Another thing about Clyde and Brian:
Two days later Clyde and Brian called on me to help them secure “Before the Wind” to their assigned berth out on the outer breakwater. This spot was ideal for them as they had the Ala Wai surf on their doorstep and were products of the Southern California surfing lifestyle.
I kept in touch with Clyde and Brian over the next few months. I was not attuned to their every day activities as they had their own agenda and each other for company. I did partake in some of their exploits to earn some extra cash, some of which are stories unto themselves. I do not know how he did it but Clyde latched on to a Honolulu Harbour automotive rep that used Clyde, Brian, myself and others to deliver Japanese made cars off of the sea transports to the various car dealers around town. Honolulu, Oahu, did not have auto carrying transport trucks that we take for granted in CONUS or in Canada. These cars had to be offloaded and driven individually to the dealers. On a good day we could ferry about fifty of them. We were paid about three bucks and hour and became very familiar with Datsuns, Toyotas, and Hondas, which we liked the best.
Clyde also took it upon himself to offer “Before the Wind” for sailing “adventure” trips to the other islands. I helped him with one of these jaunts to the pineapple island of Lanai. This was a weird but hilarious sail as it turned out. Clyde did not have a clue as to what he was expected to do for this family of four from Omaha Nebraska. No matter as he winged it and his confidence and charm ruled the day and won over Mrs Omaha, as I liked to call her. She thought Clyde was a cutie. I was brought along for maturity, surely not for my sailing prowess. I barely knew how to tie a bowline.
The sail to Lanai was an overnighter, about 130 nautical miles. As we sat on the upper decks in the middle of the night, the Omaha family were in the bunks below, asleep I had hoped but probably seasick. Hoped for, I say, for Clyde, Brian and I didn’t have an inkling as to where we were. Besides, we were there, under a canopy of stars, in the middle of the night, in the middle of Hawaiian nowhere, discussing our predicament and laughing our guts out. At one point we could see some dim lights coming from the island of Molokai – Saint Damian of the Lepers fame.
Praying and hoping and hoping and praying that when the sun rose the island of Lanai would show itself. A transistor radio was of no use to us here nor was a plastic sextant. Our plan was one of dead reckoning: not for us or for the Omaha family in some religious context but in the physical guesswork of time, distance and compass bearing from the Ala Wai, Oahu to a small bay off of Hulopo’e Beach. We reckoned on our luck and luckily for us, and the Omaha family, Lanai appeared over the distant horizon with the morning sun. By noon we had reached our destination.
Clyde did provide food and drink as such but from the mindset of a seventeen year old. Nutrition and wellness were an afterthought. Yet Omaha did not seem to matter, especially for Mrs Omaha. Her blond bouffant hairdo had fizzled out by this time, no makeup and she kicked off her heels for the more practical bare feet. Mr Omaha was still wearing his pastel blue pants, pink shirt, white belt with matching white shoes – you know – the ones with the buckles on them. Yet he was still smiling after what had been a rough night for all of them. I will not go into anything more as this adventure is a story unto itself. Needless to say we survived the dangerous beach surf while tendering the family from the ketch to the beach. We were able to deal with the sand flies and the fruit flies and the other tropical critters at our picnic area and we made it back to Oahu and the Ala Wai in one piece and nowhere worse for wear. Expecting Clyde to be hit with a law suit for sailing malfeasance, the Omaha family rewarded Clyde and Brian with a bountiful “beny” breakfast at the Ilikai Hotel the next morning, in addition to the cash for the cruise. I will say this that for all of the miserable wretchedness that this family had to endure for four days they will never forget their Hawaiian vacation for as long as they live.
Hey, check out my other two books, Great reads and I could use your support: