I’m so excited! Today is the day of the big ocean excursion.
I wake at 4:30 a.m. and drive to my friends, John and Brenda’s house. Their friends from Ohio, Gena and Ed, are staying with them for a week. John drives Brenda, Gena, Ed and me in his van to Port Allen where we board a huge catamaran at 7 a.m. for a ride along Na Pali coast, the side of Kaua’i that is only accessible by water because of the 4,000 foot walls of sheer rock formations that the wind and water have carved out for thousands of years.
We sail for two hours across the ocean to the next neighboring Hawaiian island called Niihau. The captain moors the catamaran about 100 yards off the beach and we have lunch on the boat. We snorkel for about an hour.
The seas are rough, so the Dramamine I’d taken before I left the house in the morning needs some reinforcement. I take another one.
It’s time to go home. The captain tells us that we have 15 minutes to use the head, secure our belongings, and find the place where we will sit on the deck for the two-hour trip back. A storm is building, so he warns us that it will be a very rough ride back and that NO ONE will be able to leave their seat once we set sail.
He wasn’t kidding! The sky gets dark. It starts to rain. GIGANTIC waves crash over the bow, soaking us. The five of us are wedged into a “bench” that is probably designed for four-and-a-half butts, but we’re glad we have this seat because it helps to anchor us as the boat crashes down into the troughs between waves.
John’s been taking Dramamine throughout the trip, but after an hour of “The Perfect Storm,” he jumps up, grabs the rail, and blows chunks into the wind. One of the shipmates holds onto him and slowly moves him along the rail to the back of the boat where he continues to lose his lunch. Brenda, Gena and Ed think this is the funniest thing in the world. They think the crashing ride is fun. They think John’s greenish complexion is humorous.
I’m holding a large, clear, plastic cup of water, which soon becomes salt water with the first wave, but I hold onto the cup because I can tell I’m not going to keep my lunch either.
One more wave and I throw the water out of the cup and erp into it. Eventually, I fill the cup. Ed looks over and says, “What are you drinking?” They laugh and laugh. Then a shipmate brings me a sick bag and some paper towels to wipe my face.
CRASH! Another drenching wave drops on us like a giant vat that opens up over our heads… it fills my sick bag and pours my “sick” all over me. We finally make it back to the docks at Port Allen. I feel like I’m going to pass out.
Ed says, “Ya hungry, John?” John does not appreciate it.
My face is sunburned. My lips are parched. My ears feel crunchy, filled with salt.
We pile back into John’s van for the drive home. I pray. “God, please get me home. I would rather die in my own home.”
We pull into John’s driveway. I drag myself out of the van and into my truck for the five-minute ride home. Once there, I take a long shower and scrub the salt out of my scalp and ears. I sit down at my computer to check if maybe I had died and gone to hell… but find new e-mails, so I figure I’m still on Earth.
I nearly fall asleep sitting up, so I’m in bed by 7:30 p.m. I wake up at 7 a.m., with a bright red, blistered nose, lips swollen to Lisa Rinna size and hungry.
I’m not sure, but I think I survived a true ocean adventure.