Saturday, January 10, 2015

It Took Me a Long Time to Get Back on the Train

     The other day I was thinking about how long it had been since I  wrote a new  blog post, so I sat down and logged in. I couldn't believe that I had only written 2 post all year in 2014. I knew I had slacked off with my writing last year, but I had no idea just how bad I had let it get. 


 To be perfectly honest, late in 2013, I walked away from my Prostaff position with Malibu Kayaks. That was a hard decision to make because I had worked really hard to get there, and I wholeheartedly believed in the product. I truly enjoyed being part of that team of kayak anglers, but I could no longer support a company that could provide no support, nor see the value in it's Prostaff. I'll admit that afterwards I was in a funk. I spent the winter re-assessing my needs in a fishing platform and decided to sell off my fleet of Malibu's and change things up a little.When Spring came around, it felt good to be fishing for me, and only for me- not because I felt like I had to get material and fulfill an obligation. I just kinda got back to focusing on having fun on the water, and didn't worry as much about documenting my trips and experiences, which led to me not writing anything here on Bent Rod Chronicles. 

Enough making excuses, let me tell you a little about my year, show you a few pictures, and lets move on. It's 2015, and it's time for me to get back on the train.

Though it wasn't my best year, 2014 was still a good one. I purchased two new kayaks, an Ocean Kayak Trident 13 and an Old Town Predator MX. I made my way to the coast to fish over 25 times and competed in 5 tournaments. I fished a handful of new locations, including Grand Bahama Island, and caught a few new species, both on conventional tackle as well as fly fishing gear. The one thing I take away from last year is a new found passion for fly fishing that seems to be taking over. This summer I plan on focusing on the long rod, especially in the coastal waters. I most recently purchased a vice and started ting my own flies, which is both meditative and highly rewarding. One thing I love about being a fisherman is that there's always new ground;something new to learn, and a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that was previously unfathomable. I hope to continue to share that with you this coming year.

I'm looking forward to 2015 and to sharing my experiences with you. Give us a Like on Facebook so you can keep up. See ya on the water.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Spring Drummin'

     It's no secret that the Puppy Drum have been plentiful the last couple years, and can be found in creek mouths, grass lines, oyster bars, and flats all over the Tidewater area. I haven't gotten out nearly as much as I would have liked this Spring, but I've been able to squeeze in a few trips to get my fix...

The fishing always heats up in Rudee first, so naturally I started my spring drum fishing there....along with every other fisherman in Va Beach. Even with all the boat traffic and other kayak fisherman, the fishing was hot, and Puppy Drum were being caught everywhere. One day in particular, I helped my Dad load up his new PA12 and we met up with William Ragulsky, Rob Choi, and Jeff Lockhart to see if we could bend a rod.

Photo Credit: William Ragulsky
Pop's had a blast playing his personal best Redfish @ 22"

     We found fish along the shorelines, with small schools moving back and forth in search of an easy meal. Slowly bouncing dark colored soft plastics seemed to do the trick, and the action was steady. Once the tide dropped out, we all moved over to the island to take a "break", and eat some lunch. I quoted break because nobody ever really stopped fishing, and a few more decent fish were pulled even in a slack current.

Killing time waiting for the tide to turn.

 No matter how many you've caught, fishing for drum never gets old. Whether sight casting, tossing lures, or live baiting; Puppy Drum, Over Slots or Bull Reds- their drag peeling runs and head shakes will put your tackle to the test and leave your forearm sore. The tug is a drug and although I had gotten my fix, I couldn't help but fiend for more so I made the drive down the following weekend to get see if I could bend a rod again. Turns out, the bite was a little slower, but I still managed to catch a land a few decent fish.

 This Pup was a little smaller and skinnier than the others we were catching, so I decided it must have been the runt of its litter, and thus needed to be blackened and pan seared. Turns out it hand a 3/8oz jighead stuck through its stomach. It had healed around the hook and a mass of tissue had grown around the sharp end to prevent any further pucture of organs. Very Cool! I always check  the stomachs of the fish I catch to see what they've been feeding on. 

     It was 5 grueling weeks before I made my way back to the Tidewater area to chase drum in the kayak. By now, the water had warmed up a little, so Billy and I decided we would see if we could find some fish on the flats in Lynnhaven Inlet. We started the morning with a solid game plan, and we were going to stick with it and see where how we did. The wind was calm but with the cloudy skies, sight casting opportunities would be harder to come by.

