Paddlers Return To The Ala Wai Canal

Luana Froiseth
Luana Froiseth
Paddlers practice in the Ala Wai Canal
Paddlers practice in the Ala Wai Canal
Sewage spills into the Ala Wai Canal
Sewage spills into the Ala Wai Canal

By Paul Drewes

(KHNL) - A Waikiki canoe club forced from their home has returned.

Their paddling season was spoiled by millions of gallons of raw sewage dumped into the Ala Wai canal.

But now these athletes are back where they belong, but they are also keeping a wary eye on these waters.

The Ala Wai canal is once again filled with the familiar sounds of Outrigger canoe paddlers.

"Everyone is really happy," said paddler Luana Froiseth. "Now were home we're home!"

Athletes with the Waikiki Surf Club were forced from this waterway earlier this year when nearly 50 million gallons of wastewater was pumped into their practice area.

But while this waterway is once again being used by this longtime club, not everyone has returned.

"Lanikili hasn't come back, Kealani hasn't come back," Froiseth told us.

On the water things look the same as before the spill and things haven't changed for this canoe club.

Their warnings over this waterway remain the same as well.

"We tell them to always take a shower. If they're getting some kind of cold or rash to go to the doctor and we've always told them to do that," explained Froiseth.

But while the Waikiki Surf Club is back in the water at the Ala Wai, they still aren't going to be spending much time in the canal as they start their long distance season.

"Right now we're going to use the Ala Wai as an entrance and an exit," Froiseth said. "We're not going to paddle in here."

The first meet for the Waikiki Surf Club, which had been practicing at Keehi Lagoon, will take place this Sunday.