A Wedding With Whales
Wednesday - March 11, 2009
Dan and Sharon got married on Maui, and theirs was a wedding worth the telling!
Our friend Dan, a fellow public speaker, is a “futurist” - a speaker who makes it his business to keep current on developments in science, technology, demographics and social trends that will impact businesses in the future. He speaks to and consults for a wide range of America’s top corporations and has made lots of money doing it. But that - along with rock guitar and Harleys - has preoccupied his life for the last 30 of his 61 years ... until he met Sharon.
Sharon is a successful businesswoman and entrepreneur, CEO of her own company producing women’s midlife health products, and has founded nonprofits empowering women to deal more effectively with their own health issues, even on a global scale.
As you might guess, Dan and Sharon are accustomed to thinking out of the box. So, typical of their generous hearts, they gathered friends and family on Maui during the season of whales, as Dan has done the past several years. Not surprisingly, Sharon shares his passion for the massive mammals that frolic between the isles of Maui and Lanai each winter.
And so, where else to have their wedding? Aboard the Pacific Whale Foundation vessel “Ocean Quest” out of Lahaina, of course.
The 80 or so guests had gathered during the previous three days and had already enjoyed a welcoming reception at the Sheraton Maui Hotel on Kaanapali Beach, and a tented “non-rehearsal dinner” on a sheltered point overlooking Kahana Beach - during which the dancing, merriment and sumptuous outdoor buffet would indeed have crowded out any semblance of a “rehearsal” - all leading up to the sunset finale with wedding vows among the whales. And “among the whales” we were!
Within less than a mile out of slip No. 1 at Lahaina harbor, the captain of Ocean Quest flipped the “whales now” switch and we were surrounded by several pairs of mothers and calves, and big singles. The spouting mist from blow holes was everywhere. Enormous flukes appeared then disappeared in powerful smacks upon the water. One simply lay on its side, alternately extending one flipper then the other like the sails of a boat, then slapping the water as if to draw attention.
And all of this with the setting sun drenching the mountains of West Maui in warm hues. Even the wind, which had been blustery all day, seemed to calm in awe.
The bow vows were preceded by humorous comments from Dan and Sharon about how this had all come about, and then administered with gentle humor by another speaker, a mutual friend of most of us there who lives on Molokai, and had attained his mail-order “ordination” just for the occasion. The gathered guests, looking on from the upper and fore decks, cheered wildly at the pronouncement of “husband and wife,” and it seemed even the whales jumped for joy as the groom kissed the bride.
The evening - actually, the whole three-day event - culminated on the beachside terrace of the I’O, one of Lahaina’s most romantic restaurants, with speeches and toasts and remembrances and dancing. And Dan and Sharon were married - one for the books!
Only in Hawaii!
An important footnote to the above is that we took the Superferry to and from Maui, and that in itself was great fun, available to any of us on Oahu and Maui daily.
The boarding process in our car was well-organized and easy, the service on board was warm and friendly, and the food selection and quality terrific, all with much aloha! - a quantum difference from flying.
Eat your heart out, Kauai! (Since there is no MidWeek on Kauai, please remind your family and friends there of what they are missing.)
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