Friday, November 12, 2010

Brewing The Coffee

Well, tomorrow morning is the Turkey Swim at Ala Moana Beach Park and Coffees of Hawaii is sponsoring the swim with brewed coffee for the swimmers/spectators and bags of coffee for the age group and overall winners. Sounded like such a good idea when the race director called me and asked if I would do it. YES! I replied. Count us in! Then I started to think about it and it hit me... wait, that means that I have to collect the brewers and the tent and the table and the cambros and the cups and get up in the middle of the night to brew all this coffee for everyone and get myself down to the park before the sun comes up to have it all set up... Lovely. At least I got a free entry into the swim so I'll get to race! Fair trade I guess.

Hope everybody likes their coffee black because I don't have any milk.

Funny thing (and somewhat related, keep reading)... yesterday I was out and about around town and ran into Penny Palfrey at a local cafe. You may not know Penny's story if you don't live here... she's a swimmer from Australia who has now twice attempted to swim the 76 mile channel between Oahu and Kauai. No one has ever done it before and she was hoping to be the first. She tried in March... made it about 30 miles and then got wrapped up in a massive swarm of man-o-war and had to bail on the swim. She came back to try again this past week. She was all over the news for her attempt at the crossing so some of us who cared followed her progress online.

Now, I've had some bad man-o-war stings before, but I've never seen anything like this.
Um, OUCH! Holy cow. I mean, seriously. This is what happened to her 17 miles into her 2nd attempt on Tuesday. Apparently this one on her face was the final straw.
I read her story on on Tuesday and felt bad for her, though seriously, attempting to swim 76 miles across a channel like that is just ridiculously insane.

So when I saw this woman walk into Kalapawai Cafe on Thursday with this giant scar across her forehead (Harry Potter style) I knew right away that it must have been her. I didn't want her to think that I was a crazy stalker, so I let her order her food before I approached her, but eventually I did go introduce myself. I think she was a bit taken aback because although I did not ask for her autograph, I did ask to get a picture with her. She didn't know she was such a celebrity. The funny part was when she was telling me parts of her story... that she's tried before in March (Yes! I know!)... and that she had to pull out b/c of the man-o-war (Yes! I know!)... that she is from Australia (Yes! I know!). Clearly the internet is an almost scary tool when someone like me can know so much about someone like her by spending just a couple of minutes on a particular website.
Anyway, I finished up my conversation with Penny by telling her I was sorry that she didn't make it across the epic 76 mile channel... I suggested that maybe as a consolation prize she could come race the 1.2 miles across Ala Moana and back tomorrow morning before she flies back to Australia. I assured her that man-o-war are very rarely (if ever?) present in this protected lagoon. She laughed of course and mentioned that 1.2 miles is a bit short for her, but that maybe she would come. I wonder if she'll actually show up tomorrow morning? She might. Wouldn't that be cool? I told her I'd give her a bag of coffee to take home with her if she did.


Lizzie said...

Wow - two posts in a row mentioning Aussies! Thanks Michelle :) Penny was mentioned briefly in some of the papers but unfortunately there was also a rather big rugby match happening in tandem, so less coverage than should be!

Good luck with the coffee!!

cherelli said...

I'll be second to thank you on the positive Aussie connections :) That channel length is just huge, it would be awesome if Penny finally did it - minus those Man O Wars - YOWCH. That is hardcore. Enjoy your caffeinated swim!

Running and living said...

I scrolled the post at first and thought that was you. Glad it was not, sorry about Penny. Gotta suck to be all ready to go, and then to have to turn back. Internet is scary. I google myself once in a while... Have a great race tomorrow!

Katie A. said...

Hahaha! Love the stalking!
OUCH! Hope you had a good time and a good race! Can't wait to hear all about it ;)

Angela and David said...

That is just nuts. It's funny cause right now I am reading that book about the woman who swam the Bering Strait and I just don't get the long distance swimming. A whole different mindset.

I just ordered some Coffee of Hawaii coffee for Christmas gifts and gave you and the boat at Kona a shot out in the part where it asks when you order about how you heard about Coffees of Hawaii. I got a really nice email in response.