One weekend, after a swim at Hanauma Bay, we decided to turn into the Hawaii Kai Marina subdivision and see what kind of housing was on the canals. We called it a “Dream Detour.” At the end of the first street, Milolii Place, there was a hand-painted sign stuck in the yard — “FOR SALE.” This was dreaming, so we went to the door to take a look.
It was a ground-floor one bedroom condo with a large enclosed lanai right on the canal, with a dock. There was covered parking at the end of the duplex building. Our dream of moving to Hawaii Kai was for years away, but this was a fluke, with a low price, so we bought it. (That’s the short story! There was need for much renovation, part of the reason for the low price. Betty became an expert at repairing drywall and laying tile. We hired a weekend contractor to fix the tough stuff.
At the beginning of the summer we bought an old 12 ft. boat with an outboard motor. A few times we buzzed out of our canal, under the bridge to the reef about 1/4 of a mile beyond. It’s too shallow at low tide, so we had to time it right…and then we anchored in clear blue water inside the reef and snorkeled in about 3 to 5 feet of water. Our “spot” was beyond a bird sanctuary, so there was a nice sandy beach, and no homes along the shore. We could see the rain clouds gather on the mountain tops, and an occasional rainbow. A beautiful place for an outing.
We traded the dingy for a small outrigger canoe. That was fun, and good exercise to paddle around the marina canals. I actually built a ramp out of boat trailer parts so I could crank a winch to pull the canoe up out of the water onto rollers. I had hoped to get a sail, but that did not materialize.
It was a fun diversion to watch the Mallard ducks who lived in the marina. On rainy days, they came up in the back yard to take a bath under the streams of water cascading off the roof. One day I stepped out the screen door as Mama duck passed by. Her trail of tiny yellow ducklings, trying to keep up, walked over my feet. I stood very still, but a few of them did trip over.
There was one male duck we nicknamed “Hop-a-long” because he limped with a crooked leg. We felt sorry for him because the other ducks chased him away from food we put out. So Betty chased the other ducks so “Hop-a-long” could eat. One day Betty was in the kitchen when she felt she was being watched. She turned, and there was “Hop-a-long” watching her from the edge of the kitchen tile. He had followed her into the house hoping for a handout. He did get extra food, as Betty coaxed him to “follow the food” out the door.
After a hot and unusual windless day, Betty and I went out in the back yard to enjoy the quiet cool of the evening and watch the stars twinkle a few times. There was enough of a glow of light from the neighbor’s house to see the tiny ripples on the canal when a bug bounced into the water. Now and then the crazy laughter of the “wild” Mallard ducks broke the silence as they were disturbed. Well…..not complete silence….there’s the soft trickle of “people” sounds in our suburb, a distant TV, music, high laughter, and tiny unidentifiable noises of civilization. We counted ourselves so blessed to have this beautiful place, and the beautiful night reminded us of God’s goodness again.