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Hana Maui

Dick suggested a trip to one of his favorite places, Hana, Maui, Hawaii. Our, open to the tropical air, second story rooms overlooked the ocean. The tops of palm trees lined each side of our balcony. We had a tiny kitchen where we made coffee each morning to drink on that little balcony as we watched sea gulls dive for fish. There was no wall between our bed and our balcony that reached out over the black lava beach. The soft waves moved in and tumbled and rolled the tiny black pebbles as they swept back out to sea lulling us to sleep each night. We fell in love there listening to the surf, watching the stars glide slowly across the arch of the sky. We had a honeymoon week on that Hawaiian island.

Being a landlubber, Dick introduced me to the beaches and the ocean. He loved the ocean and was an excellent swimmer. When preparing for our trip, Dick and I tried to improve my scissor kick swimming skills to proper form at the speed lanes in the pool at our rec center, but to no avail. He was raised on the East Coast and preferred the cold waters there, but has no trouble enjoying the lovely tropical Hawaiian Islands. Having been to several of the islands many times through the years, Dick knew where to find the out-of-the-way beaches with no crowds.  Our first morning, the beach he chose was a deep wide swath of cream-colored sand under the branches of large, tall trees reaching for the ocean. A tall rocky cliff rose at both ends forming a small sheltered cove. I waded out a little as Dick swam out through the swells. I screwed up my courage and moved out a little further and boom, the next wave hit me. Down I went. As the wave rushed back out it left me on the beach on my back with my feet and legs sticking straight up. I scrambled up to see if the one other couple on our beach was looking while trying to pull my bathing suit back on when the next wave hit me in the back and down I went again. I was done with the ocean.

Dick found a shallow cove right down the beach from our hotel where I could paddle around or stand and bend over to look through my snorkel mask to see the beautiful fish of all sizes and colors. I felt secure there and was captivated by our little private aquarium.

We walked along the coal black, thirty-foot cliffs that plunged down to the roaring surf on the outskirts of the island. That “King’s Trail” of tortured black lava ran for miles along the coastline. The swirling, lashing surf had carved gaps and tunnels through the cliffs over the passage of time. An explosive boom accompanied the giant waves crashing ashore, throwing spray up the cliff. The power, as I peered down into that roiling, thundering blue and green, surged through my body.  

Another beach Dick wanted me to see could only be accessed by swimming there and since I did not swim, we went to the only store in Hana, the “Hasegawa General Store” to buy a little raft or float for me. That store took one back to the thirties. It had floor to ceiling rack after rack of stuff, strange stuff, food stuff, swimming stuff, toy stuff all stuffed into a tiny one room. It was mesmerizing. The only float thing they had was a child’s blow-up Tweety Bird. It was a bright yellow ring with Tweety Bird’s head sticking up on one side. Off we went to the public beach with our snorkel masks and Tweety Bird. As we swam out, the bottom moved waaaaay down. It was suddenly very deep. “Don’t panic Barb,” I thought. “Stay calm.” Dick was on one side of Tweety Bird with me on the other with my right arm draped through the hole. When I looked down, my mask began to fill with water, but when I reached up with my left arm to empty it and adjust it, I immediately swung up under Tweety Bird. With my thrashing back and forth, my obvious discomfort, well, let’s just say it how it was, my panic, Dick sensibly turned us and headed back to our starting point. As we passed the tall wooden dock just before we reached land, three little boys peering down at us said, “Mr., you need some help?”

We drove the famous twisting road back to Lahaina for one last night before catching our plane to fly home and cruised all evening on a sixty-foot sailing catamaran with a few other couples. The captain and his curvaceous crew member were not only muscled and tan in their tiny swim suits, they were charming. We had hors d’oeuvres and wine and sailed with the wind as the setting sun set the world on fire.


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