Saturday, January 29, 2011

Census for December 10, 2010
3 Chelonia Mydas basking.
9 Chelonia Mydas Actively feeding in the tide pools.

Back to Docent Headquarters after a night on the couch. My wife can’t seem to understand my new purpose. She said something about me and going off the deep end, but I told her I always stay in the shallow part of the bay when I am doing my turtle recon work. With that she closed the bedroom door with a bang after throwing out a pillow and my fluorescent yellow docent vest.

Interesting Turtle Fact #3: Though adult green sea turtles are herbivores, juveniles will eat jellyfish. One of the most serious threats to juvenile sea turtles is human waste, in particular plastic bags which when discarded in the water resemble jellyfish. These bags when eaten by green sea turtles cause them to suffocate.

I had a great brainstorm last night, as I usually don’t sleep well on the couch. What if I started a fundraising program to help finance an education and protection program for Chelonia Mydas? I could, for a nominal fee, lead guided tours of the Chelonia Mydas habitat at Punaluu Beach. Another stroke of genius!! So as I rode my bike to work, (wifey has taken the car keys from me saying that I am certifiable, deranged, and unsafe to myself and others) I pulled down another unnecessary stop sign in Pahala. When I got to Punaluu I posted the following:

Turtle Tours Donation
$1 Per Person
Preferred Parking $5

I positioned the sign strategically at the entrance from the main parking lot and took up my position. Decked out in my fluorescent yellow vest, binoculars, whistle, field guide and Respect the Honu hat, I looked quite official (if only my wife and kids could see me now). The first visitors began to arrive. The first couple approached…

“Howzit. Welcome to Punaluu Da Kine Honu beach on da whole Southside,” I greeted.
“Oh yeah, hello," was the response as they walked around my sign. I gave a quick toot on my whistle and pointed to the sign. The visitor dug in his pocket and handed over $2 and started to walk on.

“Sir, where are you parked?“ I queried.
“Just there in the lot,” the visitor replied.
I pointed at the sign. He dug in and handed over another fiver. Easy enough.
“Remember to keep your distance from the Honu because there is no refund if I have to ask you to leave for violating the Turtle Personal Space Rule,” I reminded as he walked off in a huff. "Mahalo!"
To make a long story short, after 2 hours I had collected $356, which I deposited in the Docent Petty Cash fund. Following proper procedures, because I would not want to be thought to be dishonest, I then wrote two requisitions, one for Docent Salary ($300) and one for Expenses ($56) . With the $56 I purchased 3 cases of Steinlager, which I gave to Da Boys and we talked story.
Dey was happy to see me dis time.
Dis job is turning out mo bettah dan I tot.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Taking a licking, keeping on ticking

Hawaii. Paradise. Right? Oddly enough, life still happens when in paradise. The first six weeks were a series of butt kickings for me personally, job, health, finances. I was ready to tuck tail and head for California. But, the price one pays for being a gypsy is that tucking your tail and returning home isn't so easy when there really isn't a home to go to. Snort. Where were we going to live if we threw in the towel, the storage unit? So, it became necessary to have an attitude adjustment, a career adjustment, a further downward spiral of our income adjustment, and a major crossing of fingers that my innards behave until my insurance kicks in. It took some doing, but adjustments were made, for the most part, and the innards, touch wood, are behaving.

And here we are, three weeks from our departure, and Hawaii has gotten under our skin. Not our little town, no, not Pahala, though Punaluu Beach has become our beach. Pahala is wayyyy too far off the beaten path even for us, but we are putting out feelers to come back, put down some roots, ship our car, ship our stuff (I have several gnomes in boxes clamoring for release), and make this our headquarters. It's very peaceful over here. Not to mention warm, even when it's not sunny. The swimming is amazing, the sites are awesome, the people are lovely (though there is still that niggling discomfort with cockfights and pit bulls), and the birdsong that greets us each day so good for the soul.

Who knows what the future will really hold, but for now it's fun to dream about calling this place home.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year

Recipe for a Hawaiian New Year’s Eve

Start with multiple families ranging in age from 9 months to 90 years old.
Marinate for an entire day in alcohol, mainly Heineken and Steinlager. Age in the sun.
Add a small fortune of legal and illegal fireworks.
Douse liberally with more alcohol, tequila, and rum.
Mix in firearms.
Combine with souped-up hatchback automobiles.
At the stroke of midnight add a touch of insanity.
Put all ingredients directly outside our bedroom window. And let them bake until fireworks, ammo, and alcohol run out.
Then have owner of house decide to mow his lawn at 7:00 a.m. New Year's Day.

Happy New Year from Pahala.