Attempting to Become a Master Turtle Diver and Hiring Bodyguards in Oahu
Updated: Dec 18, 2019
Day 4, November 23rd 2019
Since this is a vacation, Kaitlyn and I spent Saturday morning lounging by the pool and reading. We each grabbed a coffee (one of my realizations on this trip is I need to stop buying lattes every time I get coffee - too expensive and too unhealthy, so I switched to plain black at the hotel - we’ll see if I ever go back) and I spent time journaling and reading the newest trendy book, How To Talk To Strangers.
While I’m not good at relaxing, I am good at relaxing with purpose. So, instead of simply sitting there, I wrote down my latest prayers. I prayed over my closest friends, prayed for a new job and most specifically, prayed for my finances, which are taking a hit thanks to my endless traveling this year, plus the fact that I somehow damaged my laptop on this trip.
That’s right - I woke up Saturday morning, flipped open my laptop with the intention of editing a few videos, and found that dreaded string of rainbow colored lines across the screen. The horror. The dread. The sadness..... it all washed over me. Actually, I’m being my normal dramatic self, in all honesty it was completely fine as I already bought a new laptop for myself last month and wisely took my old one on this trip while leaving the new shining machine at home. However, what did fill me with remorse was that this old, now defect laptop, was meant to go to my mom.
I’m flying from Honolulu to Detroit at the end of this trip and lugging around my 2011 MacBook Pro solely to bring to her when I land in the chilly state. Now though, she would have to be stuck with her even older, even more useless computer. I felt so heartbroken for her.
That’s why I decided to spend the last of my finances which I had just prayed over to buy her a new one. Before gallivanting off to go dive with some sea turtles, I made a pit stop at the Apple store to buy mama bear a new contraption. Talk about a major come up for her!
Anyway, as I said, we then climbed into a shuttle to be driven to a sailboat that would take us out 20 minutes from Waikiki’s shoreline to swim with turtles. And by turtles, I mean 200 year old hard shelled creatures that often are as large as the size of a Volkswagen Beetle. That’s intimidating! Even if they are kind animals!
So, as we put on our life jackets and were given instructions to never, ever touch the turtles (if you do it’s a huge fine plus six years in jail), we grew a bit more concerned over the adventure we were about to go on. The reason for mine and Kaitlyn’s concern was the fact that while the turtles, despite their size, were pretty harmless, we were still swimming in the wide open ocean which as you may have heard before.... includes a shark or two amongst its’ depths.
I guess both of us pictures the excursion being in a bay or something, not the wide open sea, so we threw each other a few worried glances before putting on our snorkel masks and jumping in. We climbed one by one down the ladder of the catamaran and into the dark blue water. Not wanting to be blindsided by Jaws, I quickly shoved my face into the water to patrol what was lurking below me. Luckily, all I found were harmless black fish and eventually, a plethora of turtles.
The reptiles were magnificent. They swam slowly below us, unafraid and unfazed by the clumsy humans flailing around above them trying to get a good view. Our guide, a bronzed and brawny woman who I could only hope to be half as impressive as someday kept diving down to risky depths to stir up the wild life below us so we could get a better view.
In all weird truth, I was more impressed by her swimming skills, as she evidently was half mermaid half human with the lung capacity of Michael Phelps, than I was by the turtles.I watched over and over as she swam on the ocean floor for minutes at a time. Naturally this aroused both my competitive and my adventurous sides and so I too, tried to take the plunge.
I’d kick my feet into the air and nose dive into the water, life jacket and all, to attempt to get a better look at my new Finding Nemo friends. However, with the limiting flotation device strapped around my waist, I wasn’t able to get too far. Plus, I had no idea you were supposed to pop your ears while diving to avoid blowing out an eardrum, so eventually each time, the pressure became too much and I’d go flying back up to oxygen. The boat ride in featured a lengthy and quick sail as all us passengers lounged on the bow before going on our merry ways.
After the excitement of the roaring waves, we grabbed food, showered and prepared for another exciting adventure, this time just involving some bars and drinks. While our first night out in Oahu was intriguing, running from bar to bar with our new local friends, we were determined to just have a girl’s night out on our own too. So, we ate dinner at a place our hotel concierge recommended, called Rum Fire, a lavish restaurant that sits within the Sheraton Resort, and then headed to a few bar spots we were told by fellow travelers to check out.
The first was Duke’s - a place an adorable blogger had written about that promised beach views and a full night of dancing. Instead, we encountered a doorman who told us the place was dead and we should instead, check out an Irish Pub called Kelly’s.
We walked by the bar, pumping with live music, and immediately were against going in. The crowd seemed a bit off and the vibes weren’t quite as electric as we were hoping for. But, realizing the third bar on our list was another 20 minutes away, we told ourselves we’d stay for just one drink. That one drink turned into three which then turned into five though, as we quickly were pounced on by a creepy, older gentleman, with no social awareness. He kept telling us he was going to play “dad” for us that night, warding off any weird men who may come our way, completely unaware that it was indeed him who was that exact man we wanted to avoid.
Being nice, we entertained the guy for a bit but eventually I could take no more and I pulled Kaitlyn away. As I did, I noticed a very large man sitting at the bar, eyeing us. I could sense that the fella was about to butt in and tell the old geezer to buzz off, which I thought was very kind. So, Kait and I went up to him to say thank you for keeping an eye on us.
We quickly befriended our new 6’3” bodyguard, a half Samoan, California native named Niko who proceeded to protect us the rest of the night. When another weird guy refused to stop staring at us, from less than five feet away, Niko intercepted and made him leave. Niko was accompanied by a coworker, a man who was full Samoan and who had the tattoos (done by traditional needle rather than a gun) to prove it.
Both of the guys were impressive and intimidating, so for once, we enjoyed a girl’s night out without the discomfort of having to fend off men left and right. And I don’t say that in a conceited way. As women, it’s extremely violating and exhausting to have to deal with such men every time we simply step out of the house. So Niko, if you ever read this, it was a pleasure meeting and hanging with you. Keep up being one of the good guys.