Wednesday afternoon, I rode in a Cessna Skyhawk from Honolulu, over Molokai, and onto Maui. After we landed, I learned my new friend had never landed at Maui before, because his instructor told him it was the most difficult runway in the U.S. to land a private plane, since the winds come off the ocean and through the trees to create vortexes of sorts in the crosswinds on the tarmac. Maybe that’s why we approached at an angle and got blown back into the air when we were a few feet above the runway, only to come down a few seconds later and actually land. That wasn’t frightening at all.
I did find interest in our flying over a leper colony near the coast of Molokai, though.
Somewhere over the Pacific, I took the yoke for a few minutes…just long enough to update Twitter with a Top Gun reference:
I went to the Yard House for some half-priced sashimi after the flight I was supposed to work that evening got canceled.
Thursday morning, the alarm went off at 0400, and I learned the flight I was supposed to work that morning had also been canceled. Another free morning! I returned to Hanauma Bay in search of the swimming sea turtles my shuttle driver to the surf lesson told me were visible if I went out into the deeper waters far from the beach. Linnea (from the plane ride over) came with me. And you know what? We found one! After carefully swimming/shimmying over the reefs closer to the shore, we got into some deeper water, near the rock wall on the right side of the bay (if standing on the beach, staring at the water), and we came upon a giant sea turtle, about 5 feet under the surface. It hovered in the water, staring at me through my mask. I smiled at it. Its mouth moved. It nodded at me. I understood. He didn’t want me to fart in his house any more.
I dropped her off and went straight to work at the military base. I’m pretty sure I stunk. Afterward, I surfed for an hour and went back to Roy’s for dinner.
Friday, I got up at 0300 for a flight to work that required being on site at 0345. I was back to my room by 7am and went to the beach to surf one last time. I walked into the water with my rented board. A wave hit the board just as I had set it into the surf to wash off the sand; it flew into my face, knocked me over, and bloodied both the inside and bridge of my nose, before it landed with the fin striking my left foot, causing more serious bleeding. I knew this was going to be a great morning.
I rolled up the beach while a couple witnesses pulled my board up and asked me if I needed medical attention. I told them only pussies seek medical attention when bleeding from a mere 3 places and to leave me alone. After all, it was my last day in Hawaii.
After my hour was up, I limped over to Duke’s for one more delicious breakfast complemented with guava juice and Kona coffee. I checked out, bathed, packed, bought Pretty Bride a Tahitian pearl necklace to salve the news of the expenditures I’d made on myself a few nights earlier, and then turned the Nimitz Highway into the Talladega 500 as I tried to make it to the airport an hour before take off. I made it.
At 6:30am the next day, I landed in Atlanta. I might have slept an hour at most. 3 hours after I got home, our deck filled with four-year-olds, and we celebrated Maddie’s 4th birthday. I looked and felt like hell, but I think we gave her a great birthday party.
Until we asked her to quit licking cake off her plate like a dog.
The funny thing is, I think she looks more like me in this pose than any other she makes. Luckily, she doesn’t talk like me. I would’ve said, “It’s my birthday, and I’ll lick cake off whatever-the-hell unsavory surface I want to, Bi-atch.”