Caleb has our stuff ready to go as I peel my eyes open. I grab a bottle of the free almond milk we got last night and pour half of it over a bowl of corn flakes with oatmeal. We expect the same deal today when we arrive at the harbor but we don’t step foot on the boat till 8:30. I let Frank, the boat captain, try my mi ling hui (plum sugar) pineapple before putting it in the cooler.
Today would consist of three groups of six – the seasick girl with her sister and husband, a camera-qualified girl who went out yesterday, and our guide Kevin. Rob took the parents with their 16-year-old daughter and they saw turtles, reef sharks, and octopus. One guy recently had back surgery and didn’t last long; the girl on her first open-water qualifying dive set; and the cute matching Chinese couple who set up their own gear.
We went to Pyramid Pinnacles first and the more I tried to loosen my mask the tighter it seemed to get. I blinked the salt water out of my right eye from clearing my mask and enjoyed seeing the eel, tiny blue fish, and schools of others.
I had half my pineapple and only two rice krispies during intermission and felt hungry as soon as we hit the water. This 79*F felt colder and the visibility seemed less, but we quickly went from 13 to 30 feet, and back up from 60 to explore the holes in the reef looking for shrimp, eels, and octopus. I wanted to see one so badly I tried getting Caleb’s attention for a rock. We went under an arch, around some rocks, and there it was – in the direction Kevin was pointing – an octopus.
I got a few pictures and then some video of it changing colors and keeping an eye on me while moving away slowly. I joined my group and made room for the other. Caleb ran out of air quicker, so he went up while I stayed with the guide – that is, until we parted ways. I went left, down around a rock, and up for my three minutes safety stop. He continued right with his nitrox tank.
I finished my pineapple, took a picture of the dive notes, used their stamp, and climbed into the warm Jeep. I wanted to try this vegan place (Ai Pono) for their taro burger before the luau. We were done diving around one and an hour later I was trying kava in a coconut shell. It’s a pepper plant root that’s ground up and added to water. I’m told it makes your throat numb and your mind relax. I’m also handed a wooden spoon when I don’t chug the contents. I chat with the guys at the bar for a bit and pay the bartender as I pour half into my ginger juice – for later.
Ai Pono doesn’t open till 4p, so we walk back to the car to drive to Annie’s. I want their vegan burger, but the special with pineapple sounds yummy. I requested the ciabatta bread, but wish I’d have stayed with the regular bun. We both agreed the fried goat cheese with sweet chilli sauce was yummy. We left there at 4p to find the Sheraton. Caleb wanted to enjoy pre-show festivities – which ended up being conversation with the flight attendants at the bar (one from Hungary).
We got our shell leis, grabbed a drink, and got shown our seats. We were invited to pose with props, get body paint tattoos, and play Hawaiian bowling – we did two and then enjoyed the sunset. The narrator continued the show while we lined up for the buffet – purple potato salad, poi, kalua pork and cabbage, poke, fish and ginger, and veg variety. I grabbed us some papaya and a piece of cake before getting comfy for an hour.
When the show starts we wait for the kids and one supervising adult to join them on the palm frond mat before we do the same. When the narrator brings up the honeymooners and asks us to dance we take the opportunity to go back to our seats. She showed us a Hawaiian greeting and the woman next to us tells her husband, “You weren’t supposed to kiss me.” I hope the rest of their relationship isn’t the same way.
The show is over at 8p and we’re soon in our room listening to the music from the bar down the street. I’ve got a headache and sore throat – side effects of kava.