hawaiian beaches

Lost Engagement Ring in Oahu

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Her engagement ring slipped off!

The day just started off on a bad note.  My father in law let the dogs out in the front yard by accident…again.  Leina, my fiancé, dragged herself out of bed early to watch the dogs.  Sasha, our oldest dog, was not the problem.  It was Pa’a, the one year old puppy, who was trouble.  He had a history of chasing anything he could hump.

By the time I woke up to greet my future wife, she looked like a crab surrounded by a tornado of hormones and moodiness.  There was only one way to reclaim the day at this point.  “We’re going out for breakfast,” I said.

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Sasha on the left and Pa’a on the right.

We took the high energy dogs with us, being sure to give them a long walk before going to the diner.  Then we planned to go  hike to the Lighthouse at Makapu’u. But we only made it ¾ around the block before she turned around and gasped.  Her look of panic hit me like a flash flood.  It only took half a second for me to read her mind.  I sprung into action, retracing our steps as she muttered the dreaded words, “My ring!”

It was gone. Leina walked like a stunned zombie, bare finger in tow.  Before I turned the corner, I said, “I have a feeling that it’s back at the house, but I’m going to circle back just in case”.  My heart pounded as I knew we only had a matter of minutes before someone else could pick up the ring.

Thoughts pounded in my head.  “What do we do if it’s not at home?  Does this mean I need to buy her a new ring?  I can’t afford a new ring.  My poor baby…I hope she’s OK.”  Through the high speed flow of mental notes, an image of the chestnut dresser next to our bed floated into my mind.  A wave of calm came over me as the feeling in my gut told me that the ring is by that dresser.  But there was only one way to find out for sure.

Thoughts pounded in her head.  “How did this happen?  What is he going to think of me?  Is he mad at me? The thought of going to work without my ring makes me feel ashamed.  Where is it?!” I felt her fear all the way around the block.

By the time we reconnected, I had already sprinted around the block with Pa’a.  No luck. I ushered the family back to the car.  “We’re going home to look for the ring,” I said with urgency.  Once Leina hit the passenger seat, the tears poured down her face.  “I’m so sorry!” she sobbed.

“Don’t apologize.  I think I know where it is.”

Believe it or not, this is the third time I have been in this situation with someone I love.  The other 2 times were with my mom.  The first time, I must have been 12 years old when my mother put too much sunscreen on her hand at Jones Beach.  The wedding band catapulted from her finger into the sand.  Mom freaked.  That calm knowing came over me as I walked over to help her.  My hand just knew where to go, as it dipped through the smooth surface of the sugar sand.  When I retrieved the ring, mom looked at me like I was the second coming of Christ.

The second time, my Mom lost her ring in our garden.  Her acrobatic ring struck again, jack knifing into the 3 inches of fresh soil she just laid down.  I have the distinct memory of my deceased great grandmother over my shoulder, guiding my hand to the pin point location of the ring’s burial ground.  My mom seemed less shocked this time, and smiled at the news that Great Grandma Kennedy was watching over us.

Leina never took off her ring.  Her rude awakening this morning made her frazzled, so she lost track of the ring on her finger.  Damn her low-carb diet! Her fingers had obviously shrunk.

I barged through the door to our apartment, and stood in front of the chestnut dresser.  I tossed the top drawers like scrambled eggs.  Nothing.  Had I lost my mojo? Despite the calming vision, another surge of anxiety surfaced when the ring didn’t immediately turn up.  The zombie arrived in the room, fussing with the little corners where she stored jewelry.  Nothing.

“I keep seeing this corner of the room, babe.”  She helped me toss the pile of laundry at the foot of the dresser.  Our comforter had oozed off our bed during the night to attack the laundry pile, making it a huge lump of cloth.  3 layers later, Leina’s hand retrieved the hiding engagement ring.  She held the ring in a waterfall of tears.  The shock, the pent up drama, and her gratitude poured through her eyes.  I held her, feeling relieved that my intuition had helped me in another heart wrenching situation.  It turns out that sleeping with a psychic has its benefits.  “I’m so glad that you have ninja skills, babe,” she said.  “You were so confident that we would find it here. I’m so lucky to have you.”

Relief! We found it!

Relief! We found it!

Leina looked at me with relief.  “You know, there must be a lesson in all this,” she said.  “Yea.  Life is telling us to do the laundry,” I replied.

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Leina got her smile back.

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Categories: engagement, g kamana hunter, george hunter, hawaii, hawaiian beaches, oahu, ring, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Whale Watching in Hawaii…SHARK!!!

Beached Sperm Whale south of Hilo, Hawaii. Note the exposed ribs from the recent shark attacks.

I never expected to see a whale in the middle of August outside of my house on Big Island. Whale season runs from January through April. But as I walked my dogs down the street, I noticed a large, pale mass close to the cliffs where the water drops off really deep. Being in a rush for an appointment, I couldn’t investigate it further.
The next morning, the whole neighborhood was filled with a stench that made my eyes blink. How bad was the stink? Imagine a Red Lobster restaurant in Phoenix at the height of summer with broken refrigerators. Let the rotten seafood sit for 2 weeks, then walk into that restaurant. That’s what the neighborhood smelled like. Would you like an extra side of lemon with that?

The black lava rocks were rough as we climbed down the cliff to a viewing point over the large, pale body in the ocean. It was still there. I had never seen a sperm whale before and they are not normally near these islands. It had probably been dead for weeks based on the bloating and rotten smell. Some neighbors had seen it floating in from ½ a mile off shore, but they thought it was a capsized boat. The skin was gone, and the exposed, rotting blubber looked white with blotches of yellow, brown, and pink. The body measured at around 50 feet long and the fluke (tail fin) was chewed off. Its head was bulbous, almost square in shape. There it laid on its side, with waves rocking it’s body into the stones. The ribs were beginning to be exposed, explaining the stink as the peptic odor leaked from the cavity.
I started video recording on my cell phone, which chimed almost immediately chimed “low battery”. As the body rolled in the waves, it gave the illusion that it was still alive. It swayed in a way that was beautiful. Just then, a black fin surfaced from the water. A 5 ft Tiger Shark emerged from the water and mounted the mammoth meat of the whale. It grabbed a chunk, fell off of the whale and landed on some rocks before wiggling its way back into the water. My phone went blank just before the action started. Stupid, stupid battery! I was so frustrated that I missed an opportunity to fill the amazing scene. Shortly after, 3 black fins surfaced and swirled around the carcass. It was a feeding frenzy.
What will happen to the whale? Since the ocean did not take it back out to sea at high tide, some traditional Hawaiian Practitioners will most likely hold ceremony for the whale out of respect. In the past, there has been conflict between landowners, traditional practitioners, government officials, and academics at UH over who holds rights to the remains. The teeth of the whale are very rare and highly valued in traditional Hawaiian culture as it is carved into a palaoa. The palaoa is worn around the neck like a necklace using the hair of ancestors, with the belief that the hair holds the mana (spiritual power) of the lineage. People of authority traditionally wear this to help them make decisions with clarity and strength. The bones of whales are protected under the federal government to ensure their safety. The local government is attempting to protect people from any disease or toxin on the dead body. Members of UH often want the whale’s body so that they can study it.These competing interests create the conflict.
My hope is that the gift of this whale’s body may bring cooperation rather than division. I was amazed to see a sight so few get to view with their own eyes. The moment was truly impressive.

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Categories: beached whale, hawaiian beaches, Hilo, shark attack, sharks, sperm whale, tiger shark, whale, whale tooth | Leave a comment

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