AndyO Blog

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Maui - Day 3: Kihei, Kaanapali - Sunday

"Black Sunday"

Brenda decided that the first place we should snorkel should be one of the best: Black Rock in Kaanapali. As we drove to Kaanapali, it became clear that many locals go surfing and play on the beach on the weekend. Even at 8:00 in the morning, there were tons of people surfing.

The beach at Kaanapali is located in the middle of a huge resort area, so finding parking is usually a big problem -- but not for us. Thanks to Brenda's research, we found one of the free spots next to the beach access path.

High Surf

Once we hiked to Black Rock, we realized the surf was really surging (we'd seen a high surf warning earlier on my phone when we checked my weather app). Also, because the beach had an extreme angle, the surf was crashing hard. I realize this picture doesn't do it justice, but the waves were approaching 4-5 feet at times (6 feet is when you get the high surf warnings).


Brenda and Cameron went out snorkeling, and I stayed with Drew, jumping waves, building sandcastles, etc. When it came time for me to snorkel, I looked in my bag from Maui Dive Shop and found fins -- but no mask or snorkel. I tried using Brenda's mask and snorkel, but could never get the right fit. Eventually, I gave up and built more sandcastles with Drew.

Kaanapali - Black Rock

One thing that became apparent from the moment we got to the beach was how powerful the sun was. Even at 8:30 in the morning, you could feel the rays cooking your skin. The boys and I had on UV-protecting shirts and sunscreen, but we all got burned in the places missed (feet, calves, shins).

Bully at the beach

I decided to give Brenda's snorkel and mask another try. While Brenda and I were standing in the water adjusting the mask, a huge surge came in and a kid on a boogie board surfed in and rammed Brenda's shins -- but didn't say anything. I could tell how much pain she was in, but she said she was OK.

As we were standing there, we saw the same kid ram an older woman almost knocking her down into the water. Brenda's and my instinct were the same: We both walked over to the kid and asked if he could be more careful -- but as we started talking to him, a rabid forty-something guy in a baseball hat, long swim trunks, and a white shirt started yelling at Brenda and me: "That's bullshit! Those kids can't control where they're going!"

At first, I thought it was some local telling us about something we didn't understand about beach etiquette. (You never know.)

"But he ran into us -- and then ran into another woman," Brenda said.

"You guys are standing in the current, so you need to be looking out!"

"Hey, why do you just calm down?" I said.

"Because you're yelling at my kid!"

I noticed that other people were gathering around to see what the commotion was all about. It was about this time my brain started catching up to what was going on. This was the kind of guy who was looking for trouble. This was the kind of guy who thought his kids were more entitled to the beach than anyone else. This was the kind of guy who wanted to fight over something, no matter how big or small. He almost seemed jacked up on steroids, although he didn't look the type.

I knew we had to diffuse the situation. I think I kept telling him to calm down, and he seemed to stop yelling -- but he continued telling us how we were wrong.

Brenda finally said, "All you had to say is sorry."

I can't remember what he mumbled back, but he wasn't ever going to apologize. Brenda walked away. He walked away. I was standing there, thinking about going in the water again, but now I'd lost my interest.

I watched this guy for a while on the beach and noticed his body language: arms crossed, watching his kids like a hawk, a permanent frown on his face. He was like a bomb ready to go off at any moment.


After thinking about the incident for a while, I kept coming back to my first instinct: If your kid is running into people on the beach with a boogie board, you should talk to your kid -- and apologize to the people he ran into. The only reason Brenda and I went to talk him was because we didn't see any parent doing the job. And it's interesting that the father waited until we said something to his kid before yelling at us. He was obviously waiting for this to happen.

It just surprised me that someone wanted to start a fight over something like this, but I know people like this are out there. People are all fighting their own hard battles, and there's nothing you can really do about it except try to stay out of their way when possible. (Some day this guy will run into someone else who's more than willing to fight with him [I'm thinking a mixed martial arts type]).

Unfortunately, this kind of thing can start off your first visit to the beach on the wrong foot.

Drew bonks his head

Later, after we were back at the condo after visiting the ABC store (where we bought a ukulele), we were enjoying the sunset with the kids on the deck. As usual, Cameron and Drew were arguing -- this time about who got to use the ukulele and when. At some point, Drew was hanging on a chair -- and suddenly he fell over with the chair, and smacked his head on the cement wall. I could tell by the way he started crying that he hit really hard.

Brenda took him into the living room and tried to calm him down. She asked if he was bleeding, and I looked. That's when I saw the blood. A lot of blood.

We took him into the kitchen so he wasn't on the carpet, and tried to find out where the cut was. All I know was the blood kept coming. I know head wounds can bleed a lot, but seeing this on your six year old child brings out strange instincts.

As Drew kept bleeding, I finally said to Brenda, "I think you need to call 911." This was one of those Malcolm Gladwell "Blink" moments, where I made a split-second decision based on the following:

  • He hit his head and it was bleeding bad.
  • Head wounds can be tricky (I kept wondering if he cracked his skull), and I wasn't sure what moving him would do.
  • I had no idea where the hospital was.
  • I thought that if it was bad, the EMTs would have the right equipment to deal with it right there.

So Brenda called 911. They talked to her for a few minutes, asking us to find how big the wound was, but we couldn't find it through his hair -- and whenever we tried to look, the wound started bleeding more. Finally, they said they were sending the EMTs to us.

Brenda went downstairs to meet the EMTs. I sat there in the kitchen in a chair, with Drew standing there as I applied pressure to his head. The blood seemed to be slowing down.

Drew said, "Can we go home now?"

I said that he would be fine, we just needed to make sure he was OK.

Then Drew said, "Am I going to have brain damage?"

I almost laughed out loud but said, "No, I don't think so. Because you're talking to me, and I don't think you lost consciousness."

"Am I going to have to go to the hospital?"

"I don't know."

He thought for a moment and said, "Can I watch Spongebob?"

Right there I knew he was probably fine. I heard the ambulance wailing in the distance, and soon the EMTs walked in. They checked Drew out and found that the head wound was fairly small.

"Head wounds start out bleeding a lot, 'cause there's a lot of pressure there," one of the EMTs said.

"Well, I just didn't know," I said, feeling a little stupid for calling 911.

"Hey, I have kids, too," the EMT said. "You want to make sure they're OK."

After about 10 minutes, the EMTs left and we finally found Cameron hiding in his bedroom. The amount of stress in the condo was palpable, but now there was a collective sigh of relief as we all headed off to bed.


Post script: For some reason, whenever we go to Hawaii, someone always ends up getting medical attention. On our first trip to Kaui, we went to the emergency room twice: once for Brenda and once for Drew. On our last trip to Kaui, my Mom ended up going to the emergency room for a kidney infection.

So, I guess it shouldn't be surprising.


posted by AndyO @ 11:00 PM   1 comments