Thursday, June 5, 2008

Captain Jackass is more like it

So, where was I? Oh yeah, Kauai. So the day after the bike trip, we decided to take a catamaran tour of the Napali Coast. The tour was 7 hours long and included a snorkeling stop somewhere called the Forbidden Island, which sounded creepy cool. Once again, we were roused out of bed at 4am so we could get to the pier by 6am. Jesus, I don't even get up that early for work. Anyway, we made it there and joined the group of 20 or so people that were also waiting. We got checked-in and met our crew member Ian, who gave us the lowdown on the trip, what to expect, what to bring, etc. and then we all made our way down to the boat. I haven't been on a ton of boats in my life but there have been a few, even on the ocean in Florida where we saw a freaking SHARK snatch a sea turtle about 10 feet from the boat, and I generally have no issues with sea-sickness or anything, which is kind of odd since I am very prone to car-sickness but whatever. Brother however, is not me. He has been sick on every boat he's been on, which begs the question why does he continue to go on boats, but that's not for me to decide, right. We get on the catamaran, which was really nice and had a big area up front to stand and lots of bench seats in back. There was also a nice big cabin area with a bar and a few airplane-style bathrooms. They got us settled in and soon enough we were pulling away from shore.
Our crew was three guys, including Ian, and all of them were super nice and VERY professional, unlike our crappy guides on the bike tour. Once we got out to sea, they set up a lovely breakfast spread for us as we made our way up the coast. Laura and I spent a large part of the morning at the front of the boat scanning the water for things. I don't know what we were looking for exactly but we figured that SOMETHING cool would show itself. We were clipping along and then the captain cut the engine and we saw why. About 30 yards ahead of us was a huge pod of spinner dolphins! They are called spinners because they bolt out of the water and do a little spin in the air before crashing back down. They were SO FREAKING COOL and swam along with us for 5 minutes or so. We were feeling pretty jolly and soon we hit the Napali Coast. This place is amazingly beautiful and yet very imposing to come up on. See:

Wow. It is totally like looking at Lost in person. There is no road access so you either have to fly in (no effing way, dude) or boat in, which is how the hippies that live "off the grid" there get in. Seriously, there is enough fresh water and fruit to live off of, but where do you poop? I need TP, people. Anyway, this is where ancient Polynesians lived and you can still see remnants of them here and there. Or at least that's what they told us and I'm believing them. (They had a big long spiel about the land and crap but I was too busy gawking to pay attention so I got nothing else) Allow me a moment to interject something here. As anyone who knows me knows,I have pretty unruly hair. It's not crazy/cool/wild or anthing, it's more part curl, part frizz and part thinness and it's arch nemesis is moisture and once they clash, I'm left with a frizzy mess. I had prepared for this and tried to keep things under control with braids and hats or whatever and today was no different. I put in my standard pigtail braids and hoped that the top part would behave since for some reason I refused to wear my hat. It was so nice out and being on the water with the breeze and stuff gave me the false sense that I was like Elizabeth Taylor on some yacht with the wind blowing her hair into a messy yet sexy style while her cute outfit didn't get all wet from sea-spray unlike mine. This false sense came to a halt when we approached a sea cave and Jeff sidled up to take a picture. He approached me and had a look. He was all "just so you know, your hair's getting poufy." God love a husband who will point this out, along with food in my teeth and boogers in my nose. We call those "bats in the cave," as in "Hon, you have a bat in the cave." We are clever, I know. Anyway, to prove his point, he snapped a picture and showed me the damage:

