Jan Tenbruggencate

Kamehameha Would Go

By Jan TenBruggencate Some folks write about tow-in surfing as if it’s a new thing. Tow-in surfing is the concept of using another vehicle—often a small speedboat or personal watercraft—to deliver a surfer to a fast-moving wave. But of course, it is far from new. Just as early Hawaiians invented surfing, they also invented the […]

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A Hawaiian Thanksgiving with Non-Hawaiian Fixes

By Jan TenBruggencate There is something entirely un-Hawaiian about one of the classic Hawaiian dishes. At any Hawaiian food event, and included with any Hawaiian plate lunch, along with the laulau and poi is the lomilomi salmon. This crisp, refreshing dish is served cold. Classically Hawaiian, and yet there is nothing classically Hawaiian in it. […]

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The Beauty of the Breadfruit

By Jan TenBruggencate There are a few plants that evoke the tropics, plain and simple. The coconut, of course. And blossoms like the fragrant white Tahitian gardenia. And breadfruit, the `ulu. What a plant. Set aside the fruit for a moment. `Ulu bleeds white, a latex sap that was used for caulking canoes by the […]

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Value of Coconut to Polynesians is Hard to Overstate

By Jan TenBruggencate The father of a friend of mine had an interesting quirk: He would not plant anything in his yard unless it was edible. If there was a tree, it was a fruit tree. If there was a shrub, it had edible berries. I actually don’t know whether he had a grass lawn, […]

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Happiness Grows on Trees

By Jan TenBruggencate If you plant a fruit tree, you’re committing an act of faith in the future. And when you pick fruit from a mossy-barked old tree, it’s appropriate to thank the good person who had the forethought to plant it. I can remember clambering into a Molokai jungle nearly 60 years ago, and […]

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There Are Monk Seals and There Are Monk Seals

By Jan TenBruggencate The Hawaiian monk seal is a mysterious species, a member of a small group of exceedingly rare or extinct seals, and the only one in the Pacific. New genetic research has shown how it got to the Hawaiian Islands without having to swim around any of the world’s great capes: It swam […]

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Selflessness

By Jan TenBruggencate When we set aside a few days each year to remember some of those who gave service, it ought to remind us of all the others who do the same. I think of the remarkable selflessness of so many Kaua‘i residents after both Hurricane ‘Iwa in 1982 and Hurricane ‘Iniki in 1992. […]

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The Cult of Xylem in Our Neck of the Woods

By Jan TenBruggencate I was drawn back into woodworking on a recent weekend. The smell of fresh-cut camphor, the hard smoothness of lemongum eucalyptus wood, the familiarity of monkeypod — the slab table maker’s favorite. And the noise: the sound of chisels and gouges tapped into wood with rubber mallets, and the machine noise: chainsaws, […]

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History on the Beach

By Jan TenBruggencate History is where you find it, and on Kaua‘i, you don’t need a book. There are beaches all around the island that provide windows into life on Kaua‘i in generations past. I can remember beachcombing the shore below Mahelona Hospital, between Kapa‘a and Kealia. There’s a lot of stuff mixed in with […]

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Diversity and Uniqueness on the Westside

By Jan TenBruggencate The Westside of Kauaʻi, not easy to pigeonhole. In many ways, it is a place defined by its diversity. The rainfall on the leeward slopes minimal, but West Kauaʻi has always been blessed with water resources, from the big rivers to the vast Mana marshes, once so rich that great flocks of […]

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