Category Setting off

Tuesday, March 24

Kona, day 3

Began the day catching up on correspondence from just a few weeks ago, noting just how much our lives have all changed in that short span.  I notice my correspondence becoming more journal-like these days…perhaps not surprising.

Gov Cuomo reports that the number of infections doubles every three days.

Gov Ige of Hawaii now announces lockdown (food, medicine, exercise, etc.) until April 30.

Beginning to think about how long to stay here now, seeing this condo (where we are now) listed on AirBnB at a more reduced price, wondering if possible to get even better rate.  Seeing other places available, of course, though considerably smaller.  Will talk about this with Pattie when she’s up and at ‘em.

Worried about a friend who now seems to have covid-19, though u...

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Monday, March 23

Kona, day 2.


After a day completely inside yesterday, we ventured out for some fresh air.  Our location is just a 5 minute walk from Hon’l beach, which is clearly a hot spot for surfers. 

Hon’l beach

We watched them do their thing, a nice diversion, then continued down Ali’I drive towards ‘downtown’.  This strip, which we vividly remembered from 10 weeks ago as very busy, heavily trafficked, and super-lively is now, unsurprisingly, eerily quiet.

surfers don’t give in

There are still restaurants and bars open, which did surprise us, but I’m sure that won’t last more than a day or two longer.  We walked through the area, still loving the ocean views and especially the amazingly clear waters. 

The scuba possibilities are dwindling...

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Sunday, March 22

Kona, day 1

Yesterday, shortly after we arrived in Kona, the Governor of Hawaii announced that anyone (guests, residents) arriving in the state must self-quarantine for 14 days.  Having been in the state since January 11, this wouldn’t apply to us, but the local headlines do seem to be indicating that a general “lock down” is near at hand.

Just sent a letter to my long-time students, and that feels at least a smidge better.

Really spent the entire day inside, not even leaving the apartment. Communicating with family is good and reassuring; hearing from a dear friend whose wife is now under the weather—presumably covid-19, though not yet confirmed.

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Saturday, March 21

Oahu to Kona

Thankfully, a good night’s rest last night.

Yesterday really just spent sitting around the condo, like people everywhere.  As the weather was quite nice during the first part of the day, lots of families playing in small groups down by the water.  In the afternoon we got in the car and drove around to the west side of the North Shore, where we stayed during our first week here in mid-January. 

Not surprisingly, still lots of cars parked by the area where there’s usually lots of surfers.  But as the waters seems unusually calm, really no surfers out there to watch...

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Friday, March 20

Oahu, last full day here (I hope)

Up since 1:30am, out of bed since 2:15.  Difficulty sleeping, concentrating, focusing on writing.  Yesterday really a nearly total waste, just dealing with Kona rental agreement (big island of Hawaii has some unique rules for extended stays via AirBnB), exchanges with our host there, trying to figure out if we can get groceries there…Will likely do some shopping here before we depart tomorrow, just try to stuff whatever we can into our bags.  Packed scuba gear yesterday; we have enough room for some groceries, that’s not a worry.

I suspect that if I could stop listening to the news, I could blissfully focus on writing, but the situation here and everywhere else (yesterday’s CA proclamation that all should shelter in place, e.g...

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Thursday, March 19

Oahu, day 5

Curfews announced on Kauai (not here); as on the mainland, no gatherings of more than 10, so restaurants, etc., are closed except for takeout/delivery.  Flights to Kauai no longer available for non-essentials…  So far not the same news for the big island, where we’re to fly on Saturday.


US gov’t now to tell citizens to come home or stay put; EU has closed borders to non-essential travel.  Not sure how panicky people are in different areas, but here the few people we do encounter all are remaining quite calm and kind.

A day pretty much spent in the apt., watching wetsuits dry, and connecting with family/friends to just stay in touch.

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Wednesday, March 18

Oahu, day 4

Awoke in Waikiki for a morning dive.  The first of two dives was a great distraction from everything going on.  Wed descended to an area with two wrecks (Yo 257 and the San Pedro ) just a few hundred yards apart, and no sooner did we get to the deck of the wreck than we saw turtles lounging on the deck, and three spotted sting rays gently swimming by.  We swam through this wreck a bit, though at this depth (about 90’), we really could only stay there about 30’. [Some very pretty views of turtles, sting rays, and a school of barracuda…alas, condensation on the inside of filter (easily fixed, but i just didn’t notice) made gopro shots useless.]

As we were the only divers on this trip, and we were on enriched air (36%), we had a pretty brief surface interval (30’) and ...

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Tuesday, March 17

Oahu, day 3

Came to Waikiki for a few dives; seems effective in terms of being pretty isolated from people, and only leaving the room to dive, so…  We did enjoy a dive to the Sea Tiger wreck which, as it turns out, was the very first dive site here in January.  It’s a small ship, but teeming with life, so very enjoyable.  Highlights included tons of Angel Fish, a pretty large moray eel, and yet another friendly, and huge, pufferfish.

So very many living around the Sea Tiger
moray, from above, right in the center of the screen
Pattie and the Angels…

another puffer friend

The second dive was nice enough, a reef that was a bit quiet and uninspiring.  Following the dives, just back to the isolation of the hotel room until Wednesday morning’s dive.

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Monday, March 16

Monday, March 16

Oahu, day 2

No sleep last night.  Lying awake, I listened to the news…11pm here is 5am EST, so just a ton of bad news to hear and digest along with everyone else.  Europe in such bad shape just now. Schools being closed everywhere, here and abroad; restaurants closing, as well.  Then the market opened and completely tanked.

Emails/texts from friends in NYC and San Diego came in: craziness, instability, uncertainty, anxiety, fatigue…everywhere, everything is so up in the air.

A few hours into the day, now reading that the EU is working on a travel ban similar to the one the US instituted last week...

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Sunday, March 15

Oahu/Hau’ula, day 1

Serious rain today, until about 3pm, kept us inside but enjoying the view of the storm from our perch on the 6th floor.  We slept well, a bit of a surprise given the bedroom is just big enough to fit the full size mattress.  But we were, indeed, comfortable, and grateful for that.  I spent the morning doing only a little writing, instead going down the rabbit hole of today’s news.  NC schools closing; NYC schools closing; France and Spain on lockdown; Ciaran wrote in an email that he’s had to close two of their pubs in Dublin; news now just in that NC is closing restaurants and bars.  Like a dystopian movie.

[Really afraid that we’ll not get to fly on Saturday.]

Was very glad to catch up with family via phone today...

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