Nice. What the hell? Why can't I have goddamn hair that will not resort to 80's style frizz-pouf every time I step outside? WHY UNIVERSE, WHY? Anyway, right after this picture was taken, the captain decided to maneuver the catamaran into one of the sea caves, which was really cool except that Laura and I were standing directly under the waterfall and got drenched. This is not good news for my hair. Bravely, I chose not to jump overboard but to try and not focus on the hair so much and just enjoy myself. After we tooled around the coast, the captain prepared us for the hour and a half ride across the channel to the Forbidden Island. It was only 13 miles but it was going to take 1.5 hrs of riding wicked choppy waves. We all started out sitting on the benches at the back of the boat but soon it had dwindled down to me, Laura and about 6 other people. The boys had retreated to the dry cabin. For the whole trip, we sat there barely able to hold on, getting pelted with stinging seawater, laughing our asses off. Jeff said they just watched us wondering why the hell we didn't just get up an move because, as he said, it looked like someone was throwing 5 gallon buckets of water at us every minute or so. It was excruciating with the salt in the eyes and the COLD spray and the boat slamming around but we refused to budge. We are fools.
We finally made it to the Forbidden Island, which wasn't really creepy-cool, but rather a privately owned island that houses a faction of Polynesians that still live in their ancient ways. Kinda like Polynesian Amish people. We did thrown down anchor next to a big rock off shore and we all jumped in to snorkel. It was cold and there really wasn't much to see so most people only spent 10 minutes or so out and I was seriously considering getting out myself until I felt Jeff punching me in the arm. It's hard to see anything not below you with the mask on and he's punching and tugging my arm and pointing ahead and all I think is SHARK! but instead I look up and see a GIGANTIC Hawaiian monk seal about 6-7 feet in front of me just floating there. It probably weighed about 600lbs and I wasn't sure if I should crap my pants from fear or awe. I managed to hold the crapping and we just watched it. It looked right at us and then swam all the way down (about 40-50ft maybe) and curled up like a dog on a rock flat. He stayed down there for a few minutes before he bolted up like a rocket, so close that we had to quickly maneuver out of his way, and swam off into the darkness. Holy crap. That was one of the coolest things I have ever seen in person and yet I had never been more scared in my life. That thing could have taken my arm off in one chomp.
We climbed back on board and found they had prepared an awesome lunch for us. We hung there eating and then the captain came over the PA and prepped us for the ride home. "Exciting," he called it, so we needed to hold on. Like seriously, you had to hang on every second. Brother had made it this far hopped up on Dramamine but it was wearing thin and this was not going to be good. We had changed into dry clothes by now and went in the cabin to ride it out. The boat SLAMMED down on every wave and the sea swells were HUGE and it felt like it was going to bust open and fling us into the sea. I thought it was super fun but within about 15 minutes, a man was standing at the rear of the boat puking over the side. Great. We were already feeding Bother ice chips at this point and this was not going to help matters. The man let loose a few more times and took a seat where he sat with his eyes closed. I felt so bad for him because he had another hour to go. Ian and the other crew guy handled it like pros, hosing down the ick and bringing ice and stuff to anyone who was feeling "special." Pretty soon Brother was ready to go and went to stand by the rail. A different guy suddenly came up next to him, asked him if he was going to puke and when Brother said not this second, the man said "well I am" and let loose. Brother turned to us and had a half-grin so we figured his time had thankfully passed. Next up was the man's wife, who took her turn where he had been. The first guy let another batch go right after that. I asked the crew guy if this was more puking than normal and he said it changes daily. He said it doesn't gross him out anymore because it's the same food and the same puke every time. That cracked me up.
We made it back to shore (thankfully) and went to get our stuff. We all had to exit the boat single-file and the crew and the captain were at different points to help steady you and say goodbye. When I got to the captain, I went to shake his hand and and say thanks but he had stopped and was staring at me weirdly. Instead of the standard "thanks for coming" that everyone else got, I got this:
"That's some interesting hair you have there, ma'am."
SERIOUSLY DUDE?! I ran past the others and went back to the car where I promptly put on my baseball hat and insisted on referring to him as Captain Crunch from then on.


Gwen said...

Can you call it vacation when you get up at 4 am every day?

Sounds like an interesting trip. The hair? Well, it's special.

Did you get pictures of the spinner dolphins?

jan the mom said...

The hair Miss Amy from Larry not from poker straight me. Maybe it is still the same perm I gave you many years ago that never went away.

Allie said...

Wow! I can't believe you saw a monk seal like that! Awesome!

I have hair like yours. I feel your pain.