Just a Little Pink!

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Just A Little Pink!
by Beach T. Weston
“Just Beachie Column”

A few weeks ago, I rallied a group of friends and embarked on a half-day snorkel trip aboard the Queen’s Treasure—a charming and unsinkable Catamaran. We set sail off Ka’anapali Beach, a magnificent beach lined with busy restaurants, shops selling Hawaiian trinkets, and luxurious condos and hotels.

My friends were tan from paddling and swimming, and I was white as a sugar cube from not paddling and swimming. I love to Snorkel, but Skin Diving had eluded me for months. But, today was different—it was my Birthday! Time to celebrate. Time to enjoy the sunshine. Time to swim with Hawai’i’s State Fish, a Humuhumunukunukuapua’a (yes, it’s a mouthful). Time to see one of the greatest creatures on earth, a Honu (Green Sea Turtle).

Fins, mask and snorkel in hand, the Birthday Girl (me) and her entourage boarded the Catamaran, ready to ride the waves and experience under-water-paradise.

My first question once on board was…where is the Champagne!?

“I’m sorry”, said the Captain, “we will serve you alcohol after you are finished snorkeling.”

Words a Birthday Girl doesn’t like to hear. I’m guessing they didn’t want their passengers pie-eyed. No telling what kind of trouble a skunked-face Snorkeler could encounter. Maybe mistaking a Moray Eel for a harmless Sea Cucumber, or drifting from the protected Bay, catching a rip current, and a one way ticket to Australia. Either scenario would not have a happy ending.

I positioned myself on the Bow, and leisurely extended my legs, gripping the Bow’s netting in one hand, and holding fast to my turquoise baseball cap as the Catamaran skillfully sailed the choppy waters. My tootsies wiggled with delight as whitecaps of all sizes christened the boat, and me. It was more fun than Disneyland’s Space Mountain.

By the time we sailed into Honolua Bay, I considered myself to be an Ole Salty Dog. I was older than I was yesterday. I had just been baptized by salt water. And I am a Dog according to the Chinese Zodiac.

The crew released the steps, and enthusiastically helped each passenger jump or slide into the water. I was in heaven, looking down on Redlip Parrots, Trumpets, and Butterfly fish as they leisurely swan between the Cauliflower Coral. The entertainment went on for a lengthy time before the Captain requested Snorkelers aboard.

The Queen’s Treasure remained anchored in the Bay as guests were encouraged to enjoy countless jumps off the side of the Catamaran. It was a blast being ten-years-old again.

I parked myself on the same spot for the return trip; a glass of Champagne in hand. One of the crew members asked if I would like water? “No thank you”, I replied. I didn’t need water, my cup runneth over with the Ocean’s beauty.

You look pink!” Said a friend. “Yes, you do look pink!” Said another. I was oblivious to their concerns as I continued to sip my bubbly—I was bewitched and beguiled by nature’s magnificence.

By the time we landed on Kaanapali Beach, the gang was relaxed, joyful, and ready for more merriment. We continued our celebration at a popular restaurant on the beach—there was no shortage of laughter, and wine (not a lot of water) at our table.

The “you look pink” observations were periodically injected into the conversation—I ignored them and continued on with the gaiety. But every good party has to come to an end before you fall off your chair—it was time to go home knowing another memorial moment had been created, and would be talked about for years to come.

As I glided through the front door of my home, I passed a large mirror hanging on the hallway wall. I took a double take…who was that person in the mirror? And then I realized it was me! My face looked like it had been graffitied several shades of red.

“OH MY GOD…WHAT HAVE I DONE TO MY FACE!?”

Then the tears arrived, there was no going back to the beginning of the day when I should have drenched my body in suntan lotion. I had cooked my own goose, and I’m a Vegan!

I was a dehydrated, Sun-Poisoned-Ole-Salty-Dog. I stayed in bed for two days. Every exposed part of my body was red and crispy—a feeling a lobster would understand or a piece of fried bacon.

It took over two weeks for my skin to recover as layer after layer peeled. Good thing I didn’t have to travel; the airlines would not have allowed me to get on board for fear I had some rare, tropical, creeping crud disease. My vanity required I stay at home until I was presentable.

Moral of the story:
Be fearless! But don’t be stupid, which I have proven is easier said than done.

In Peace, Love, and Adventure (and a lot of Environmentally Friendly Suntan Lotion!)
Beach

© Beach T. Weston 2016

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