We made our way to the first flat on our list, and in 10 minutes, Billy was hooked up with a nice 21" Redfish. He caught one more there and I lost one boatside, but after 30 more minutes with no action, we decided to move on. The water was dropping out quickly and we wanted to check another flat before it was too late. I was able to spot a couple fish right away as we made our way to the second spot, but not until I was on top of them and they were spooked. After making a few cast here and there, we decided to keep moving and head way back to a spot we hadn't fished in a while. 

     By the time we arrived, tide had turned and was coming back in now, which didn't have me feeling oober confident, since I prefer to target Redfish on an outgoing and fish the choke points and ambush spots. Nevertheless, we started working the shorelines and made our way to a small creek mouth with oyster mounds out front, and we quickly found a bite.

 What happened next, we didn't expect...Billy and I spent the next couple hours throwing a variety of baits and hooking up to Redfish every couple cast. This particular spot we were fishing always seems to hold a couple fish, but had never produced a day like this one. I had forgotten my Park n' Pole, so we were both using Billy's and fishing side by side. We could have doubled up if we wanted but we were taking turns casting as to not hook each other, and plucking out fish after fish. My favorite strike of the day came after watching a school of bait get crushed-accept for actual sight casting, there is nothing like knowing the fish is there, making the perfect cast, and knowing that the strike is gonna come any second. This healthy 25.5" Redfish put up a great fight after crushing a Egret Baits Voodoo Mullet.

        The Drum aren't going anywhere, but my attention will soon turn to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel it's bountiful fishery. Sheepshead, Spadefish, and Triggerfish, and Flounder are up for grabs, along with the occasional Black Drum. While the prizes can be many, fishing the CBBT structure is dangerous and not for beginners, so plaease keep that in mind as the summer fishing season heats up. I will try to keep the reports coming more regularly. Tight Lines!

P.S.- I did manage to get out with Ric Burnley and do a little boat fishing this spring too. We went out looking for Cobia and Bull Reds....

Monday, April 7, 2014

First Trips in the Trident

     Those of you who know me, know that I have been paddling a Malibu Kayak for years, but I felt it was time for a change. My kayak fishing expeditions have evolved over the years from shorter days in calmer water, into extremely long days where covering 8-10+ miles is the norm. That being the case, it is only natural that my choice in fishing vessel has also evolved. I knew exactly what I was looking for, and luckily I have the most comprehensive paddlesports shop in the county, in my backyard. I reached out to Appomattox River Company, and they took care of me as if I were family. They pride themselves on that family atmosphere, impeccable customer service, and in having the worlds largest selection of canoes and kayaks in one place. Like I said, I knew exactly what I wanted, and ARC had a Ocean Kayak Trident 13  with my name all over it!

     Alex, our buddy Ryan, and I hit the river the following Saturday in search of trophy Smallmouth bass. Rob Choi and Jeff Lockhart planned to meet us on the water as well. We fished the river hard, but the cold front was moving in quicker than we anticipated and it proved very difficult to find a bite. By the time we got off the water, the rain had set in and was beginning to change over to sleet. I didn't really care if we caught anything, I was just happy to be out on the water with a few buddies, paddling my new Trident. That being said, I don't want you to think I got the skunk...

I did manage to catch one 16" Largemouth Bass.

     It would be another two weeks before I could get the Trident 13 out on the water again, and I was dying to get back in the saddle. This trip wasn't planned, and the forecast was for rain all day, but the annual Shad run in Richmond had started and the fish were biting. So naturally, when Rob sent me a text saying that he was getting ready to launch, and Billy Ragulsky, called minutes later saying he was heading up, I rushed to get things done around the house so I could hit the river with the guys, and get bowed up.

Every year, both Hickory and American Shad make their way up the James River to spawn, and while they might only be baitfish, they put up a hell of a fight, and can be caught on light conventional tackle as well as the fly rod. The Hickory Shad are much more plentiful and the average fish will measure around 16". They are by far the more acrobatic of the species and have earned the nickname Poor Mans Tarpon. The American Shad are true brutes. These fish weigh 3lbs on average, and will put your tackle to the test with drag screaming runs.

