I typically only post one trip report and do not segment, but given the calamity that ensued on Day 3 (today), I decided to post the first three days of my trip. I will post the remainder upon my return.
Day 1 - March 28, 2013
Travel Day: A good friend took us to the airport. 2 checked bags and one SUP. I was excited because we were supposed to fly on one of Hawaiian Air’s new A330s. We got to the airport earlier than usual. When we last flew to Hawaii in May of 2012 security was a disaster and I didn’t want to deal with it again and stress out. Thought about curbside but didn’t want to drop my board off with one of the skycaps outside. My plan was to hit the kiosks, but to my amazement all three were down. There were only two check-in windows open and it appeared to be a large number of service men ahead of us and it seemed like forever to process them. Meanwhile the line at check in was beginning to greatly expand in length. After approaching the counter I told them I have a board that I’ve already paid for to check. She asked how long it was, which I found odd since to my knowledge Hawaiian Air is up to 11ft, it was 9’6”, but she still needed to check with her supervisor.
I later, sadly, found out that we were not going to be flying on one of Hawaiian’s new planes, but rather one of their oldest in the fleet. The overhead bin space was almost nom- existent . Other than this “hiccup,” we were off and headed to Oahu with the final destination of Maui. Next flight was a breeze and I left my pregnant wife to wait with the luggage while I grabbed the rental car. As I walked into Alamo DW shot me a text claiming that she already had the luggage, impossible as I literally went straight to the shuttle. Got our Mazda 3 (it was chosen due to the lack of roof antenna) and picked up the wife. With the board and luggage loaded we were off to the Honua Kai, staying in a beautiful 1 bedroom condo for the next 8 nights.
Dropped the luggage, enjoyed a wrap from the Aina Gourmet Market and then headed to Foodland. I considered Wholefoods, but seemed like a pain with the luggage and I certainly didn’t want to leave my board on the car while we shopped. I had asked my DW to come up with a menu, she didn’t, and we ended up with a few last minute planned meals while shopping the aisles (I do not recommend this approach). Most importantly I had secured libations for the week, mai tais, and Kona Big Wave Golden Ale. We have Big Wave Golden Ale in San Diego, but I tell you, it tastes very different than the stuff that is actually brewed in Hawaii. Ended the evening enjoying a cocktail and unpacking the condo.
Day 2 - March 29, 2013
Up at 5:45am. Made breakfast, bacon, over medium eggs, and toast or the basic breakfast of champion paddlers. Slight wind in the morning, which I figured would die down a bit once the sun started creeping over the West Maui mountains. For the record I was wrong. DW went for a morning run/walk to the Sheraton and passed me on her way back to the condo. She saw me off for my first paddle of the trip. The plan was to paddle to Black Rock, hang out for a bit and paddle back. Well the wind had other plans for me. I paddled as far as airport beach, then turned around and lit my arms and core on fire by having to paddle against the wind. Made it back to the condo around 8:30am. I then realized I had never had a Mai Tai at 9am and I thought, well the opportunity has just presented itself. DW was enjoying breakfast #2 (it’s ok as she is eating for two now) and I enjoyed my 9am breakfast libation. We packed and got ready for the beach. Filled the cooler with snacks, drinks and home made wraps. Enjoyed the sun from 11-2am and it is evident that I missed a spot on my stomach with sunscreen, ouch. I snorkeled out front of Honua Kai (Konea Tower) and found it so-so. The reef extends a good distance off-shore and the further you go the better.
Headed back to the condo when the clouds came and decided to head to Lahaina for some Ululani Shave Ice. DW had coconut, pineapple and almond and I had the Coconut Lover’s, it was quite tasty! I think we are going to go back for Coffee, Almond and Coconut. It rained a bit as we walked around Lahaina, but it was a light warm rain so we didn’t much mind. Ended up at Captain Jack’s to watch the rest of one of the games. So-so fare, but the real disappoint was the volume of the tv. Sounds like they are blasting to everyone in County of Maui. Headed back to the condo, made sammies, watched some TV and hit the bed early since we had to be at Malaea boat ramp for our 630am snorkel with Trilogy.
