Well… today is the day. Several things in my future depend on this day going really good and having a good outcome. Besides the potential embarrassment, it could keep me off the island and force me to look for a gig elsewhere.
Today we did a little bit of classroom work first thing in the morning, and then we went outside to go over a few safety items for the boat. After that, we went out to the four boating stations and did these four different things that were assigned to us. We had to do rescue operations. We had to do high-speed maneuvers; of course I like speed so that was a blast, do the three point turn in the circle again, and had to practice trailering.
The three point turning was a struggle for me and I fought it all day. The winds were out of a different direction, they were stronger, and we had a completely different boat. Eventually I was able to overcome it. It was probably the most frustrating part of my day today. In fact, it was probably the most frustrating part of the whole three days of the course.
After lunch we did some more of those same exercises for our our testing. After the hands-on boating testing, which was pass or fail, we went back into the classroom for the final written test. It was 50 questions and you had to pass with a 70% or better.
I passed all of the boating exercises, and the written test I did very well on.
I am now a government certified boat operator! That’s only part of my mission though. On Monday I go back to the classroom for some open water training. On Tuesday we go out to the Marine base here on Oahu and take the boat out into the big water to learn some maneuvers and how to handle a boat in the ocean. That is going to be quite an experience I am sure!
When I got back to the bunkhouse I was tired but I was pretty wound up if you can well imagine. I decide to take a shower and walk down to Waikiki. It is about a 15 to 20 minute walk from here at the bunkhouse. Along the way I made a couple of stops for some food.
Anyone that knows me knows I like to try some different food wherever I go. I do not usually eat at nationwide chains whenever I go somewhere. I want to try some local foods so I usually avoid the usual suspects.
One such food item I heard about was a block of rice with some sort of sauce on it with a piece of Spam on top wrapped in seaweed. Now I know what you were thinking. You hate spam. That’s fair enough, but you probably never even tried it. I, for one, like Spam – as does most of Hawaii. I prefer to have it fried to a crisp it is great with eggs, you can fry it up and stick it a bun like a burger, or just fry it up and eat it plain.
I bought one of these rice/seaweed/Spam blocks at the 7-11 (yes, you heard me right) and opened it up and took a big bite… and it was delicious. I will definitely go back for a few more of these before I leave.
Across the street was a place called the Rainbow Drive-In. I had been told about this place by park rangers at the Pearl Harbor visitor center. I wanted to stop there, but it was packed. Obviously a popular place. I went on down to Waikiki and walked around, but still thinking about a burger.
Waikiki was very busy tonight, but of course it was a Friday night. There were a lot of people walking around. It was a beautiful night for a walk so I can’t blame them. That’s what I was doing! I really didn’t see much that was interesting to me. Lots of overpriced shops in the lower floors of big fancy hotels. Lots of money down there and that’s not what I’m about. I decided to turn around and start walking back towards the bunkhouse.
On the way back I came past the Rainbow Drive-In one more time and there were hardly any people in line. Now was my chance. I walked down and I looked at the menu but I decide to go for a burger and fries which was my original intention anyway after what I was told.
The burger was very thin, but was very, very good. I like thin burgers personally. I don’t know what kind of seasoning they use but I have never had a burger that tasted like that.
I have a feeling I will be heading back there again too.