I am now sitting on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I am more 5,000 miles from where I grew up. I am more than 1,500 miles away from the nearest continent. I am EXACTLY halfway around the world from where I was in Kenya just three months ago.
I have yet to feel too much like I’m stuck on an island with no where to go because every time I look out to the ocean, or sit on the beach, the first thing I see is the island of Lana’i directly in front of me. And, if it’s a clear day, Maui can be seen to the left. These are just the islands that keep the ocean near my house company. When I get the chance to travel to other parts of this island I’ll be able to see Oahu and Hawai’i. I get this overwhelming feeling that the islands keep each other company out here in what would otherwise be a very lonely ocean.
Yesterday evening, I found myself sitting out on the edge of the pier for the fourth night in a row. I like to catch the sunset whenever I can. The sun sets effortlessly here, it just slips below the horizon and leaves the sky a majestic shade of blue, accented by eccentric clouds and the golden glow of the waves that lap up onto shore. The islands, Lana’i and Maui in the distance turn into dark shades of land mass that sit calmly on the horizon as they fade into the night. For the first time last night, while I was peering off into the horizon once the sun was gone, I spotted a pod of whales making their way lazily through the current that passes strongly between the islands. I found myself standing as quickly as I could on the rocks without taking my eyes off of them. I did my best to count how many there were, but the distance and the number of times they were surfacing confused me. I think there were three, and they were not shy about putting on a show. Every few seconds a dark mass would surface, a fin would flail about, a puff of water would shoot into the air, or an entire body would be launched upward and fall heavily into the water, creating a bright white spot in the otherwise dark blue water. Ah, life. According to the locals, this is prime humpback whale viewing time, and I couldn’t be more pleased.
The weather is a subject that anyone can talk about for a lengthy period of time, everyone that is except maybe Hawaiians. Since I landed on Monday the weather has been consistently sunny and 80 degrees. I don’t think I’ve felt a change in the temperature yet. And the sun isn’t just shining pleasantly, it’s accompanied by the most royal blue sky that seems to stretch on forever and the occasional clump of marshmallow clouds. Perhaps my brain has just grown used to the greyed over New York skies of winter so the colors here are much more vivid.
I’ll do my best to post a photo or two soon, my camera is still on the fritz. Mahalo!