      It took a little longer than expected to get myself in gear, pick up Alex, and get to the river, so we missed Rob. He had found the fish biting and spent a couple hours tearing 'em up before heading in for the day. Check out his report at Billy, Alex, and I launched in the rain, but it went unnoticed, overshadowed by the child-like excitement of the first Shad trip of the season. I anchored up on my spot and hooked into a fish on my second cast, and I knew it was gonna be a good afternoon. We stayed in the same area all afternoon, and subsequently stayed in the fish, hooking up every few casts.

Alex caught his first Hickory Shad on the fly rod. He gets giddy like a kid on Christmas when he's hooked up, especially if it's a first. This time was no different and that one fish made his day. Billy caught his share of fish, including a nice Hickory on the fly to end the day. The highlight of my day came a couple hours into the day. I made a cast towards the shoreline, to the same general area I had been finding fish, and wasn't surprised to get a bite. After coming tight and gaining a few feet of line, my rod bent over and my drag started screaming. Every time I would get the fish halfway back to the kayak, it would take off for the shoreline and my drag would make sweet, sweet music. This senario repeated itself 4 times before I could even get a glance at the fish. 

photo credit: William Ragulsky
These pictures don't do her justice. This fish is a true trophies of the Shad Run.

photo credit: William Ragulsky
This was the biggest American Shad that I have ever caught, measuring in over 20" and had to be pushing 4 1/2 lbs. She, along with all of the other Shad I caught were released to complete their spawning rituals. If you've never fished for Shad, give it a try. I promise, once you catch one, you'll be looking forward to the spawning run every year. If your looking for a fun fishing tournament to get you started before the summer season gets going, 2014 Shad Shootout is on April 12th at Anncarrows Landing. This is a charity tournament benefiting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and is open to all. Come on out, have some fun, bend a rod, and help out a good cause.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Bringing Home the Bacon

     Every year in September, the Tidewater Kayak Anglers Association hosts the 3rd largest kayak fishing tournament in the country. This event draws hundreds of anglers from as far north as Maine, and as far south as Florida, to the tidewater area of Virginia to see who can bring home bragging right, a new kayak, and more importantly, raise money for a good cause. In 2012, TKAA donated $15,000 to Heroes On The Water, an organization committed to helping veterans by using a unique kayak fishing program, which allows the participants a chance to decompress from the stresses associated with combat and the physical rigors of rehabilitation. 

     As so often is the case, the weather for this years Kayak Fish for Charity Tournament looked dismal, but that wasn't going to stop us. We take this one pretty serious since its in our own backyards, not to mention the fact that Kam, Billy, and I had all placed in different divisions last years and wanted to better our finishes this time around. Having had her 1st place finish taken from her at last years weigh-in due to a loophole in the rules, Kam was especially driven this year.
     Billy and I had picked a spot that he was familiar with, and we thought would be productive, and fished it hard the weekend before the tournament with great results. Seven days later Billy, Kam, myself, and Alex paddled away from the launch confident that we would catch fish, and hoping they would be competitive. Redfish were plentiful this year, with huge numbers of fish in the 18-22" range, and we knew we would find them with ease. Good numbers of larger Speckled Trout were being caught in the area we were fishing, and though the Flounder bite wasn't as good as in years past, I figured we could bounce a jig in the channels til we found one. 

First fish of the day was a healthy 20"er, and my biggest Redfish of the day.

 My attitude toward the Flounder may have been to lackadaisical.
It wasn't much but it would have to do.
The Specks didn't want to come out and play. Although I had missed a couple much larger fish on topwater at first light, this was the only that I landed.... embarrassing.


     Kam had a bit of a different strategy than the rest of us. That was because, the Female Angler Division would be given to the largest Speckled Trout, Flounder, or Red Drum caught by a female. She figured that the winning fish would be a Drum, so she fished hard for them all day and was rewarded with fish after fish, the biggest of which went 21.75"

These two swallowed the hook and were destined to be blackened and seared.

     We packed up and headed for the weigh-in hoping that Kam's 21.75" Redfish was enough. She was trying not to get her hopes up, but I was confident she should place again this year. We had dinner and a few beers while the judges checked and double check all the paperwork. The tournament committee does a great job of soliciting donations, which makes for the biggest kayak fishing raffle I've ever seen- it takes hours to get it all raffled off. After a few more beers and a long wait, it was time for the results to be announced. We knew Kam had placed, because she had been called back to turn the pictures of her fish for final judging, and when the third place fish was announced at 19.25", I knew she had it. Kamaron had finally taken 1st Place!!!

