Many may not realize that today’s Bodyboard was created in Kailua-Kona, at Wai‘aha, a place commonly referred to as “Honl’s” (after the name of the family that used to live there.)
Wai‘aha (“Gathering Water,”) a little strip of white sand beach, just on the outskirts of Kailua Village, is now a County Beach Park. It is a popular surf spot, especially with bodyboarders.
Tom Morey was staying in the house that once stood on the beach at Wai‘aha in July 1971 when he made the first bodyboard (“boogie board”) prototype.
He first called the board “S.N.A.K.E.” (Side, Navel, Arm, Knee, Elbow – because all the body parts were involved in its use) – he trademarked the name Morey Boogie in 1973 and founded Morey Boogie in 1974. (He later called it a Boogie Board after his love of music.)
According to Tom Morey’s son, Sol Morey, “the first boogie board was created in 1971 in order to surf shallower breaks that couldn’t otherwise be enjoyed.”
“The surf at our Hawaii rental on the Kailua coast was where it began with the shaping and sealing of the foam to form the first boogie.”
Tom Morey was a traditional surfboard builder/shaper, but looked for inventions and innovation. In 1964, he created the first TRAF polypropylene fin (his term TRAF being FART spelled backward), innovating the first commercial interchangeable fin system. In 1965, the Skeg Works became Morey Surfboards.
In 1965, Karl Pope became his business partner and the name changed again — Morey-Pope Surfboards. They built, tested and marketed Pope’s Trisect, a three-piece surfboard that folded into a suitcase.
But he had different ideas in Kona; he used an electric carving knife and a household iron, whittled some scrap polyethylene foam into a small rectangular mat and covered it with newspaper and hit the swells in front of his home on the Big Island of Hawaii.
With it, the sport of bodyboarding started in 1971 in Hawaii. (Prior to 1971, bodyboards were made from wood or fiberglass and called paipo boards.)
According to Tom Morey, he took his last nine-foot piece of polyethylene foam (that he had planned for a conventional board) and “grabbed a knife and cut it in half.”
“There was no turning back at that point. I looked at the foam and then at the surf and began fooling around with a hot iron and an electric knife.”
“I found that I could shape the foam using the iron if I put a sheet of newspaper down on the foam first. Later that night, I drew a few curves on the foam with a red marking pen and went to bed.”
Morey rose early on July 9, 1971, and cut and ironed out his planned shape. He left his board as wide as possible and left the nose square so that it would have more structural strength and so he could hold on to it.
“I decided I’d shape the rails like those on a Hot Curl surfboard,” says Morey. “Those were the boards from the 20s and 30s; built before boards had skegs. I cut 45-degree Hot Curl rails into my board.”
“They looked great, but I still wasn’t sure how it would ride.” Morey grabbed his board, ran down to Honl’s and the sport of bodyboarding was born.
Wai‘aha is home to the annual Malama Wai‘aha (Honl’s) Roots Bodyboard contest. The contest (started in 2002) was formed to honor the birth-beach and the birthplace of modern bodyboarding (they held their 10th anniversary event on June 30.)
In 2006, the Hawai‘i County acquired the property fronting the beach and it is now part of the County beach park system. Parking for users is also mauka of Ali‘i Drive and was provided by a developer as a condition of a rezoning.
Morey Bodyboards became a division of Mattel Toys and then Wham-O. In 2005, Tom Morey earned a star on the Huntington Walk of Fame and was inducted into the Surfing Hall of Fame.
The image shows Tom Morey with the original S.N.A.K.E.; info and images from tommorey-com. In addition, I have added other images of bodyboards, Morey and Wai‘aha in a folder of like name in the Photos section.
Built at Salem, Massachusetts in 1816, the brig ‘Cleopatra’s Barge’ was America’s ﬁrst oceangoing private yacht.
At the time, the concept of a ship built for pleasure was unknown on the western side of the Atlantic, where ships were built only for trade or war.
The yacht was built of solid oak as a schooner and had all the qualities of a good sea-going vessel. She was armed simply and well, and beautifully ﬁtted out on the exterior, with ﬁne carving on bow and stern. She had fourteen gun ports.
Her lavish furnishings included custom silver, glass and china services, and her interior decor rivaled that of the wealthiest homes.
Her exterior was distinguished by a herringbone paint scheme on the port side and multicolored horizontal stripes to starboard, a life-sized painted wooden Indian on deck, velvet-served quarter-deck lines, considerable gilding, and the latest patent windlass, pump and rudder technology.
At her stern were a salon ﬁnished with pink and deep blue mountings and gilt, a bedroom, a buﬀet, and a stairway leading up to her deck.
Mid-ship was a captain’s cabin and, forward, quarters for a crew, a storage area for tackle and so forth, a galley above and, ﬁnally, a spacious lounge containing tables of the ﬁnest workmanship, inlaid with palm and lacquered redwood.
She had five staterooms off the cabin, while the forecastle had accommodations for ten men and three boys.
Her registered tonnage was 191½-tons; she was 83-feet long on the water line, 23-feet beam and 11½- feet deep.
