How to Beach (AKA How Not to Swim)


After a 3 hour bus ride to get to one of best beaches around, according to the lady at the hotel Tourist Services desk, you would expect to find more than a big, windy beach with hardly anyone on it. But what’s a bad situation if you don’t make a hilarious adventure out of it?

Donna and I went to North Shore because we were told that it was a must see in Honolulu. What we weren’t told is that it was primarily a surfing beach. As two generally nonathletic people, one of whom can swim about as much as a fish can recite Shakespeare, we saw the beach and thought that we had wasted 3 agonizing hours standing on a hot, crowded bus for nothing. Spoiler alert: it turned out to be one of the best parts of the trip. And luckily for us, Donna’s parents were testing out a new camera and took loads of pictures of us while we were swimming. I was looking through them today and they seemed perfect for this week’s DPchallenge of capturing a moment (or in this case several moments) of pure, unadulterated joy on camera.

The waves were bigger than those at the more popular beaches we’d gone to so the first thing we did was walk into the water until it was neck high then let the waves push us back about 5 meters, an idea we got from an eight-year-old we saw on the beach. We were laughing and rolling around in the water in no time. Then we got our floaties and embarked on an epic quest to swim as far out as we could. You know, all the typical beating on, floaties against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past type of stuff. You would swim out and then the waves would pull you back and you’d just keep at the swimming out until your field of vision got bluer and bluer. It was very relaxing really. That is until the big billboard in the sky lifeguard yelled at us through his megaphone for going too far.

triumph of the dondon

Even though we couldn’t go too far out, we found various ways to amuse ourselves. Donna’s favorite was ‘accidentally’ losing grip on her floaty so I would have to run after it while it got blown all over the beach by the wind. I got even by teaching her to play catch in the water with my glasses. As you can see from the photo above, Donna enjoyed it just as much as I did. It’s strange how much joy one gets from being able to simultaneously not drown and catch something in one’s mouth. Maybe it’s just a primal drive, the same type of motivation a puppy has for playing catch that makes it so emotionally rewarding. Or maybe I’ve been classically conditioning my best friend to be my human puppy since my mom won’t let me get a real one. We’ll never know.

theft of the floaty 2Despite her obvious love for pretending to be a dog, Donna retaliated anyways by keeping my glasses and taking the floaty too. I don’t know if it was the floaty itself, the disturbances to the brain caused by the bobbing up and down from the waves, or just her sadistic nature but I have never seen Donna so happy and so in love with anyone or anything more than that floaty at that moment. Or maybe she was just happy that she had stolen my floaty and was only hugging it because she didn’t want to drown. There’s something about being surrounded by nothing but water that brings you back to playing games like children and laughing like children. There were so few people there that we felt alone out in the blue waves, that king of the world type of feeling. And that feeling was great.

Needless to say, we spent the rest of our time on the beach fighting over the green floaty and completely ignoring the blue one. By the end of the day we were both smiling despite our fatigue and the 3 hour bus ride back to the hotel.



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