Hawaii ... Again

This post will sound like the ranting of a spoiled brat, but here goes.

My wife and I go to Hawaii three times a year for her work. Twice to Maui and once to Kauai. All totaled I have been eight times since we were married in February of 2007. And I have to say that I am starting to become bored with these trips. Especially the one that happens during our summer.

My wife's work is planning continuing education seminars for Pediatric Doctors and the attendance is around 200 for each seminar. This means they need to happen in a resort that has the capacity to handle the meeting space and room requirements for this size group. So in some ways it reminds me of Vegas with palm tress.

I guess it isn't really that bad, but these resorts are typical of American tourist destinations. Basically going somewhere exotic but expecting all the trappings of home to be available. In many ways it is similar to the cruise we took for my parents 50th wedding anniversary last year. It was a 10 day cruise of the Caribbean and I never felt we experience the culture of the islands. I feel the same way about these Hawaiian resorts.

I did relish a few things during these trips. The first is watching the retired and converted (they chopped 10 feet off the top of her mast and raised the boom 6 or so feet) twelve meter America II sail out of Lahaina.

I managed to convince Laura that we should book a passage on America II on my first trip to Maui. So I picked the best wind day I could find. Yep, a small craft advisory the day after our wedding. This video (taken by someone else) pretty much captures our experience.

Well except we were sitting up front and I was holding onto that deck winch with one hand and Laura with the other. I pretty much figured out that day that Laura would do okay on Bolero.

I have also taken to snorkeling and I have always loved photography. This is where I discovered and tested my little point and shoot boat camera. An Olympus 1030 SW. Works pretty well underwater and stays dry.

ISO 80 - 1/125 - F5.1 - 9.0 ft

ISO 125 - 1/125 - F5.1 - 12.0 ft

ISO 100 - 1/125 - F5.1 - 12.0 ft

ISO 100 - 1/125 - F5.1 - 15.0 ft

ISO 100 - 1/125 - F5.1 - 16.5 ft

ISO 80 - 1/250 - F4.5 - 4.5 ft

ISO 80 - 1/200 - F4.7 - 7.5 ft

I did get some pretty good photos, but the weather on this trip was better for the surfers than the snorkelers. The decent waves reduced the underwater visibility and made for a more difficult beach entry and exit. In the end I only went snorkeling a few times.

This trip did yield one pretty special surprise. On my very first trip, my wedding week, I discovered sarongs (or pareos) and promptly stole all of the ones my wife brought on the trip. I liked them pretty well but we were married at the Old Lahaina Luau (another Maui experience I highly recommend) and their uniform sarongs rocked.

I secretly coveted having one for about a year before finally asking if they were for sale. Nope, staff only.

Well this year I got lucky. It is true that it isn't what you know, it is who your know. In this case, who Laura knew. Turns out one of the workers at our resort also worked at the Old Lahaina Luau and offered me one of his old sarongs. I said yes big time.

It has instantly become my favorite. But, it has quite a bit more material than my old ones, actually Laura's old ones. So I needed to increase my knowledge of sarong and pareo tying. Another quick trip to YouTube and I am all set.

Funny, now that I am back at home this trip is starting to sound a lot better. But I am really glad to be home. It has after all, been more than two weeks since my last sail.