I am so proud of her. She has the same passions for fishing as I do, and she's damn good at what she does. She's an awesome fishing partner and an even better life partner. Love you babe.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Gettin' Pops on some Pups

     As with most of us, my dad was the one that taught me how to fish when I was a kid. We spent countless days out on my grandfathers boat catching Spot, Croaker, White Perch, and the occasional Flounder, in the tributaries of the Rappahannock River. 

Now that I've grown up, and fishing has become a passion of mine, I'm in the unique position to be able to teach him now. As long as I've been kayak fishing, I've often thought about how awesome it would be to get Dad out on the water, but Cerebral Palsy limits the use of his right hand, making paddling out of the question. For the first few years, Papa Dukes didn't show much interest in kayak fishing, but lately, he had started getting more and more into the idea. Dad had taken the Pro Angler 12 out for a spin at the Appomattox River Company Demo Day back in June, and was itching to get out and chase some Redfish. Billy and I put together a game plan, and with some help (a borrowed Hobie Pro Angler 12) from Joe Underwood  , we were off to Lynnhaven Inlet early Saturday morning to see if we could bend a rod. 

We headed out of Owl Creek and let Dad get his seat and pedals straight before making our way to the fishing grounds. Once we arrived, we staked out and explained the jist of what we were gonna be doing. Dad had his lines out as quick as possible and was ready to rip some lips! I had just gotten moved over into my spot about 25' away, when I look over and see Dad popping cork disappear. He gave him a good hook set and a minute later, Dad had landed his first Red Drum @ 19".

Watching Dad fight the fish, and light up when the drag started screaming was awesome. I imagine it was kinda the same way he felt watching me fish as a kid. We got a few pictures, and put the fish on a stringer since it had swallowed the jighead. 

Dad was itching to get another so I got out of his way and let him get his lines back out. Billy picked up a couple of Reds around the same size as Dad's, but I wasn't catching anything. I wasn't really fishing though... the day wasn't about me getting on fish. I was just enjoying the time fishing with my father. It was about 30 minutes later when I heard Dad say something and looked over to see him bowed up! The light breeze had caused me to drift away a little, but Billy was nearby helped Pops land his second Redfish @ 18.5".

We continued to fish the area for another 45 minutes or so, but the tide was dropping out quick, so we decided to head out to a deeper creek channel and see if we could find some Speckled Trout or Flounder. After spooking a couple larger Redfish on a shallow point at the creek mouth, we pulled the kayaks up on a sandbar island and got out to stretch. There were a couple fish breaking in the creek so we began casting plastics. Everyone was getting bites, but the dink trout couldn't get the hooks in their mouths. I finally managed to find the largest in the school and landed a 12.5" Speck. 

The tide was almost all the way out now, so we decided to pack it in and ride the last of the outgoing current back to Owl Creek. It had been an awesome day on the water, my most memorable day for sure, and I was honored to have been able to share something I love so much, with someone I love so much. Dad is hooked, and is setting aside money to purchase his very own Pro Angler. I can't wait to get out there with him again and see if we can catch him some big Speckled Trout and Striper. Even if we get skunked, it will be time well spent. 

I want to thank Joe Underwood for letting us borrow his kayak, and Billy Ragulsky for helping with the logistics and the company.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Kam's 1st to the 1st

My wife has been wanting to fish the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel with me for a year now, but it had proven difficult to get her schedule to align itself with the weather and currents. With the water warming and the first reports of Sheepshead being caught, we took advantage of Kam having a free Saturday and headed to Chicks Beach.

 After digging some mole crabs, we paddled out to a dead calm Chesapeake Bay. We worked our way out towards the 1st Island, dropping on random pilings along the way. The sheepshead were proving difficult to locate, so we switched gears and started looking for Spadefish. I couldn't seem to get a bite, but Alex and Billy were catching a couple here and there. Kam finally had one take her hook and after a brief fight with a jackhammer, she landed her first Spade.

We made our way out to the 1st Island to catch up with Rob Choi and Joe Underwood. Joe had hooked and landed a 43" Black Drum while Sheepshead fishing along the rocks.

