Friday, March 4, 2016

Ka Lae (South Point), Black Sand Beach, and Honu (Sea Turtles)

After my memorable experience at Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, we headed off to the southernmost point in the whole United States, Ka Lae, more commonly known as South Point. It's a pastoral drive down there and it's located at about the same latitude as Mexico City. People were having a great time cliff jumping about 50 feet down and then climbing this ladder back up. We all looked at the water and watched the jumpers and generally took in the scene. K and his fam went for a little walk. My knee was still troubling me, so I kind of stayed around the cliffs and asked a few questions and enjoyed listening to people pressure each other into jumping. There were a couple of platforms with railings, so when they weren't busy, I stepped right up to visualize what a jump would look like for me. This Hawaiian guy came to the platform next to me and asked, "You gonna jump?" I said, "I can barely walk today, no, I'm not jumping." He said, "Come on! I do it with you!" We laughed and I asked if he needed me to back off. He said I didn't bother him at all. So he jumped and I watched and when he came back to the surface treading water, he called up to me with open arms, "I CATCH you!!!"

After awhile, I headed back to our rental car and some guy was parked next to us kind of organizing things or doing stuff in and around his car. I was hanging out near the rear, locked out, standing in shade to keep the tops of my toes from burning. He looked my way a couple of times, so I offered, "Hey, I'm just waiting for my family...locked out...they have the key...hope I'm not bothering you." Big smile. He turned out to be a chatty, friendly fellow. One of his jumping "friends" (didn't sound like they had known each other for long) ran over and admired his set-up: Subaru Outback with Hawaiian fabric curtains lining the whole back end and a memory foam mattress in the back. He explained to the jumping guy that because he doesn't have a bank account, he thought he would keep people from looking in so much to prevent a break-in and the theft of all his money. The jumping guy indicated he needed to run back over "because Shantel wants me" but before he left, Mr. I-don't-have-a-bank-account said, "Dude, how do you do it?...I'm having trouble." Jumping Guy said, "You don't know the trick? Just put it in a dollar bill and then roll it up, lick the end, and take it out." I caught on immediately. I did chuckle inwardly that this little twenty-something was instructing this mid-thirties something on how to roll a joint, especially considering Mr. I-don't-have-a-bank-account was bragging about how much cheaper pot is on the island. According to him, only $100 an ounce but back in Chicago...$350.

So there I was, Miss Molly Mormon Stake Primary President, Protector of Children's spirituality, chatting with a guy who was about to roll a joint in front of me. He justified his habit by saying that really all it does is make you feel lazy and eat more than you should. I acknowledged that some of us have those problems without using marijuana. I asked him if he was going to jump off the cliff and he said he was. I was hoping he wouldn't feel too lazy to climb the fifty foot ladder back to the top. In short, he was hilarious and before long, here came K and his family.

Saw my first sea turtles this trip. Honu. They say it's the second sweetest word in the Hawaiian language, second to Aloha. They are considered to have a guardian spirit. I couldn't believe we saw Nene, kohola, and honu. Gifts every day!

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