The Logbook for the Barge’s outbound voyage from Boston to the Sandwich Islands tell the tale of an uneventful voyage whose monotony was broken only by frequent sail changes and an occasional squall.
After 138-days at sea, Cleopatra’s Barge arrived at Lāhainā, Maui, on November 6, 1820; the very next day Liholiho (Kamehameha II) was welcomed aboard along with some family members and attendants.
Liholiho’s father Kamehameha I had loved foreign ships; over time he had collected a sizable ﬂeet of Western vessels, which, with guns and training by the foreigners, were a major asset in unifying and maintaining his kingdom across the islands.
Liholiho inherited his father’s love of ships; one of his childhood companions remembered seeing Liholiho frequently sailing a boat model “like a real man-of-war” on a pond and also recalled that their favorite boyhood pastime was drawing ships in the sand at the beach.
Just ten days after his ﬁrst visit to the ship, Liholiho purchased Cleopatra’s Barge and her cargo for 1.07-million pounds of sandalwood, worth $80,000 at the time.
On January 4, 1821, King Liholiho took formal possession of Cleopatra’s Barge, appointing his personal secretary, Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Rives, as temporary captain.
Liholiho then renamed the yacht ‘Ha‘aheo O Hawai‘i’ (Pride of Hawaiʻi.)
During the next three years she made frequent voyages between the islands.
On one of those trips in July 1821, Liholiho sailed to Kaua‘i, intent on confirming allegiance from Kaumuali‘i (whom his father had negotiated peace and, ultimately, united the islands under Kamehameha’s rule.)
When Kaumuali‘i unwittingly boarded and was seated in the cabin, orders were secretly given to make sail for Honolulu – Kaumuali‘i was taken prisoner.
In November 1823, Liholiho traveled to England, he died of measles in London on July 14, 1824.
According to a passage from Hiram Bingham, in April 1824, “Cleopatra’s Barge was wrecked in the bay of Hanalei, Kaua‘i, and lay not far from the beach dismantled and ruined … and was given up as unrecoverable.”
The image is Cleopatra’s Barge – Ha‘aheo O Hawai‘i in Hawai‘i. Lots of information here is from Paul F. Johnson’s paper, “A Million Pounds of Sandalwood.” In addition, I have included some other images of the ship in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook page.
The story about Kaua‘i’s “Russian Fort” begins when the Russian ship ‘Bering’ became stranded on the shores of Kaua‘i’s Waimea Bay on January 31, 1815. The ship’s cargo and the sailors’ possessions were confiscated by Kaua‘i’s ruler, Kaumuali‘i.
The Russian-American Company (the owner of the ship and its cargo) sent Russian Georg Anton Schäffer to the Hawaiian Islands to retrieve the cargo or seek appropriate payment.
Later that year, Schäffer arrived in Honolulu. There, Kamehameha granted him permission to build a storehouse near Honolulu Harbor.
But, instead, Schäffer began building a fort and raised the Russian flag. When Kamehameha discovered this, he sent several of his men to remove the Russians from O‘ahu, by force, if necessary. The Russians judiciously chose to sail for Kaua‘i, instead of risking bloodshed.
Once on Kaua‘i, Schäffer gained the confidence of King Kaumuali‘i, when he promised the king that the Russian Tsar would help him to break free of Kamehameha’s rule.
Although Kaumuali‘i had ceded Kaua‘i to Kamehameha in 1810, he generally maintained de facto independence and control of the island, following his agreement with Kamehameha.
It is believed that Kaumuali‘i considered it possible for him to claim rule over Kaua`i, Ni`ihau, O`ahu, Maui, Moloka`i and Lana`i, if he had Russian support. The Russians meanwhile were searching compensation for lost trade goods, as well as expanded trading opportunities.
Kaumuali‘i and Schäffer had several agreements to bring Kaua‘i under the protection of Russia, as well as weapons and ammunition from Schäffer, in exchange for trade in sandalwood.
Kaumuali‘i also used the engineering skills of Schäffer to lay out a plan for a fort (commonly referred to as Fort Elizabeth) which Kaumualiʻi had constructed next to his own residence, and for which he obtained a Russian flag from Schäffer, that he raised over his fort.
Three Russian forts were built on the Island of Kaua‘i: Fort Alexander, Fort Barclay and Fort Elizabeth;
The site, was known as “Pā‘ula‘ula” or “Hipo” by Hawaiians, and is on the eastern headlands of Waimea River overlooking the harbor, across from Lucy Kapahu Aukai Wright Beach Park.
Archaeological data and historical accounts show that the Hawaiians had used the site – perhaps for a ‘monumental architecture’ like a heiau (temple) or a pu‘u honua (refuge site) – during a time when chiefs on different banks of the Waimea River were engaged in warfare, and used it as a burying place for ali`i even in 1822.
In many ways, it is similar to Ahuʻena heiau in Kailua that Governor Kuakini also converted into a fort.