Photo Credit: Rob Choi

He had switched gears and now was having some luck jigging Flounder, and Rob was chasing Big Ugly(black drum) along the rocks of the island, but they were being picky about what they wanted to eat. I spotted a couple myself, but the outcome was no different than Rob's was. Alex managed a small Sheepshead and Rob stuck a tag in it for him before releasing it.

My luck was not changing and I couldn't seem to find a bite from anything other than Black Sea Bass and Croaker. We worked our way back towards shore, fishing pilings here and there, but the fish weren't biting. We ended the day with few catches, but good times were had by all, and Kam had one more notch in her belt. One thing is for sure, when the fishing gets slow and there's a bunch of us just floating around, the trash talking and heckling will be plentiful. Good company is what makes any day on the water a good day.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Hawaiian Honeymoon Hook-Ups

I really should have written a detailed account of our incredible trip to Hawaii immediately after returning, but since I'm such a slacker, this will be more of a photo recap of our time spent fishing.

     I am one of the few lucky men who's wife loves to fish almost as much I do. This being the case, we were both pumped to have a couple weeks in Kona to explore the Big Island, and more importantly, the crystal clear Pacific waters teeming with pelagic fishes. After 2 separate mechanical issues with our plane, and a 12 hour delay, we finally arrived in paradise.

                                                                                                                   The Kailua-Kona waterfront.

We had scheduled a fishing charter 2 days into the trip aboard the Pacific Blue, with Capt. Bill Casey. That afforded Kam and I just enough time to get settled in, get some rest, and be ready to wrestle with some fishes.

Luck wasn't on our side that day, and although we did have a big Blue come in and blow up behind the boat, the line never came tight. We headed in with an empty box and a slight feeling of defeat. Still, all hope was not lost... this wouldn't be our only chance to bend a rod while on this rock.

     We had also booked a kayak mothership charter with Capt. John Tarson of Screaming Reel Adventures for just a couple days later. This was something we had been fantasizing about for quite some time, so we were eager to do some paddling.

                                                                 Notice the slide to the left of the outboard- makes launching and recovery very easy.

 We met John, along with his mates Patrick and Greg at Kawaihae Harbor, to find the water dirty brown instead of crystal clear like they are used to. There had been alot of rain on Maui and all the run off had stained the water and made a layer of floating mulch and organic matter... fishing was going to be tough. We made our way out to clean, open water, launched the kayaks and began trolling rigged ballyhoo.

Kam had a peanut Mahi take her bait near the surface, but it jumped almost immediately and threw the hook. We stuck around there for a while, but struggled to find a bite. Eventually we left the area and tried a couple other ledges, before moving back inshore where we began drifting the deep shipping channel leading into the harbor. This channel held big Ulua and if there was one fish I could have chosen to catch in the kayak, that was it. It was hours before we got another bite, but this time it was my down line... and it hit hard. I put the reel in gear, slammed the hook home, and I was cruisin'.

                                                                                            Hawaiian sleigh ride!

Unfortunately, it was strong enough to get me down into the coral heads 60' down. Knowing I only had 2 options, I put the reel into freespool and paddled back up drift from where he had wrapped himself. It worked and the line came loose, but the fish had also spit the hook... my disappointment was immeasurable. We made another couple drifts, but that was the last of the action for the day.

    A few days later, Kam and I had plans to meet a friend of Capt. John, named Jesse, who is a fourth generation Ulua(GT) shore fisherman. Jesse had offered to let me and Kam camp on the cliffs with him and teach me about old school Hawaiian shore fishing techniques. As luck would have it, a rancher had locked a gate that prevented us from accessing the shoreline. This is actually against the law, since in Hawaii, access must be given to the shoreline, whether the land is public or private. 

Jesse was livid- is family had been fishing from these cliffs for years, but without a pair of bolt cutters, there was nothing we could do.(I'm sure Jesse went back later and took care of it) We decided to switch gears and head down into Waipio Valley to fish from the beach. Jesse's whole family was to join us for a campout in the sacred valley.

                           Jesse prepares the bait, a large piece of Moray Eel. See the size of that hook...

