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From Tempest to Tempting

Posted by: Kim Steutermann Rogers
Destination: Hawaii Island
Sep 25, 2008

I wish I could say my morning reminded me of this tranquil pond on Big Island.  Unfortunately, my day started with what felt like a boulder hurled in the middle of a too small bathtub.  It felt like the wind whirled a waterspout directly over my head—and my head only.  Blessedly, with a little help, my day ended with me sitting beside the Kalakaua Summer Cottage in Keauahou and with me feeling just as clear as the house’s reflection in the water.

Some might say I had gone to extreme measures to participate in this past Monday’s Reef Check on Big Island.  I had caught a 6:15 a.m. flight from Kauai.  I had rented a car and driven to a popular dive spot off Honokohau Harbor.  I had convinced a dive instructor to vouch for my scuba skills because a) I lost my PADI certification card last week; and b) the dive shop couldn’t find my name on the international online registry.  What’s more, I had slithered into a full-body wetsuit, strapped an air tank and BC on my back and hauled it all—including 12 pounds of dive weights—up and over 150 yards of uneven, lava rock to the beach.

In the water, I heard the dreaded hiss of bubbles.  Now, I am not the most experienced of scuba divers, but I had never heard air escaping my gear like this before.  The aforementioned dive instructor said a little air loss was normal.  So, I swam out beyond the point to where we would lay a 100-meter transect line and begin our survey of the reef.  That’s when I realized the vest that was supposed to keep me buoyant was not holding air, and I was forced to abort my dive.  When I returned the rental gear to the dive shop, we discovered a tiny chip of a shell or piece of coral plugging my BC’s inflator valve.  At least, the dive shop  refunded me the cost of the rental.

By now, I was feeling fragile, as I later told my husband over the phone.  Both my physical body and my psyche were tired and sore.  So, when I checked into the Keauhou Beach Resort and spied a spa adjacent to the lobby, I couldn’t resist.  “Is there any possible way I can schedule a massage for this afternoon?” I asked the receptionist.

The young woman behind the reception desk of the Kalona Spa scanned her appointment book.  “Sure,” she said.

When my massage therapist Juana asked there were any specific problem areas with my body that she should know about, I said, “Yes, my mind.”  And Juana didn’t skip a beat.  When she asked if I preferred any particular style of massage, such as lomilomi or deep-tissue, I said, “I’m in your hands.”

I walked in Kalona Spa feeling like the Wicked Witch of the West, and I left a scant fifty minutes later as happy as Glenda the Good Witch.  Thank you Juana.


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