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Journey on the Seas with Pete Hendricks

Pete and his canine Barton crusing with Gary Grosseuch on his F28 in 2020. picture courtesy of Pete Hendricks

By Ma‘ata Tukuafu

Pete Hendricks is aware of one thing about curiosity: it’s why he’s accomplished so many alternative issues over the course of his lifetime. Born on August 1, 1938 in Los Angeles, Pete grew up close by in Lengthy Seashore with 4 brothers and his hardworking mother and father, who inspired independence. His father would strap two-year-old Pete to his again and take him crusing. On the age of 10, Pete began crusing himself, which started his lifelong curiosity within the sea. By retaining his curiosity, Pete has been motivated to discover new locations, examine completely different experiences, and study from the individuals who have crossed his path.

Click on the duvet to see this story in our digital journal.

Training is essential to Pete, and he says he was fortunate to develop up in a system the place kindergarten to graduate faculty was nearly free. On the time, California had top-of-the-line public faculty techniques and after highschool, he selected to attend College of California at Berkeley, graduating in 1961 with a bachelor of arts diploma in communication and public coverage.

“Curiosity is why I went to Vietnam,” says Pete. “I used to be within the Navy ROTC [Reserve Officer Training Corps] at UC Berkeley and was required to have two years at sea. One month after I graduated, I used to be in lively responsibility.”

He went into the Navy as a “contemporary ensign with one bar” and labored on an amphibious touchdown ship, which typically carried an entire battalion of Marines. Pete labored beneath three completely different captains throughout his time on the ship, and beneath the third navy captain, he superior to be the senior officer on deck. Pete says he discovered loads from this captain, and obtained a variety of deep-water expertise whereas on that ship. He spent two years on sea responsibility and sailed waters of the Pacific Rim round Japan, Hong Kong, and the Philippines. He then attended San Diego survival faculty, and went to work as a volunteer in Vietnam for a 12 months.

“Even with all my ocean expertise, I obtained caught in a provide job whereas in Vietnam,” Pete says. “So I began educating English to South Vietnam authorities workers. That’s how I began my educating profession.”

Actually a lifetime waterman, as a child Pete’s dad would strap him to his again and take him crusing. picture courtesy of Pete Hendricks

He had been by means of Hawai‘i a couple of occasions, and his finest pal was stationed at Fort Shafter in Honolulu. Returning to Hawai‘i in 1964, Pete met up along with his pal who took him browsing, and he says physique browsing is what he loves most. He heard that College of Hawai‘i at Mānoa had a faculty of schooling, so he enrolled and obtained his grasp’s diploma in schooling. It was whereas he was browsing, going to high school, and dealing as a clerk on the outdated Seacrest Manor constructing (now the Hilton at Waikiki) that he reconnected along with his girlfriend Carol. Pete says, “I initially met Carol whereas I used to be lifeguarding at Huntington Seashore in ‘58 or ‘59. We reconnected in Hawai‘i once more in 1965 when she was vacationing together with her sister. The timing was proper, so we obtained married in a 20-minute ceremony earlier than a decide. It was a fantastic partnership over 52-plus years.”

Carol introduced a four-and-a-half-year-old daughter together with her (Aubrey) and later that they had two sons, Scott and Nate. Carol labored on the Financial institution of Hawaii in downtown Honolulu and Pete started scholar educating at Stevenson Center College. He says he “obtained bored with ravenous” and to complement their revenue, grew to become an investigator for Navy Intelligence for a 12 months. They’d go to Hawai‘i Island on trip and would camp out at Mauna Kea State Park and even on the steps of Miloli‘i College. Pete quotes Yogi Berra, “If you come to a fork within the street, take it.” After ending his grasp’s diploma, they moved to Honoka‘a the place he taught US historical past at Honoka‘a Excessive College from 1967 to 1969.

On the time, Pete says Hawai‘i Island was all sugarcane operations, with a structured financial and social caste system that was very productive. He and Carol lived in a two-bedroom cottage at Overend Camp for $35 per thirty days and that’s the place he met Harry Kim, who lived within the “subsequent cottage up.”

Carol was a really gifted artist, a potter, and a painter. She began artwork lessons on the faculty and the couple constructed potter’s wheels out of outdated tire axels. Pete taught eighth and eleventh graders (“Had some youngsters!” he says laughing), and provides that it was a superb life, with weekend journeys to Hāpuna Seashore to physique surf. Making solely $595 a month with a grasp’s diploma, Pete discovered there was a gap for an evening assistant on the College of Hawai‘i Institute for Astronomy. It paid much more than educating, and he spent the subsequent 5 years working 4 days on, 4 days off on the small NASA telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea.

