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Roshon finds life’s lessons in nature

By Staff | Dec 24, 2009


LAHAINA — He is the peaceful warrior of the ocean — the protégé of the humpback whale.

In being raised on a sailboat in the waters surrounding the Hawaiian Islands, devoting most of his adult life to environmental research and education, Richard Roshon today represents the new wave of patriotism dedicated to nature.

He lives in a Wahikuli cottage nestled among a mango grove. The home overlooks the Auau and Pailolo channels, where he can watch whales mate and give birth.

Since 1970, Roshon has navigated some 30,000 ocean miles aboard his kayak, circumventing Maui many times, paddling the channels to Lanai and Molokai on countless occasions and crossing the 40-mile Alenuihaha Channel between Maui and the Big Island.

“This was my greatest paddling endeavor… a continuous paddle that took 18 hours before touching ground at Waipio Valley. I was accompanied by the silent movement of 20- to 30-foot ground swells that demanded complete focus and concentration,” noted Roshon in his 2009 newsletter.

On his kayak, Richard Roshon encounters North Pacific humpback whales in a respectful and peaceful manner.

In 1975, he established Hawaii-Whales-R-US — a lecture, publishing and private kayak guide endeavor — that is dedicated to living in balance with our marine environment.

Roshon launched his private kayak experience tour at that time, and since has taken hundreds of individuals on his two-man expedition kayak to view North Pacific humpback whales in a respectful and peaceful manner. Roshon takes 15-20 of these expeditions per whale season that runs from December to spring.

He has also produced two major projects: a documentary entitled “From the Eyes of a Kayak” and a self-published book entitled “Okeanos-Great River Circling the Earth.” A second book, “Herman and the Kayak Man,” is currently in the works.

“From the Eyes of a Kayak” is a multimedia human-interest program that bridges the gap between mankind and nature. The presentation shares more than three decades of kayaking throughout the Hawaiian Islands in Roshon’s lifetime of peace and harmony with the natural world.

The film places the audience in the cockpit of his kayak while humpback whales lie by his side.

“Okeanos-Great River Circling the Earth” describes Roshon’s ongoing relationship with kayaks and the ocean since being introduced to the Inuit (Eskimo kayak) in 1970. He has sold 2,500 copies of the book and personally signed each one.    

“Every aspect of my work is to educate, with hopes to present convention lectures through the Marriott. My goal is to continue expanding the book, so that in time I will have created a volume of knowledge,” he explained.

A reader of “Okeanos,” James Clark of San Francisco, commented, “I have read your book and thoroughly enjoyed the overriding spirit that pervades each page. It reminds me of the ancient or early California Indians’ view of man being one with nature. Total respect for nature, utilizing a balanced way of life, and leaving only a faint footprint — if any. Your book celebrates nature, emphasizing the fragility of the environment and pleads for good stewardship.”

“Herman the Kayak Man” will tell the story of Roshon’s life adventures kayaking, and his experiences/observations with humpback whales and other marine species, over the past 35 years through the eyes of “Herman,” an imaginary man who stands six inches tall and stows away on Kayak Man’s kayak.

Through Herman’s view, Roshon will tell his life story. The imaginary portion, portrayed through pencil drawings, tells how Kayak Man accepts Herman into his life.

Roshon’s goal is to introduce the book to a publishing company for distribution. “I am excited about getting ‘Herman’ published, as I would then like to go into schools and read portions of the book to the children,” said Roshon.

Roshon, 64, is heartily dedicated to continuing his noble work. He suffered back problems some years ago, but has since made Bikram Yoga a part of his life.

“That back pain was the worst pain I have ever endured, but my introduction to Bikram Yoga and meditation has brought much-needed new light into my life. I believe in the power of the mind and know that growing older demands staying healthy by keeping active and eating well,” he said.

“My teacher/mentor has been the North Pacific humpback whale. There are many lessons for all of us to learn from nature, if we would only take the time to LISTEN and SEE, one breath at a time. Any questions you may have, you will find your answers in nature — if you know where to look and how to ask,” concluded Roshon.

For more information regarding Hawaii-Whales-R-US, go to www.hawaiiwhalesrus.com, call (808) 661-3353 or e-mail richard.roshon@gmail.com.