Schäffer called the fort “Fort Elizabeth” after the Empress of Russia, Elizabeth Alexeievna (also known as Louise of Baden). Although the country’s influence never fully established itself in Hawai‘i, Schäffer hoped his alliance would strengthen their ties to the Hawaiian Islands.
The boulder-built fort stands as a reminder of Russia’s short-lived presence (1815-1817) in the Hawaiian Islands. Massive stacked-stone walls of the fort are a mixture of Hawaiian construction techniques and Russian fort design.
The fort, originally with walls 20 feet high and built in an irregular octagon shape (in the shape of a star,) was fortified with several cannons.
In 1817, however, it was discovered that Schäffer did not have the support of the Russian Tsar. He was forced to leave Hawaii, and Captain Alexander Adams, a Scotsman who served in the navy of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i, raised the Kingdom of Hawai‘i flag over the fort in October 1817.
Russian Fort Elizabeth eventually went under the control of Kamehameha supporters and years later was used to put down a rebellion by Kaumuali‘i’s son, Prince George (Humehume.)
Russian Fort Elizabeth is now a State and National Historic Landmark and is part of the State Parks program, under DLNR. You can take a free, self-guided tour of the property.
It has a great view of the west bank of the Waimea River (where Captain Cook first landed in Hawai‘i) and of the island of Ni‘ihau across the channel.
Thanks to Peter Mills for information on this subject, as well as from his book, “Hawai‘i’s Russian Adventure.” This image shows Fort Elizabeth in an 1885 map. In addition, I have added other images of Fort Elizabeth in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook page.
Independence Day celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.
Drafted by Thomas Jefferson between June 11 and June 28, 1776, the Declaration of Independence is the nation’s most cherished symbol of liberty and Jefferson’s most enduring monument.
The political philosophy of the Declaration was not new; its ideals of individual liberty had already been expressed by John Locke and the Continental philosophers.
What Jefferson did was to summarize this philosophy in “self-evident truths” and set forth a list of grievances against the King in order to justify before the world the breaking of ties between the colonies and the mother country.
Fifty-six men from each of the original 13 colonies signed the Declaration of Independence – they mutually pledged “to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.”
Nine of the signers were immigrants, two were brothers and two were cousins. Eighteen of the signers were merchants or businessmen, 14 were farmers and four were doctors. Twenty-two were lawyers and nine were judges.
The average age of a signer was 45. Benjamin Franklin was the oldest delegate at 70. The youngest was Thomas Lynch Jr. of South Carolina at 27.
At the time of the signing, the American Revolutionary War was already underway (1775-1783.)
The British captured five signers during the war. Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward and Arthur Middleton were captured at the Battle of Charleston in 1780. George Walton was wounded and captured at the Battle of Savannah; Richard Stockton was incarcerated at the hands of British Loyalists.
Eleven signers had their homes and property destroyed. Francis Lewis’s New York home was razed and his wife taken prisoner. John Hart’s farm and mills were destroyed when the British invaded New Jersey, and he died while fleeing capture.
Fifteen of the signers participated in their states’ constitutional conventions, and six – Roger Sherman, Robert Morris, Benjamin Franklin, George Clymer, James Wilson and George Reed – signed the US Constitution.
Here are some other brief Revolutionary War highlights (and some other July 4 events:)
March 23 – Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death” speech
April 18 – The rides of Paul Revere and William Davis
April 19 – Minutemen and redcoats clash at Lexington and Concord “The shot heard round the world”
June 17 – Battle of Bunker Hill (Boston) – the British drive the Americans
Throughout the year, skirmishes occurred from Canada to South Carolina
Initially, fighting was through local militias; then, the Continental Congress established (on paper) a regular army on June 14, 1775, and appointed George Washington as commander-in-chief.
The development of the Continental Army was a work in progress, and Washington used both his regulars and state militia throughout the war.
January 15 – Thomas Paine’s ‘Common Sense’ challenged the authority of the British government and the royal monarchy
March 17 – the British evacuate Boston
Ultimately, on September 3, 1783, the war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris. The treaty document was signed by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and John Jay (representing the United States) and David Hartley (a member of the British Parliament representing the British Monarch, King George III).
On June 21, 1788, the US Constitution was adopted (with all states ratifying it by that time.)
John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Charles Carroll were the longest surviving signers of the Declaration of Independence. Adams and Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence; Carroll was the last signer to die – in 1832 at the age of 95.
On July 4, 1894, the Republic of Hawai‘i was established at Ali‘iōlani Hale; Sanford B. Dole became its first president.
July 4, 1913 – Duke Kahanamoku established three new West Coast records in swimming, winning the 50-yard, 440-yard and 220-yard races in a San Francisco regatta.
Following statehood of Hawaiʻi, the new flag of the United States of America, containing a union of 50 stars, flew for the first time at 12:01 am, July 4, 1960, when it was raised at the Fort McHenry National Monument in Baltimore, Maryland.
Today, we celebrate the signing of America’s Declaration of Independence – however, the freedoms, rights and privileges we share because of this event continue to be protected by the sacrifices of many men and women across the globe; we honor and celebrate their service, as well.
Attached is a high resolution image of the Declaration of Independence.