Log: May 2001
The good, the bad, the ugly.
THE GOOD:I swam in the warm waters of Waikiki, free dived in Waimea, at The Tables, or Shark's Cove. Here, large rocks are carved out by huge winter waves during the winter, these are consider some of the best waves for surfing in the world, but for me, I prefer when it is calmer. The rocks are dramatic, crevasses and caves create a divers play land, and their monolithic stature beckons me to push my limits to explore their secrets, and go where no tank could ever fit. The rocks are at a depth from 10 feet to 40 feet, there is too much to see, I have dove there 3 times now. Here I played with a sea turtle, well, maybe it didn't know that I was playing, but I too, am a marine animal that breathes air. Makua had visibility of 80 feet, I'd reckon. The bottom sand is white and the light reflects off the sand. Here the bottom is mostly sandy, with large areas of flat rock where coral grows. A variety of fish school, some I hadn't seen before, some fish make a chomping sound when, what looks like, biting the coral. I saw a beautiful baby Moray eel. Visiting with Carrie and Paxton, friends who moved there from San Francisco. They live in Makaha. They live in a house right on the rocky coast were sea turtles come to munch on sea grass. We went for a swim at a beach by their house. I found a mask and snorkel. Then they had a BBQ with locals. Being in Hawaii with Makani. Being in Hawaii with Geoff. Makani introduced me to, and reacquainted me with, her friends whom live on Oahu. We had a home cooked dinner made by Stacey's boyfriend Kenji in Chad's kitchen. We washed the meal down with a game of Taboo. The girls beat the boys. I listen to Chad's band play live, very talented, very good, very funny. Alea is their name: buy a cd! Visiting with my Aunt and Uncle, Bill and Nancy. And catching Lizards in Nancy's garden with Makani. When getting off the plane at Oahu, the stewardess asked if I was coming home from college. I thanked her for the double complement. Warm days and nights. Incredible rain storm in Waikiki, I had the streets to myself, everyone else huddled under anything they could find. Drinking two large carafes of sake helped me walk up and down the sidewalk in the shower while everyone gazed, a homeless dude pointed at me and laughed and gave me a bear hug in the rain.
I arrived on Saturday and didn't see the sun until Tuesday. On the flight to Oahu, a kid kicked the back of my seat for five hours. Hope he grows up to play soccer... and breaks both his legs. The same family was on my plane back to SF. In an uncontrollable reflex I yelled out, "that's him!" The flight attendants at the gate panicked, then I had to explain.
I arrived on Oahu at the end of a head cold, when I free dived at Wiamia on Sunday, I was able to dive to about 25 feet a few times, but then I couldn't equalize and got "sinus squeeze" at about 10 feet. I had a bloody nose for days. I was able to dive their again on Wednesday, but equalizing was very difficult and it made the bloody nose thing worse. I was again able to dive at Makua, but at the end I really hurt myself.
The visibility of the water around the Island wasn't good until about Wednesday, the storms had washed a lot of dirt into the ocean.
Makani and I were robed while at Makua. We armed the alarm of my rented Avis car and sat about 40 feet from the vehicle. We knew that this was a high crime area, so we took shifts being in the water and watching our stuff and car. They waited until Makani moved a little out of site of the Car then took everything. The cop said that they have someone up in the hills with binoculars and a cell phone, when the time is right, he makes a call, and it takes them about 3 minutes to take everything. They got my cell phone, camera, palm, boogie board, shorts, belt, boxers, shirt, wallet, divers license, credit cards, Makani's purse with ID and credit cards, her $700 camera. They even took a half eaten bag of 3 day old macadamia nuts. The totally lose is about $2000. This happened on Friday, our last day fortunately. But it made getting on the plane very difficult without ID. We were searched at every check point so everyone new that we were robed. I felt especially bad for Makani because she was a sun burnt Hawaiian who got robed, which she had to explain to every airport security check point personnel whom would just stair at her burnt Hawaiian face and shake their head, and because she is broke and can not replace what was stolen from her. You can email condolences to her at email@example.comI really want to thank Carrie and Paxton for letting us use their phone and comforting us while we waited for the police. Their kindness and loving nature made everything better. Send praise and thanks to: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am privy to American culture in California, Montana, Oregon, and Hawaii. I think Americans are incredible. We bring all our problems out in the open, we argue about race issues, religion, economics, you name it. But when someone threatens our freedoms we all come together as one people to fight, against a terrorist like Osama Bin Laden, or a Fascist like Hitler. But our enemy is not always easy to identify like Hittler or Osama, nor are the victims easy to identify like those in the World Trade Center, or the Jews and Europe in W.W.II. It is easy for use to step over a homeless person, or to fear and hate a thief, but they are Americans. Hawaii has not been treated right, money is pumped out of her veins like a leech. Some of the Islands have a crack problem, these are Americans, these are people with families, brothers and sisters, they are real. America's work is not done, our children need our help, they need education, hope. My brothers and sisters robed me and Makani, Hawaiians or whatever, doesn't mean a damn thing to me. They are my people and they are in pain. I hold my head in shame because I know that we are better than this, we must not forget what so many men and women have given their lives for. I know it sounds corny and cliché, but united we stand...