Day 3 - March 30, 2013 – Prologue
2:25am, what is that noise? Wife wakes up and hears it too. Sounds like plastic rustling in our condo. I get out of bed and hit the lights, nothing. Am I dreaming? I know I heard something. It’s late and we go back to sleep. 4:25am, what is that noise? We both wake up again to the same exact sound. There must be an animal in our condo! Wife gets out of bed, checks and doesn’t see or hear anything scurrying. I get wise to the situation and pull the 800lb couch away from the wall. Sure enough mouse droppings. Well dangit! For those of you that have stayed at the Honua Kai, I’m sure you are all aware of the heavy furniture they use and low to the ground, perfect for mice and a bad time for those that do not want said mouse in the condo. I pull the couch back further and found futher evidence we are dealing with a rodent of unusual size! The little jerk had somehow gotten on top of the kitchen table and pulled down one of my DW’s peanut butter packets. He clearly found it not sweet enough for his teeth and wanted the chocolate macadamia nuts we also had on the table. I knew that the couch was a pull-out so I immediately took all the pillows/cushions and when I pulled out the bed this four foot monster shot out from underneath the couch and scurried across the living room. The wife thought he may have gone into the bedroom (oh god I thought, NOT TODAY!). I used my paddle and found him behind the TV he then scurried again this time headed right for my wife who promptly screamed and jumped onto the kitchen counter. He slipped on the tile and made a beeline for the bathroom. I closed the door and formulated a strategy. Clark Griswold was coursing through my veins as the quote of “catch with a coat and smack it with a hammer” smoothly rolled off my tongue. I never thought I would seriously every use that line from the movie, Christmas Vacation, to actually refer to a real life event, but was pleased that it was in my arsenal.
I gathered my thoughts and checked the clock (we needed to be out by 5:35am to make it to Malaea on time for our snorkel tour). 5:05am the clock read, I had time to formulate a plan. My wife has named the rodent of unusal size, Templeton, but had not informed me she had done so. So she asks me if Templeton is still in the bathroom. I said who is Templeton? The rat in the bathroom she exclaimed. Men, pregnancy does funny things to your wife’s brain, just take it in stride. I knocked and then bravely entered the battleground, an arena no larger than 6ft by 8 ft. It was me vs. Goliath and I brought a beach towel to the fight! After looking around the room, in baskets under the sink, in the tub, in the trash, and in the laundry bastket, my formidable foe was nowhere to be found! I removed all of our bathroom supplies so DW could finish her morning routine. As I opened the door I noticed droppings all over the floor as if he was mocking me. I knelt on the ground and peered under the vanity and found mostly solid wood except for a 6x8inch hole, where I was convinced my nemesis was hiding. I was not about to reach my hand into belly of the beast so I closed the door hoping he would calm down and descend from the darkness and then launch a sneak attack. My planned had worked. He was up on top of the sink now in one of the small baskets. He heard me coming and tripped and fell into the trashcan. This was my moment! I should easily be able to claim victory. I wrapped my towel over the trashcan, but the unevenly sloped sides made it difficult to get a good seal and my prisoner escape. Running the perimeter of the small space and leaping into the bathtub. I’m fairly certain during his leap he did a barrel roll, winked and gave me the finger.
The battle raged back and forth for 10 minutes. Trying to keep my cool to impress my DW, that I was a manly man, while deep inside I’m terrified. I have already notified our condo manager at this point (we rented privately from VRBO). The little guy had no juice left in him. He curled up to what he felt must have been a safe haven (the small half open storage unit for a plunger). I immediately wrapped the towel around the unit, tightly. I made darn sure my worthy opponent would not escape. I bolted for the door, hit the stairs (only 3 flights) and released him in the bushes to survive another day. Checked my watch at it ready 3:40am…oh shoot we have to jet!
Took the elevator, grabbed the wife, car keys, snorkel gear…etc and headed to Malaea harbor. Arrived at 6:14am, checked in (the last two people) and we were off to Molokini. Unbelievable conditions! It was a lake, absolutely zero wind as far as the eye could see. I generally expect this in the early morning but it lasted until after we got back. Snorkeled Molikini, where I had never been. Unbelievably clear water, but not much in the way of unique reef formations. Saw a few eels, but relatively few fish (I’m somewhat spoiled from the Big Island). We headed over to 5 Graves, 5 Caves, where I wasn’t going to go in at first, but was sure glad I did! Enjoyed swimming under the sea arch, seeing two turtles, decent amount of fish, impressive reef formations and the best part of all a small Manta Ray! We had a great lunch and then headed back to Malaea Harbor, where it was pouring down rain. Stopped by Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop to pick up a Banana Cream Pie. Fine you got me, I also got a mini coconut cream pie.
Wife took a nap, I sampled the mini coconut cream pie and then went for a short paddle. This time up toward Kahana and then enjoyed the wind at back for the paddle back to the Honua Kai. Drinks with friends tonight at the Hyatt (although, as I write this I’m already one double mai tai in) and then Easter Brunch Tomorrow.
*No Rodents were harmed in the making of this vacation.