We used a 10lb rock as a weight, tied with a special knot that would shake loose after a few minuted of fighting the fish- they actually want the Ulua to swim with the rock to help tire it out. Obviously a rock that size can't be cast, so Jesse's brother, Tawn, swam the rock out to deep water and dropped it. 

It was only about an hour before we heard the clicker scream on Jesse's Penn Senator 8/0. He let the fish take the rod tip down before heaving his whole body backwards to make sure the hook had found its home. This was a very strong fish, strong enough that it parted the 80# main line about 15 minutes into the fight. I was starting to think Kam and I were carrying some kind of bad juju. Tawn was convinced to carry out one more bait, even though the sun was down now and the sharks would be feeding. We cooked dinner and caught prawn in a stream running out of the valley, while waiting for another bite, but it never came.

Waking up that morning was surreal- the sound of the waves breaking, the birds shrieking as they search for breakfast, the incredible sunrise in the valley, and the hospitality that had been extended to us left Kam and I with few words. After thank yous and goodbyes, we packed up our stuff, and made the treacherous trip up 1200' from the bottom of the valley, via a one lane road with a 25% grade. This was truly a night we would never forget.

     At this point we only had a few days left in Hawaii, and the idea of going back to the mainland not having caught anything in arguably the best sport fishing destination in the world, was killing me. Kam and I made the decision to forgo a helicopter ride around the island, to instead take one more fishing charter. 

I know, I know, I'm a lucky guy.

     Kam had been in touch with a Captain in Maui via Instagram prior to us landing in Hawaii, and I convinced her to call him and see if he could put us in touch with the right guys to get us hooked up. He made a call to a buddy of his, and before I knew it, we had a trip booked with Capt. Kevin Nakamaru aboard his 37' Merritt, the Northern Lights. Only hitch was, the trip was booked the day we had to fly home, but our flight didn't leave until 10:00 pm. The captain asked that we get there early and he would keep us out extra late, with a promise to have us worn out and sleeping the whole flight home. 

We had plenty of live baits and were trolling out to deep water by the time the sun broke over Mauna Loa, the largest of the 5 volcanoes that make up the Island of Hawaii. Kam and I were totally caught off gaurd when a reel started screaming only 20 minutes after setting the lines. We both looked up to see a Blue Marlin jumping and tail walking behind the boat. Being the gentleman that I am, I had told Kam that the first bite was hers.... is there any way I can take that back?

                                                                                              Kam doin' work!

Kam did a great job working the fish and was rewarded with a 100lbs Pacific Blue Marlin, tagged and released! The mate set the lines back out and we got settled in. It was only 7:30 and we still had a long day ahead of us. Less than 30 minutes goes by before the mate comes swinging down off the bridge, and a reel starts screaming. "Fish On! Think its a Stripey", yells Capt. Kevin. This time it's my turn, and there's a pissed off Striped Marlin at the end of my line. After a 15 minute fight my first billfish, a 120lbs Pacific Striped Marlin, was boatside! 

I actually got to reach down, right the fish, and turn him away from the boat as we released him. Another experience I will never forget. 

We continued to troll for another couple hours on our way out to the Tuna grounds. Capt. Kevin is known as the Tuna Ninja, and now it was time for some big Ahi. The plugs came in the boat, and the Green Stick was deployed, along with a couple live baits. The tuna are competing with Porpoise for their meal, and are aggressively chasing baits and leaping from the water. It's not long before we are hooked up with a double, as 2 giant Ahi leap out of the water simultaneously, grabbing a separate squid lure, and then diving deep again. Kam's got her work cut out for her, but one of the fish shakes the hook and after a few minutes, her first Ahi, roughly 100 lbs, is in the box.

               The action stayed steady with a hook up every 30-45 minutes, and we took turns bringing them in.

                               This one was the only to take a live bait, but it was also the biggest @ just over 120lbs. 

The action started to slow, and with 6 big Ahi in the box, it was time to head for shore. Capt. Kevin had kept good on his promise to keep us out late, and send us to the airport worn out and ready for a nap.

We had a quick rinse down on the back of his other boat when we got back to the harbor, grabbed a quick bite to eat, and headed to the Kona Airport. Our Hawaiian honeymoon had finally come to an end, and I couldn't think of a better way to finish it out. The hospitality and friendliness of the Hawaiian people was awe inspiring, the scenery was breath taking, and the memories are forever.