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Friday, September 29, 2017

Adventure #33: My Moana Boat Project

I had messages, texts, Facebook posts, clients, and friends telling me that Reise and I needed to watch Moana.  The day finally came and the movie encompasses the Hawaii I love.  Essentially, the “Hana” atmosphere of community, adventure, and connection. I could relate to it in so many ways, (adventuring in my mind back to the time I lived on a sailboat on Oahu and sailed around the Hawaiian Islands).  Reise, of course, loved it, especially the music.  She constantly pretends to be Moana, singing at the top of her lungs lyrics that often don’t match, but that she can still confidently belt out to the point where I even start to believe the lyrics have changed.  We went camping, (in Hana/Kipahulu), and all she wanted to do was walk back and forth on the picnic table top, pretending she was on Moana’s boat, and sang every line she partially knows.  

Here she is belting it out atop our picnic table at our campsite:

My artistic Libra side instantly envisioned building her her very own Moana boat.  And so it began….

I drew it out in my journal then put an ad up on Craigslist in the “wanted” section, saying that I was looking for a tiny boat or dinghy.  It didn’t have to be water tight, could have big holes in fact, as it would be land based.  Within 24 hours I had a reply.  A 12 foot dingy, still water tight, but PLENTY of wear and tear, for $50.  My next day off, I was on my way to Honokowai to meet a guy named Moose.  Moose was vague in our texts… “just go to Honokowai and ask for Moose”.  Honokowai is a town… so I asked for a “location” of some kind to at least get within a half mile of him.  “Go to Honokowai Palms and ask for Moose”.  Okay, now I was driving to a condominium complex looking for a guy called Moose.  We also didn’t even set up a time, just a day.  So I just hoped that when I traveled the 43 miles, (one way), I’d find this mysterious Moose to buy a $50 beat up boat.   I had no idea how I was going to tie it on to the truck, I basically just brought every kind of strap we own. The whole way there I was chanting a little gratitude in my mind that Jun didn’t know what I was doing, where I was going, and that he wouldn’t be with me to observe this crazy endeavor.  He lies on the side of extreme caution… I lie on the side of, “I want to build a Moana boat for Reise and will do what I have to do to make it happen”. 

I made it to Honokowai Palms, a multi-building condo complex, and literally rolled down my window to talk to the first guy I saw, who was walking across the street and asked, “I hope this isn’t an absurd question, but do you know where I can find a guy called “Moose”?”  Hearing the words come out of my mouth, and the fact that this guy was definitely stoned, I knew I sounded like a soccer mom trying to make a drug deal… so I quickly blurted out, “I’m trying to buy a boat”.  To my surprise, he said, “yeah, he’s probably over at that building”, so I said, “what’s he look like?”, to which the guy quickly replied, “A moose”, and began laughing and walked away.  Two guys were outside of the building, and I was easily able to identify which one was Moose, a shy mannered, larger sized local who must have worked for the condo, because he was vacuuming and I had to scream “MOOSE!!!” at the top of my lungs for him to hear me.  I felt like an idiot.  Finally, he shut the vacuum off. “Hi…. Are you Moose?”….  I’d never said Moose so many times before in my life at that point, never shouted it, never felt like I was making a drug deal while saying it, and never used it in reference to a human.  “Yeah, the boat is around the pool back here.”.  Now that sucker wasn’t light, and it was just me and the 250+lbs. Moose carrying it.  He needed breaks just as badly as I did as we hauled that thing across the pool deck and to the truck.  

Our strapping it down was a miracle, to say the least.  I have a 5 ½ ft. truck bed, so this thing was hanging out 6 ½ feet.  I pounced and pulled on it a few times and felt like I could make it the 1 ½, 2 hour trip home safely.  Shoot… I forgot to bring a red flag to tie on the back.  Oh well, no turning back now... I just hoped I didn't get stopped by police on my way home because then Jun would probably hear it on his police radio and that would be embarrassing.  I tipped Moose for helping me load and strap it, and off I went with my junker boat, all the while thinking to myself that Jun would not have been cool with the bigness of the boat or basically the whole mystery "Moose" scenario.  I took some back streets to take it slow.  I was halfway home, in Kahului, when my phone rang.  Hands free, of course, I answered the call on my truck speaker thingy…. It was Jun.

I expected our typical midday conversation starting with "Hi honey, how's your day going?"  I was prepared to be nonchalant and avoid anything pertaining to my current boat situation.  Unfortunately, that's not how the conversation started.  Instead, he said,

“I don’t know why the lord wanted me to see that, but I just saw you drive past me at a stoplight.  I'm at an intersection and just saw this white truck go past with this huge amount of boat hanging out of the back and was like, “What on earth is that person doing hauling that boat!”…. Then realized that that person was my wife.”  I couldn’t help it and just started laughing hysterically to the point of crying.  I replied with, “you love me because I’m crazy and ambitious”.  He managed to giggle a little before mentioning my lack of a flag tied to the back, then made me promise to call or text him when I made it home safely.  I literally, like a mad woman, broke out it spurts of laughter driving home, just thinking of him seeing the truck with the boat, then realizing after sitting a moment, that it was actually me.  I still laugh now about it and am grateful I didn't get a ticket.... from my husband.

So I made it home safe and sound, unloaded that sucker by myself, and got to work on it that weekend.  It took me a few weekends to complete, as we have the joy of seven chickens now, and have been putting up fence and other things as well.  Reise helped me paint for about 5 whole minutes, but she was a huge help when it came to screwing down the platform.  I’d drill a hole, she’d wipe the sawdust away and place a screw in the hole for me to secure down.  Then I built the sail out of a drop cloth canvas and some branches I found lying around the property.  The sand box was part of the plan, and to my surprise, sand is expensive!  I know, I live by the beach and it may seem silly, but I did actually purchase the sand.  Jun, all the while, looking at me like I’m crazy spending all this time on making a Moana boat, but he did help me move it to it’s final destination, a 200 square foot area I designated as Reise’s play area. 

The final product isn’t really final yet, I don’t think.  I’d like to do a little tribal painting on the side like the canoe in the movie.  I think I’ll plant some flowers in the front area where there is a small compartment.  I have added more sand since taking these photos.  The best part is that Reise wants to go out to her Moana boat the first thing when she gets home, or when she wakes up on the weekends.  She loves playing in it.  It was well worth the time and effort, and meeting strangers named Moose and almost being pulled over by my husband. 

Let me know what you think and leave a comment if you were here.  I love hearing from you!


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