Before the 2012 Holiday Season comes to a close, while we are all so busy with family, friends, working (dive industry!), I wanted to stop and take a moment to count our blessings here at Maui Dreams Dive Co.
A couple of months ago, I was just beginning dinner at a lovely Maui oceanside restaurant with visiting friends and family, when I opened my cell to take a photo and saw that I had five messages, all from the previous ten minutes. Hawaii had just received a tsunami warning.
Our Captain Chris, who was in route to our dinner with his wife Carleen, had turned around and headed for Maalaea Harbor to move the Maui Diamond II out to deeper, and safer waters. Don and Rachel were in a rush trying to round up their cats and a few precious belongings and heading to higher ground. My party said our goodbyes at dinner and left to pick up my Aunt Barbara and Uncle Bill to deliver them to our house above the danger zone, followed by a rush with Dale and Uncle Bill to Maui Dreams to evacuate the shop.
The evacuation process has gone like this three times in the last few years:
First, we unplug all electronics and move them to my car along with all paperwork. We lift all inventory several feet off the floor, except for tanks and weights. We then take photos of everything! While all of this is going on we can hear the tsunami warning sirens going off every ten minutes, along with the police and fire department bellowing over loudspeakers “You must evacuate immediately!” All the time I am concerned that, while I can always run up the hill, my car may be stranded due to a traffic jam. It is quite a harrowing experience!
All of this intense activity takes about an hour at most, followed by the rush home, being met along the way by authorities warning us to evacuate. Then we wait…
So far, we have been extraordinarily fortunate. One time there was some wetness along our doorways where I had placed towels, but other than that we have had no ill effects from Mother Nature.
So, when we witnessed the destructive force of Hurricane Sandy last October/November, we couldn’t help but be moved by this life-changing event for millions of people thousands of miles away. Rachel asked around until she found a PADI dive center in New Jersey that had been devastated in the hurricane. We again understood how fortunate we are at Maui Dreams…after each tsunami evacuation we have come back to work with our wonderful little dive shop fully functional, and especially with all of our excellent staff together as a family, and our homes and loved ones safe and sound.
Our shop has had our best year to date, and this and other factors enabled our store to send some assistance to a dive shop in need during this Holiday Season. We’re all in this together, and we know how lucky we’ve been.
I hope these thoughts remind everyone to take a moment to reflect on how fortunate we are.
Happy Holidays and here’s to a great 2013!