Monday, February 27, 2012

Tropical Storm...

Saturday evening was a wet and rainy one, didn't think much of it and went to bed.  3am: what a rude awakening! Thunder and lightning!  The thunder over here is crazy! Sometimes it sounds like the earth is cracking in half and the other times it sounds like we’re being bombed!  Well, I definitely couldn't sleep with God having a “moving party” upstairs.  I sat out by the window and watched awhile - lightning is a beautiful display of electrical power!

4am: my poor Grandpopper got awakened out of a deep sleep from a lightning strike with thunder that followed with a horrible vengeance!  Who could sleep with all this going on outside?  So we sat up and watched the display for a while before I retreated into the bedroom to watch some Bewitched, with headphones in my ears to try and drown out the noise. The thunder kept going pretty consistently until 10am.  After that, it slowed to every 15-20 minutes until 1pm in the afternoon.

This whole time is was raining too – not “normal” rain, but tropical rain.  It flooded both the North and West shores of the island.  Pictures on the news showed people stand-up paddle boarding in parking lots – the Hawaiian equivalent to people boating in the streets in Midwest towns when they get flooded! The news also said a lot of people called in about the thunder at 4am, so I guess it woke up the whole island!  Finally Sunday evening it stopped, and the sky lit up a bright orange and pink – gorgeous!!!

Today has been pretty much cloudy with spurts of rain, but nothing like yesterday. I usually love tropical thunder and lightning storms, but to be rudely awakened was not a fun experience.
The picture below shows a run-off designed for heavy rains.  Even when it rains this doesn’t usually fill up too much, but Sunday it was flowing like a river!

This is the picture of the sky afterwards…God colored it so beautifully!


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Kai Nicole Photography

Aloha Everyone,
                Sorry for the lack of posts. I have been busy setting up my new photography page! You can visit it here:
Things have been going well although the weather hasn’t been too great these past couple of days - rain and wind. I don’t work tomorrow and was going to head out west but the forecast says rain; we’ll see what happens; hoping it will clear up soon. Work is going well. Oh, I don’t think I have mentioned yet but I bought a car! ’96 2-door Honda Civic, definitely an island car - I’ll have to post some pictures of it once I get it all cleaned up.  Now that I have a car I will be able to do more exploring around this island and hopefully take more pictures. One thing I want to do is some hiking. There are some pretty awesome hikes on this island. There are also dangerous ones from which I have been banned from by my father, and I agree with him! Here is an example of one which I will most definitely NOT be doing.
Warning: If you are scared of heights, you might not want to watch this.
I’ve been at Starbucks for the last few hours uploading and editing photos and have gone through two
cups of coffee, hopefully I can sleep tonight!
Thank you all for you support on my photography journey.
A Hui Hou,