Pete Hendricks stands at his dwelling right this moment in Waimea. picture courtesy of Pete’s daughter, Aubrey Allen

“It was solely two small fiberglass domes and two 24” telescopes,” he says. “We slept at Hale Pohaku within the ranger cabin, an outdated constructing again then.”

In 1974 Pete learn within the college bulletin {that a} place as an extension agent for the College of Hawai‘i Sea Grant on Hawai‘i Island got here up. He utilized and obtained the job, working there till 1982, and says it was the hyperlink between analysis within the area and sensible use in actual life. Pete additionally began writing a weekly article for West Hawai‘i Right now in 1975, which is how he began his writing profession.

When the Mauna Lani Lodge opened, Pete ran the boats for the visitors. He additionally helped arrange Kohala Divers within the small buying heart at Kawaihae, suggesting the corporate title to assist “put Kohala on the map.” From 1988 to 2000 he held the place of schooling specialist for the Division of Land and Pure Assets, Division of Aquatic Assets, which Pete says was nearly the identical kind of job because the extension agent work he’d accomplished for College of Hawai‘i. On this place, he produced varied education schemes, brochures, movies, and conferences.

Retiring from that, he traveled with Carol to Europe and the North American continent. Not one to sit down round, Pete continued to serve in varied capacities: he was the deputy managing director for Hawai‘i County from 2003 to 2005, a former member of the County Water Fee, Board of Appeals, and the Police Fee. He additionally wrote for Ke Ola Journal when it first began, for the “Then and Now” sequence, and nonetheless does occasionally—most just lately within the November–December 2020 concern.

For 30 years he attended the conferences of the Nationwide Maritime Historic Society, held principally in Mānoa on O‘ahu, the place he has offered papers at symposiums and assisted with analysis and schooling.

A constitution member of Kawaihae Canoe Membership in 1972, he nonetheless paddles and has accomplished inter-island outrigger canoe crusing. Ever in service to the Hawai‘i Island neighborhood, Pete was the founding member of the YMCA diving/spearfishing and youth/neighborhood crusing packages. He nonetheless is an lively volunteer on the YMCA Kawaihae Aquatic Heart.

Pete Hendricks within the ocean at LST Touchdown in Kawaihae, 1994. picture courtesy of Aubrey Allen

“I really feel blessed to have been privileged with a superb schooling and fogeys who made us work actual onerous,” says Pete. “That was the largest issue; we had chores, washed dishes, cleaned home, and had mother and father who mentioned, ‘Take your little brother with you.’ They inspired independence.”

When he was a trainer at Honoka‘a, Pete says he used to “rag on the scholars,” telling them to work onerous and make the precise decisions. He nonetheless tells youngsters to go off island for work or an schooling, to allow them to respect the place they arrive from. Pete says he’s fanatical about constructing leaders and giving everybody an schooling, saying college students want to search out “what floats their boat” so as to achieve success. He has continued serving in the neighborhood, and is a former board member or has volunteered on the Habitat for Humanity, Catholic Charities advisory group, Ulu La‘au Nature Park, and the Waimea Center College Constitution Conversion College Advisory Group.

His spouse Carol handed away three years in the past, and Pete says he’s fortunate that every one of their youngsters are main productive lives and residing on-island. Being within the youngsters and their development when elevating them performed a giant half of their successes. He additionally appreciates the sturdy partnership he had with Carol, and remembers saying to their youngsters, “We don’t care what you’ll be, simply be good at it.” His phrases of recommendation to the subsequent technology: “Don’t whine. Take into consideration what you might be doing. Do greater than you ‘need to.’ Attempt issues out and see what occurs. Be resilient: don’t be too devastated when you fail. You may be upset loads…get used to it. Getting back from one thing is extra essential than attaining.”

In his spare time, Pete is engaged on a scale mannequin of the Bounty’s launch, is ending a ship trailer, and says he’s tempted to do extra writing. He jokes, “I’m late middle-aged, not outdated!” At all times prepared with a fantastic story, Pete says he wish to write a ebook of tales and adventures on the Kohala and Kona Coasts.

Pete Hendricks won’t ever cease being curious, inspiring future generations along with his wit, knowledge, and skills. ❖

YMCA’s crusing camp started in 1994 at Kawaihae with Pete’s assist. photographs courtesy of Pete Hendricks

For extra data, name Pete: 808.885.4453

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