This was Craig's idea, and I got suckered into it. Physical exertion is generally not my idea of a vacation. I tried telling him it would mess up his hair, which (surprisingly), didn't dissuade him.
I called a place and made a reservation. They told me to meet "the guy” on the beach at mile post 7. So, at the ungodly vacation hour of 6:30 a.m we arrived, only to find 3 different kayaking outfits waiting there for their customers.
I went up to the guy closest to us, and before I could say anything he glanced up from his clipboard and said "Dude, are you the Tarahashi family, from Tokyo?"
I don't even look vaguely Asian and was briefly taken aback. He apparently took the pause to mean I'm either deaf, don't understand English, or both. So he repeated the question, loudly, in halting Japanese.
|"What do you do when you come to a yellow light?"|
I said, "No, we're the Grumpy family, from Ohio. Are we on your list?”
He flipped through some pages, and said "No, but I think I remember your name from the invoice I left at home" and tossed the clipboard into a rusted out Toyota pick-up. "I'm Skeeter. Let's get you guys some kayaks out of the back."
So I followed Skeeter. He was skinny, deeply tanned, and had long blonde dreadlocks. He looked like a SoCal dude, though later told us he was from Hilo, on the Big Island. He smelled like marijuana, not in an I-just-smoked-some way but more like he uses it frequently at home, and so the smell has permeated everything.
At some point I assume the Tarahashi family showed up, and probably went with some other kayak outfit under our reservation.
Skeeter dragged 3 kayaks out of the pick-up bed, and gave us a 10 second lecture on rowing. The twins, as always, went together, and Frank and I paired up. Skeeter headed out with some guy whose name was never given and magically appeared from under the truck, with motor oil on his chest.
Off we went, paddling away down the Maui coastline. Occasionally Skeeter would point out interesting fish, or birds, or clouds, or mountains, or UFO's.
After about 30 minutes he noticed a sea turtle leisurely drifting near us, and yelled "Hey Mr. Turtle, Dude! How's it going?"
Mr. Turtle Dude kept coming toward us, then dived and swam under me and Frank's kayak. We both leaned to our right to watch him go by, immediately capsizing the boat and dumping us both in the Pacific.
As soon as we came up, Frank began screaming that he'd lost his glasses. Skeeter jumped out of his boat, and he and I both dove down to the coral several times to look for them. After our 3rd or 4th dive Frank realized they were still around his neck.
Mr. Turtle Dude, by this time, had given up on the primate entertainment, and moved on, with as contemptuous a look back at us as can be managed without facial muscles.
We continued paddling. This is SO not my thing. I got a blister on my thumb, FFS.
As we cruised along the coast, the twins got a little too close and were caught in the breaking surf. Frank, Skeeter, Motor Oil, and I watched helplessly as they were tossed about, then thrown onto the beach as both of them leaped out at the last second. The kayak flipped over a few times before it came to rest next to some rocks.
Craig, using his Boy Scout training, made several attempts to launch the boat, without success. Each time it got pushed back by the waves, or turned over. The attempts ended when he accidentally dropped one end on Marie's foot, and she slugged him. Then they began yelling, throwing sand, and screaming at each other as to whose fault it was that they were now trapped on a beach in the middle of nowhere (20 feet from a major highway, with cars whizzing by) and were now going to die and I TOLD YOU THIS WAS GOING TO BE THE WORST VACATION EVER!!!
Skeeter jumped out of his boat, and swam ashore. He separated them, relaunched their kayak, swam along pulling it until they were outside the breakers, and then got back in his own boat.
You better believe I gave him a decent tip.
When we finally got back to the condo, Mrs. Grumpy asked us how it was. I tried to convey my horrible suffering at having a blister on my thumb, but she unsympathetically didn't give a shit. Instead, she ignored me and asked the kids.
Marie said "It was fun! Craig and I got shipwrecked!"