Adventures in Paradise

23 06 2011

I have found a place where it is constantly 80 degrees and yet one is rarely too hot. Welcome to Maui, where sun shines and trade winds blow and the pool is never far away. Of course, even in paradise one must babysit one’s alabaster skin. It’s a bit of a bother that one can never step outside without first dousing oneself in SPF 2000, and even more of a bother that said sunscreen makes a greasy mess of long hair. Nevertheless it is gorgeous here and we have a well-shaded deck where one can enjoy the sun without being actually touched by it.

Currently I am sitting on aforementioned deck or “lanai” watching kids play in the pool and little birds fight each other for breakfast crumbs left on the floor of the lanai. The surf has been unusually high here due to a recent storm in New Zealand so snorkeling or paddle-boarding had to be abandoned for another day. It’s the first day that I haven’t gone in the water at all, actually. It’s been more of a reading/drawing/hanging out kind of day.

Yesterday we braved aforementioned high surf and went up to Napili to play in the waves. My five Mansours and the other six Mansours trooped out of our condo complex looking like nothing so much as a colorful cattle drive. Twelve of us make almost a parade with our brightly coloured swimsuit cover-ups and board shorts. It’s just a short trip to the beach, maybe five minutes on foot.

Let me tell you, when locals say “high surf” they ain’t kidding. The waves on Napili (previously sedate, friendly and un-impressive)  were sweeping up to the shrubberies and above the heads of the swimmers. Lynn, the youngest of the other Mansours and I walked down to the sheltered area of the beach and floated around. And I would have been fine if I’d stayed there. Instead, foolishly, I walked back toward the center of the beach and came across Barry who invited me to “dive into the waves”.

I know. I’m an idiot. 

The smart people stayed on the beach and watched as Barry and I dove head-first into seven or eight-foot waves. I was fine until about the third wave. Those of you who know beaches know that timing is everything. Timing fail. I lost my footing and was tossed, tumbled and washed about ten feet onto shore to land at Lynn’s feet. I came up coughing and laughing and completely sand-covered.

I figure it was cheap exfoliation.

I also blame aforementioned event for the bruise on my right hip and the strange red bumps covering my left arm from clavicle to wrist. Lynn says “heat rash”, James says “Ocean-induced-flesh-eating-virus”, I say “SAND!”. Time will tell who is right. I’m hoping it’s anyone but James.

This morning I stood on some rocks and watched an enormous turtle eating breakfast. I found myself fascinated by the rotary motion of his flippers as he balanced himself against the strong incoming waves. (Apparently all the good snacks are in shallow water.) The bummer about shallow water if you are a large turtle is that it’s hard to maintain your location against the circular wave motion. But he just flipped his front flippers and kicked with his back flippers and darned if he didn’t do it. Of course, occasionally I got the turtle equivalent of a “moon” when a wave caught him wrong but them’s the breaks.

Props to Hawaii. It’s the only place in the world where I LIKE to wake up before seven am. When the days are sunny and the sun goes away at seven thirty pm you want to soak in as much day as possible. I wish the time difference meant that I could start waking up at seven at home. Unfortunately, best case scenario, I’ll be waking up at ten for the first few days. Ce’st la vie.

Karate is greatly missed, though we practice diligently and have even done “bone conditioning” a few times. The neighbors call it our “karate show” and enquire at what time they can expect to watch it the next day. My life as an entertainer is, apparently, not over. (A great comfort to me.)

That’s about all for now. Take care of the people at home and save a spot near the cat for me.




One response

23 06 2011

Lovely descriptions of different places and their good (and ) bad points.
Interesting reading

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