Friday, December 04, 2009
(Me terrified, keep reading.)
One phone call changed my entire situation from traveling in a beater van on Maui one week ago, to my brother’s boat on O’ahu two days ago, to my folks’ house in Georgia today, to a big trip with El Guapo (the van) to Tennessee tomorrow.
You may be wondering what kind of phone call would make me leave Hawaii in such haste to come back to winter in the southeast, but unfortunately, I am going to have to keep it hush hush for now and fill you in at a later date.
In the meantime, we’ll get caught up on the happenings in Hawaii.
After changing my schedule and realizing I could no longer plan very far into the future in Hawaii, I tried to take a mini vacation. I say I tried because I ended up shooting during three of my last seven days in the islands. That said, my time was still very relaxing.
My good friend and traveling partner, Mike D, and I took a few nice drives, including the infamous Road to Hana. It was one of two places our beater van rental company told us not to go (because the tow back would cost more than the entire rental), so naturally, we deemed it good and took the risk. My feet were up, we had freshly picked avocados and starfruit on the dash and I was doing a little bit of Twitter bragging before we ran out of cell phone service. Of course, as Karma would have it, my envious audience was granted its wish and by day’s end my photo taking, Twitter posting iPhone was nothing more than a paperweight. No qualms here, I deserved it.
It all came about with a mini expedition up four waterfalls that entailed tossing our gear into a drybag (I never leave home without one) and hiking and swimming our way as far upstream as possible. We made it to the fourth waterfall, and as I worked through the gear in the drybag, I accidentally laid the iPhone on a towel on top of a very slippery slide shaped rock. You know where this is going. I grabbed the towel, the phone went down the slip ‘n slide and off of a very nice ramp and into the water. The funny / ironic part is that when I made it to the phone, I could see that under three feet of water, I had a voicemail. It was the voicemail I had been expecting. It was the one that would change everything or change nothing. When I tried to check the message, the phone merely dribbled water into my ear. Yep, I had that one coming.
Losing a phone is not a big deal to most people, but for me, and especially in this situation, it is my lifeline. I run every aspect of my life and business through my phone, and particularly when I am away from El Guapo.
(When the trail disappears into the water, swim.)
Seeing no immediately helpful alternative, we finished the drive to Hana with old stories, jokes and thoughts of the future, then headed back to town in order to hit up the AT&T store the next day.
Our remaining time on Maui was consumed by one last evening of hanging out and shooting with Waveskier extraordinaire Tyler Lausten at his waveski shop in Ha’iku and one amazing Thanksgiving with great people in Kula. It was a holiday of all sports. If there is a backyard game that you can think of, we played it, and we played it with all of the intensity you might expect from a Superbowl matchup.
(Tyler Lausten working on a new board in his shaping room.)
After the holiday of team sports was over, we made our way back to O’ahu where I spent the next two days kiteboarding and teaching Mike some of the basics in Kailua. After being skunked by wind and adverse conditions for nearly four months, I finally got out on the water with good wind. The icing on the cake was spending that time under a beautiful sunset while riding full speed only feet above intricate reefs in turquoise water. It was one of those perma smile experiences that I will not forget.
Suddenly, it was our last day. I shipped a few reflectors (too fragile and expensive to check w/ my luggage), made some calls, packed my bags and finished off the trip with a last minute one man outrigger canoe shoot. I had been trying to shoot this during my entire stay, so there was no way I could pass it up for a lack of time.
Always working for a new take on things, I talked the folks in the support boat into letting me jump in the water with my housing. Of course, I was doing this at sunset in known Tiger shark waters. Not smart, but I had been talking about this forever and it was time to walk the walk. After all, if it was easy and less scary, everyone would do it, right? That’s me justifying a dumb move.
(Kamanu Composites team paddler near China Walls, East side of O'ahu.)
The real fear hit when I entered the water, looked down and could only see blue. I spend my life in water, but the thought of a predator grabbing me from below while my mind is focused above the surface is just plain terrifying. I worked my way over to some impressive walls, hoping for shallower water and a nicer background and found it. Not saying I helped my chances at all, but being in 30 feet of water and seeing the bottom helped my psyche big time.
We shot until the water turned black, then kicked it in gear, showered up and made it to the airport, soaking wet camera bag carry on and all.
My time in Hawaii was shorter and much different than I expected, but that is the name of the game. If we could somehow expect the outcome of our adventures, then what would be the fun of swimming in the unknown.
(SPAM and avocado wrap. Bad idea.)
(Leaving our mark.)
- Posted by Trevor Clark
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