Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Awesomely spoiled

You know your kid is getting seriously spoiled to island life, when they look at you with the most serious expression on their face and utter the words, “Mom, I really wanna see a dolphin and a rainbow right now.”
Oh really, I ask myself, when these incredibly indulged phrases come out of her mouth. “Would you like the dolphin to also jump through the rainbow?” I ask jokingly.
“Uh-huh,” she says back as we swing in the hammock.
Well, I guess that’s what I should expect. She will probably never know how lucky she is, but we will and I’m sure we will constantly remind her of that!
It’s amazing to me how whales appear at the islands. One day, there are none – the next day, they are everywhere. Isabel and Chris left for their daily morning dinghy ride – smoothies in hand – and upon their return Isabel shouted excitedly, “Mommy, I saw a whale. A baby and a mommy whale. They were swimming in the ocean with the dolphins.”
Again, I couldn’t help wonder when, and if, she will ever realize how lucky she is to be living this life with us.
Her pure joy at this sighting was fun to see, as was her immediate acceptance that this is just everyday life for her.
The boat projects have been numerous and very challenging for my multi-talented husband. The wind generator is installed but not producing any power yet, but the solar panels are rocking. The diesel generator was successful repaired at a minimal cost, and is now sporting new motor mounts. The list has been endless for him. I’ve been having major flashbacks to our Napa re-fitting days, sweaty behind my dust mask as I sand floorboards and the companionway.
We (and by “we” I mean Chris) finally wrapped up some of the big projects in preparation for the Perry crew invasion. My brother, his wife and their three kids rented a place in the upcountry for the holidays. We rocked the big island everyday of their 10-day adventure.
My Christmas gift from them was a helicopter trip – best two-hour gift ever! It was incredible to see Kiluea, the most active volcano in the world, up close and watch the destruction those lava flows can cause. Ripping its way through heavily forested areas, giant trees are left in its wake.
The coastal waterfalls left us all speechless, and the lush, green, deep valleys were an amazing sight. Two thousand foot waterfalls cascaded from one pool into the next into the next.

Our first sailing excursion ended with all three kids feeding the fish overboard at some point. But they were not to be deterred. Two days later, decked out with scopolamine patches, we sailed out of the harbor again. We didn’t make it far before we spotted the local spinner dolphins. The kids, my brother and I all jumped in for just your average swim-with-the-dolphins experience. They came within 20 feet of us three different times, and the kids were beyond excited. A mellow afternoon of whale watching and unsuccessful fishing followed.

We hit the best beaches, boogie boarded some fun waves, built some amazing sand castles and race tracks, ate way too much amazing food, and drank way too much beer, great wine and champagne.

As soon as the crew left, we started prepping for our sail to Maui. Ryanda, our awesome friend from Maui, flew over to join us for the mellow trip. We had a very easy motorsail, and spent most of our time playing the playdough and looking for whales.

Our first night in Lahaina on a mooring was awful, as unpredicted winds kept us beam to the swell. We bailed first thing in the morning for Lanai, but had unexpected winds that gusted to 25-30 knots. Not a problem for our boat, except when we’re towing our dinghy with the motor on, and the radar bracket dislodges. Despite surfing down 6-foot waves and being jerked all over the place, everything survived the abuse and we pulled into the idyllic Manele Bay. We ended up getting a slip in the extremely small harbor, through Chris’ good looks and charm, and have been at the beach and in the water, trying to forget all the projects that are still looming. Our cousins’ from the frozen tundra, also known as Michigan, arrive next week, so I better stop writing and get to work…