If you had asked me before tonight, "Kevin, what's the best ahi you've ever had?" then you would have solicited a sea story from Guam.
Let's see... So how do sea stories start again? Oh yeah, "So there I was..." in Guam for a port visit. Two of my JO's practically kidnapped me and dragged me kicking and screaming off the boat to go snorkeling. Even though I had charts to review, I gave in to their skulduggery and went along.
We went to a little beach just to the north of the power plant on the west side of the island. We were just sort of floating around out there watching the fish about 50 to 100 yards off shore. The water was only about 3 or 4 feet deep. It was clear and warm water with plenty of cool fish to see.
Most of the sounds around us were the soft rush of light waves on a shallow sandy beach. There was another sound out there though. Plunk. I'm not sure how long this one particular sound had been going on before it broke the threshold of my consciousness. Plunk. It wasn't so loud as to draw immediate attention to the sound, but over the course of time, gradually worked its way into the back of my brain. Plunk. I said to myself, "Self, that's an odd noise. I wonder where it's coming from?" Plunk. "Now that I think about it, Self. That sound has actually been going on for a while now." Plunk. It still wasn't very loud or threatening, so I just kept drifting along with my two shipmates. Plunk.
Meanwhile, about five feet away from me in the back of Jake's brain, the noise crossed his "What the Heck?" threshold, and he stood up suddenly to see what was going on. Remember the water was only like 3 feet deep, so his entire torso is now sticking up out of the water. Suddenly, there was a new, intense sound that immediately broke the threshold of all of our brains: It was the scream of a grown man on the beach who had just been scared out of his wits.
JR and I then also stood up in the water to see what the heck was going on. It took a few seconds for my brain to analyze and decipher the scene before me. There on the beach stood a man. In his hand was a golf club. There was a big bucket of golf balls on the ground next to him, and there was a look of horror on his face at the three men who suddenly stood up in the water where he was hitting his golf balls. He was immediately profusely apologetic and swore up and down and sideways that he hadn't seen us in the water and he really honestly was not trying to hit us with the golf balls. I think his vision might not have been 20/20, but I believed him.
The three of us snorkelers-turned-targets had been out there a while and decided it was time to go in anyway. We got up on the beach and found the guy had his pickup truck backed-up to the beach where he was hitting the golf balls. On the tailgate of his pickup, he had a cooler of cold beer, a ginormous slab of extremely fresh, rare ahi tuna, a knife, and a bowl of shoyu (soy sauce). He genuinely felt an overwhelming sense of guilt for having hit those golf balls toward us, and he insisted that we have some of his beer and tuna.
Now, I will say that eating raw tuna off the back of some stranger's pickup truck in a far away Pacific Island is probably not the smartest thing I've ever done. However (comma), that was absolutely THE BEST tuna I'd EVER had.
We have some friends visiting from the mainland, and we went to dinner at Duke's down in Waikiki. I was a little apprehensive about going there. I expected a LONG wait for a table and the potential for a typical tourist trap with horrible service. Because our visiting friends are still dealing with the jet lag and the six-hour time difference between here and the east coast, we went to dinner early at 4:30 and got a table within 20 minutes. At first, it seemed my apprehensions were confirmed by the rude bar waitress who came to take our drink orders. I'm happy to report it all changed from then on. Our server, Dave, was awesome. The prices were pretty reasonable (I'm still recovering from the restaurant sticker-shock in Maui I guess). The food was really good. They have a huge salad bar with a very nice selection of fresh veggies and tropical fruits, plus a few different choices of rolls and muffins.
I've had seared ahi at many restaurants all around the world, and the seven-spice seared ahi I had for dinner tonight at Duke's was just to die for. [Cue sound effect: Angelic choir singing the hallelujah chorus.] THE BEST I've ever had.
BT BT (Shifting topics)
Follow-Up WRT aiming at things in the water and in response to Amy's comment on my "pee and poop" post, maybe blinders aren't necessary after all. Maybe we should try some of these.