle beach waters only a few feet away.

Each of our stays was like living the chapters in an adventure novel…Different beaches, mountains, neighborhoods, characters, sunsets, sunrises, food and history. Across the street from this house is an ancient heiau and next to it a monument to the first Christian church, which almost touches the sacred heaiu…not sure of the logic for this. The Hawaiians used to ‘bury’ their chiefs in the caves in the cliffs you see when looking towards Captain Cook’s monument. You surely can feel the intense history of this location.

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