- Ted & Debbie (Photographers)
Yeah, we’re back. As always it’s shocking being home after 6 weeks on the north shore of Kauai. There was a great swell this weekend here in southern California. “Epic conditions” as they say. I just didn’t go out. Too jet- lagged, too much to do to get the boys ready for their first day of school, and too much to get ready for a trip to New York tomorrow. But the biggest reason I didn’t go out this weekend was because of where we surf on Kauai. We usually go out at Tunnels. It’s a long paddle out to one of the prettiest breaks in the world. Waves were small but fun. I took Theo and Ollie out to get a taste of the break and get tossed around on the reef a bit. Paddling in at sunset on our last day we had the sun going down on our right over the NaPali cliffs and a double rainbow on our left. Back on shore there’s always that feeling after a nice surf session. Your arms are tired, you all have big stupid goofey smiles on your faces, take inventory on your reef cuts and you can’t wait to walk back home and rinse off with the garden hose.
Nothing new to report from the north shore of Kauai. We got a couple days of nice surf now we are… well now we are doing this kind of stuff.
To properly explain the events of today, I have to back up a few days to when Ted, I and things 3-5(Theo,Ollie and Simon) went for a stroll down the beach at sunset.
Theo’s sharp nautical eyes caught sight of a perfectly smooth orb anchored on the shallow reef by our house. It was an unusual sight to be sure, and it immediately brought to mind visions of “The Prisoner”,the 1967 British T.V. show that had a white ball-like contraption called “the rover” that patrolled the waters of “the village”.(if you aren’t familiar with the series,check out the above link and have fun!) Without hesitation,Theo ran onto the reef to check it out.Simon, like Patrick McGoohan, hung back in caution.
After wading out, Theo drags to shore a buoy. It was covered with barnacles and Theo was in hog heaven.”Can we take it home?” was his first words. We couldn’t say no, even though we are going home in a few days.
After scrubbing it clean,Theo gayly spends the next few days playing with his orb/buoy/bumper(we aren’t quite sure what it is). He devises a rig where-by he attaches a rope to the handle of the orb and a rock tied on to the other end of the rope. He dons his mask,snorkel and flippers and heads out to the center of the cove outside our house. Swimming through the water,holding onto the rock end while the orb floats gently behind him like an obedient pet. When he finds the “right”place to drop anchor,he lets go off the rock and the orb and Theo spend the day together in the cove. Theo dives down,the orb floats above him. Theo dives again,the orb continues bobbing about. You get the idea… Worried for the well being of the orb,at sunset he swims out and brings it to shore. This goes on for a day or so more,until yesterday,when mid day, for no known reason, the orb disappears,almost before our eyes. One minute it was bobbing about in the bay,the next,poof,it’s gone. This morning,after breakfast,like the orb,poof,Theo is gone. We don’t worry about it. We aren’t sure where he went,but he likes to walk to the reef and check out the net and spear fisherman,or go the other direction, to an area the boys have named”Crab Territory” to catch crabs.He often does this, he knows the rules(don’t go in the water) and letting the boys have freedom is one of the big reasons we come back here every year. We still don’t worry when it starts toÂ downpour midday. He probably took shelter under a tree while it rained and then continued on. When he doesn’t show up for lunch we find it unusual,but still feel fine. By 2:30 Ted is on high alert. He walks a mile down the road with Ollie to Tunnels Beach to see if Theo is there. Nope. He walks to Crab Territory with Ollie to see if Theo is there. Nope. His fishing pole is packed up(we are getting ready to head home and are slowly packing) his mask/flippers/snorkel are by our chairs at the beach,the bike is in the garage. Where the f…could he be? By now it is 3:15 and I join Ted in panic mode. He gets in the car to drive down to the nearest lifeguard tower at Haena Beach,and I call 911. After giving a physical description of Theo I hang up and start crying. The neighbor hops in her car and drives down to the last lifeguard station on the island to see what she can find out. I am having all the horrible thoughts that one could have when their child has been missing for 5 hours. I am in shock. Sam can’t sit by and do nothing,so he heads out on foot,in the opposite direction Ted went search for the”chihuahua”(as he is known around our house). 3:30 the car pulls into the driveway,with Ted behind the wheel and Theo in the back seat,in one piece,safe and sound. It seems that Theo thinks he told us he was going to “the end of the road”(where the road ends on the island) to search for his orb.(which it turns out Ted had found during his hunt for Theo,under the naked ladies tree.The naked ladies are a trio of,naked ladies,who sun themselves almost every day down the beach from us) Theo claims he said he would be gone a “really really long time”. Funny thing is,no one heard him say it-none of the 6 of us who stayed home today. It turns out that on his search for the orb, he ran into a fisherman he fished a bunch with last year.The fisherman was set up with a bunch of poles just past the Haena lifeguard tower,and Theo asked if he could borrow a pole and fish. For 5 hours. With no water.No food.No sunblock.No way to let us know where he was. When Ted tried walking off the beach with Theo the lifeguard stopped him to i.d Theo,make sure Theo was o.k and call off 911. After Theo arrives home,I get a visit from the police. They are glaring at me, shaming me for allowing my son to go off on his own(even though I didn’t this time,but I will admit I have in the past). They take all my information,give me a shake of the finger and leave. I am now afraid that social services will be putting my name in their file,but at least we have Theo back. After about an hour Sam comes home. He had walked about 2 miles down the beach to search for Theo. (What a good big brother). Theo finally emerges from the house,quietly slips on his mask/snorkle and fins and slides into the water with his orb. They spend the next hour or so under a rainbow filled sky,playing in the bay. Ted and I and the neighbor share a bottle of champagne Â to celebrate Theo being o.k and our final “Aloha Friday” for this year.
p.s tomorrow Ted and Theo are going to the post office to see if they can mail the orb back home.