Maui is one of my favourite places in the world. I have had the good fortune to visit there twice. A recent post from my good friend Lauren on Facebook reminded me of my least favourite event on my last visit there. It is pretty hard to find something bad about Maui. As far as tropical paradises go it has to be at the top of the list. It has sun and sand and beautiful crystal clear water as far as the eye can see.
There are rainbows and double rainbows every day, although for some reason I never did get a great picture of one.
You can take the “Road Trip” of a lifetime and survive The Road To Hana.
Aside from the breathtaking views and the death defying twists and turns you can have a swim at one of my favourite spots, The Black Beach.
You can watch whales, sunsets and whales and sunsets.
You can go sailing on a catamaran as long as you have your sea legs.
And if you happen to be there on St. Patricks Day celebrating someone’s birthday you can attend the absolute best St. Patrick’s Day Party … ever!
Now, I have to tell you I enjoyed all those adventures and more. The thing is I am a water girl. I love the water. I love the beach. I was born and raised in the Niagara Peninsula, surrounded by water. I had Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, The Niagara River, Niagara Falls, Sherkston Beaches and Crystal Beach as my playground growing up. So if there is a beach I’m there! This particular trip we stayed right on one of the beaches. It was pretty mild, not as sandy as I would like for swimming but the views were spectacular. He Who Shall Remain Nameless for his own protection is not a water person. He grew up in Winnipeg, often called Winterpeg (especially by me) one of the coldest places in Canada. He had a ball walking around in the water up to his ankles on “our” beach.
He is quite content to sit on the beach and watch me frolic in the water. I say frolic because, although I love the water, I am not a strong swimmer. I can swim. I’m just not very good at it. This has never hampered my spirits when jumping into “the deep end”. I heard about this beach called “Big Beach” on Maui that I had not seen on my previous visit. Once I knew about it I had to go. It was gorgeous! It was definitely “big”. This lovely sandy beach is almost 2/3 of a mile long and over 100 yards wide and the official name is Makena Beach. As we walked to the water we saw postings, warning signs if you will, with statements like this: “Cautions: Monitor ocean conditions closely. Strong currents and surf possible. Obey all postings and warnings.” There were a lot of people there and it was easy to see why it was considered “The” beach to go to. I have no clue how I missed it on my first trip. My little beach bunny set himself up on perch where he could watch me and wave. I was in my glory.
Is that not a beautiful thing to behold? I was having a great time. Not straying more than a yard from shore in what seemed extremely shallow water. It was even shallow enough for my fellow! I waved at him. He waved back. I laughed. I smiled. I got hit from behind!
I went face first, pushed right into the sandy floor. It definitely knocked the wind out of me. As I tried to right myself the undertow grabbed my feet and pulled them out from under me dragging me into the water. I couldn’t breath. I fought to surface, gasping for air. My fella smiled and waved. Another wave hit me pushing from behind, I had only made it to my knees and under I went again. My legs were like anchors holding me down in the undertow. I got my face up again and saw my fella, smiling and waving. I couldn’t understand how he couldn’t see I was in trouble! What was he thinking?! I heard a child’s voice right in front of me, screaming at me, “Lady, stand up! Stand up!”. What a great idea… but my legs are gone and I am being pushed down again. I gave up trying to stand up. I dug my hands in the sandy bottom and hung on so I wouldn’t be dragged further out again. Then little by little I crawled the few feet with my hands dug in for dear life until my face surfaced and as I sputtered and gasped I could see my wonderful fella smiling and waving. I felt strong hands grab me on either side as they dragged me further out of the water to safety. Of course as soon as two young, handsome, strong bucks approach me then my fella knows something is wrong and perhaps he should see what is up. As my rescuers were attending to me they looked up at this man grinning sheepishly wondering what he wanted. I followed their gaze and saw him standing there. I said, “That’s OK, he’s my husband”. They looked at him like he was from outer space. The grinning waving man.Of course, as soon as I was able I tore a strip off him up one side and down the other.
Me: What’s wrong with you?
Him: I thought you were just having fun!
Me: Having fun?! I was drowning! What’s wrong with you?
Him: You looked like you were having a great time just splashing around playing in the water.
Me: What’s wrong with you? I was drowning?
I’m pretty sure I was screaming at some octave that would do damage to a dogs hearing. This all came flashing back at me when I read my friend’s post Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning.
I have never been afraid of water in my life but I confess I was terrified that day. In fact I was terrified the next day. My biggest fear was that I would leave Maui with that terror of the water still hanging on to me. Ah, but my Knight in Shining Armour (not the guys on the beach – He Who Should Remain Nameless for his own protection) arranged for us to go to another beach before we left. We went by boat to the island of Lanai where there was a beautiful, pristine, quiet, calm beach. He also arranged for a water coach (for lack of a better word) who spent a great deal of time with me getting me back in the water and comfortable enough to have some fun. Of course my fella ventured in up to his knees and kept waving and hollering for me to come back in closer to shore. He watched me like a hawk. He was determined to not miss it if I was going to drown again.