Saturday, February 11, 2012

An Island to Oneself

I recently finished reading a book written by Tom Neale, a man who lived alone on an island that was about 1 mile long and a few hundred feet wide. Tom Neal was born in New Zealand and when he was 18 he joined the Royal New Zealand Navy. While in the Navy he traveled throughout the Pacific Islands on the Navy ships. After his stint with the Navy he spent 6 years wandering from island to island taking on odd jobs for money. In 1943 he was on the island of Rarotonga and met the author Robert Dean Frisbie. Mr. Frisbie has published a handful of books on his travels throughout the South Pacific and has had many stories to tell, including the one of the hurricane in the 1940’s. Robert and his family were on an island called Suwarrow in the 40’s when a horrible hurricane hit, he had to tie his children to trees to save them from the wrath of the hurricane, and they all survived. Now back to Tom - after he met Frisbie and heard of his adventures and this island called Suwarrow he wanted to visit it. So, in 1952 he did. This visit was to be when he decided he would live on this small island. After this visit he made all of the necessary arrangements to live, alone, on Suwarrow. In October of 1952 he was dropped off with 2 cats and all of his supplies. A shack that had been previously built on the island was still standing and even had a bed in it; this is where he lived. Two water tanks, some books and a bed were all that was left. So, with him he brought an array of items - flour, sugar, pants, shoes razors, toothbrush, shorts, pocket knife, sheets, towels, thread and needle, writing materials, a calendar, tea, coffee, shovel, pick, rake, axe, saws, lava stones (to make a native oven), pots, pans, seeds (to make a garden), nails, lumber wood, tins of jam, condensed milk, bully beef, salt, rice, butter, a 25 ft bamboo fishing pole, spears, kerosene, hurricane lamp…the list goes on but that is pretty much the basics. There had been chickens left on the island and so over time he built a fence. He was then able to have eggs and chicken whenever he pleased. For the most part his diet consisted of fish, crayfish, eggs, paw-paw, coconut and breadfruit. After he planted his garden he had tomatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, beans, spinach and cucumbers. He had a very nice life on this little island he called home, and very few visitors. His days consisted of fishing, taking care of his garden, and working to making this island his. He had to kill the wild pigs one by one because they were uprooting his garden. His first visitors came 10 months after being dropped off. Two couples on a yacht who had heard about him came to visit and check up on him. They stayed a few nights. When they left he realized the pier was in a disarray of sorts and decided to rebuild it in case others stopped by - he wanted it to look welcoming. He spent six months of hard labor on this pier and he was very pleased when he was done. That evening his barometer dropped, indicating a major storm or hurricane was approaching. It hit that evening and in the morning his pier was gone. He would occasionally get a fever from a coral cut that had become infected, but for the most part he was a pretty healthy man. About three months after that storm hit he had rowed over to another island and when he threw the anchor overboard he threw out his back. He explained he was in agonizing pain. He knew that if he didn’t get back to his island he would surely die. He isn’t sure how long it took him or how he did it, but it probably took over 4 hours to get back to his hut. When he got there he just collapsed on his bed, writhing in pain. Very few visitors stopped by his island but 4 days later two men just happened to be passing by and decided to stop. They found Tom, very sick and in pain laying in his bed. For the next two weeks they nursed him back to health, and when they left they radioed for the next available boat from Rarotonga to pick him up. When he left the island he had been there for 22 months and didn’t know how long he would be gone, but he knew he needed to get his back looked at. The doctor had informed him it was arthritis. Unfortunately for Tom the Rartongan government would not allow him to return to his island unless by a private party and not many people passed that way. So, he returned to civilian life, taking a job as a store clerk until he had enough money to buy his passage back to his island. This, of course, was easier said than done. He had been working for 5 years and built a new boat to use when he got back to Suwarrow, but that boat couldn’t take him there. This is when he met Loren Smith, a man who went around the pacific islands sailing from island to island, taking odd jobs here and there when his money ran out. He and Tom became great friends and he helped Smith a great deal on his boat, re-painting and such. Of course Tom told Loren all about his adventures on Suwarrow, and one night out of the blue, Loren said that if Tom really wanted to he would take him back to his island. This caught Tom off guard but of course he accepted the offer. They agreed to take two trips, one for all of his necessities and supplies and another to tow the boat Tom had made. In three weeks time, they were off. They made it to the island safely and unloaded before heading back for the second trip, and when that was done they parted ways. Tom settled back into life on the island nicely. Fishing, taking boat rides to the other islands, even building a vacation home on one of the other islands. During this time two helicopters, which were a part of the United States Navy stopped by on a routine practice spin. They were very startled to see a man living on the island and told Tom they could rescue him. After explaining he didn’t need rescuing and that he lived there, he showed them around his little island. They could only stay for half an hour, the shortest time anyone ever visited his island, this happened about 6 months after his return to the island. Fourteen months later a British author, Noel Barber stopped by. He had heard of him from the report from the United States Navy. Noel wanted to see this man who lived alone on an island for himself, and even mentioned him in one of his books. Many months later a couple and their daughter were visiting the island from Samoa. While they were there a storm came and sank their yacht. They lived with Tom a few months before they were able to flag down a passing ship who rescued them. He returned to his quiet life for a little while before being interrupted by some pearl divers, who informed him that groups of people would be visiting this island periodically to dive. He found their presence annoying and so, decided to move back to Rarotonga. It was 1964; he had been on the island for three and a half years. He then moved back onto the island in 1967 and stayed there until 1977 when he got sick with stomach cancer and moved back to Rarotonga. Within 8 months he succumbed to the cancer.
Tom Neal had spent a total of 16 years on the atoll of Suwarrow.
This book was such a fascinating read - reading how someone survived on an island and the trials and tribulations that come with it. Getting to read about all of the experiences he had was very interesting and fascinating!
Don’t worry; I’m not going to live on an island by myself now :)
I hope you enjoyed this story about Tom Neal, who lived alone on a small island in the South Pacific.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Moloa'a Bay

On Saturday we went to Moloa’a Bay on the northeast end of the island.  This is a cute little bay where monk seals can sometimes be seen. Unfortunately, there were none there on this day.  The color of the water was gorgeous and the waves were big and crashing on the rocks…it’s a very peaceful bay and lying in the sun seemed like just the right thing to do.  I’m sure I’ll be heading back there sometime to see if I can spot any of those monk seals.  To get to this beach you have to walk around some big houses and practically through their yards. 

As I was walking back from the beach I saw a little bridge leading to the back yard of one of these homes.  It was just so cute - looked like a bridge leading to some lush, beautiful gardens.

Work is going well.  Today we were talking about how old we all are and most of my boys told me they were 6.  When I told them I was 22 one of them said, “Holy cow, you’re older than my Tutu (grandma)!!!”  I really don’t think that that’s true, but it sure caused me to laugh!  It’s supposed to rain for the next two days, so we’ll see how things go with 14 rambunctious 6 year old boys not being able to play outside.  Although, I’m sure they would love to play in the rain and make mud pies.

CNA update - I called the hospital to see if they’ve made a decision yet…and no, they haven’t.  I’m waiting patiently though!

I was able to Skype with Roman and Kyran on Saturday evening.  Roman said we were going on a date, what a sweet boy!  I played peek-a-boo and got kisses from Kyran - sheesh, I love these boys!  I skyped with them and Courtney again today!  Thank goodness for modern technology!

Excited for Hawaii 5-O tonight, and NCIS tomorrow!
Pray you all are doing well,
Aloha and Malama Pono,