Man o war 1, Max 0 – The trip to ‘poko’ park

It was Friday and the work day started a little before 4A and by 4P it was time to head to the beach at ‘Poko‘ park. Jen’s grandma and great grandma were here so we loaded up the chairs, boogey board, my surf board, made a quick stop by Safeway for some turkey and potato salad and headed to the park just south of Lahaina. I had been there the night before and caught a couple of good waves. When we arrived, the day was perfect. Sun, slight breeze, beautiful. As we headed to the water, a nice lady approached and said the man o’ wars were terrible and all three of her kids had gotten stung. Feeling kind of dumb, I started asking around what man o’ wars were and learned that indeed they were indeed to be respected.

After hanging out for a bit, I said the heck with and that I was going surfing. As I started to paddle out one of the locals I had made friends with told me that there was a 10′ sand shark hanging out about 20 feet past the point and had came up next to him and raised his fin. So… more time to chill. Still a beautiful day and we had good food, beverages, and good family.

Finally I could not wait any longer and decided man o’ war or no man o’ war, shark or no shark, I was going surfing.

I grabbed my board, strapped on and was walking through this little pool area headed out to the deeps when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. Should have known… it was Max on his boogie board right behind me. My first thought is ‘what is he doing?’ I am heading out to deep water with big swells. Of course, he has no fear (or sense sometimes). About that time, his eyes get real big and he starts freaking out and sure enough, the tail of a man o’ war (see bottom picture) wraps over his arm and stings him pretty good (see picture # 3). He peels it off and leaves his board with me scrambling up the rock levee.

I grab the boards and head back to shore where I find Max ‘writhing’ in pain. If there is one thing Max knows, it’s drama! I was chuckling a bit when he informed me that it ‘Hurt like hell’ and then realized what he said. Shortly later he was rolling on the ground (see picture 2). Someone walking buy would have thought he had been bitten by the sand shark. He told the G’s that his arm would likely be paralyzed and he would likely not be able to write term papers later in life. I kindly reminded him that he wrote with his left hand still chuckling a bit.

All in all, just another Peek Family Adventure. As you can see from the top picture, an hour later Max was back out on the rock levee and his ‘paralysis’ had subsided and he was back out being Max. I figured three strikes was enough and loaded the board and simply enjoyed hanging out soaking up the sun, surf, and watching others catch a wave. Was bummed not get out for a few runs but in hindsight spending a couple of hours on the beach on a beautiful Friday night with family and cold beverage or two was nothing to complain about.

Quick side note: I did not what a man o’ war was. The picture above is a good one. The ‘tail’ that you see behind is what stings you. The body is about the size of a golf ball but the tails can be 2-4 feet long, If you rub up against any part of those, they will automatically penetrate the skin like a bunch of very small bee stings.