Traveling in Style

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Suddenly a queer quivering ran under me, apparently the whole length of the ship. Startled by the very strangeness of the shivering motion, I sprang to the floor…Oh I’m sorry, you caught me in the middle of reading Elizabeth Shutes’ account of the Titanic. Did you think that was about me? Well, I can assure you, my journey resembles the Titanic in probably the same way that a bagel resembles a lamp. What I mean to say is, discounting the bagel-lamp that I am in the middle of creating, my story is nothing like the Titanic, so please take your tissues and sniffles somewhere else, perhaps to watch The Notebook.

My journey takes place on a beautiful Hawaiian day, on a snorkel boat, after a successful day of stalking tropical fish. As we readied to make the journey back, I kicked off my flippers and made my way to the deck where my family was sitting to commence reclining in the sun.

Mao driving with his feet while he texts. Welcome to Hawaii

Mao driving with his feet while he texts. Welcome to Hawaii

A minute later I heard Mao, the friendly staff member who’d been chatting with my family and I on the ride up, call “Hey, c’mere.” and motion me to join him at the wheel. “Want to drive the boat?” Of course my answer was heck yes. Who wouldn’t agree to that proposal?

Driving a big boat across a wide ocean is like doing a back float down a river; you just point yourself in the general direction and enjoy the ride. There are no sudden movements of the wheel, there is no traffic to avoid, there is nothing but you, the boat and the sights, all melded together in a paradigm of serenity. You’re not trying to get anywhere fast; in fact, it’s as if you couldn’t care less if you even get where you’re supposedly headed. It’s all about the journey. Let me put it like this: If you’re able to drive with your feet, then you know you’re going the appropriate pace.

Being at that wheel felt magnificent. A few times, I was even entrusted to steer the ship all by myself as Mao attended other shiply duties (spellcheck disagrees with me that shiply is a word, but it also doesn’t recognize bebibblichic, so what does it know?). During those times I steered the boat slightly off course to prove my point that I was indeed in charge. At least I think that was the point I was making. I can’t be sure, but I like to imagine that I cut as Captainly (I’m contemplating making my own dictionary) a figure as Jack Sparrow, but without the weird chin beard and golden teeth.

Making fun of Mao(;

Making fun of Mao(;

I spent the whole trip back to the island at the wheel with Mao, laughing and relaxing out on the blue ocean with the wind blowing lightly over the deck. We talked about our pasts and our futures, where we’d been and where we wanted to be, some cool things we had done and wanted to do. Mao told me about growing up in Costa Rica and about his move to Maui, and what it was like to call Hawaii home.

We watched the horizon and the crashing waves, and breathed the salty sweet air. The sun shone brightly, making the water smile with sunbeams as the boat skipped over its surface. As I soaked in every second of that trip, I felt the true power of the Hawaiian time that is measured by the sea and sand and happiness. I wondered: What would it be like to live in Hawaii like Mao? Oh, well I guess it would feel something like this.

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Aloha for now! Keep your eyes peeled for the snorkel story that I know all of you probably felt was missing from this post! It shall arrive soon.

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