Dear Tina, August 28, 2002
Thank you so much for making my dream of fishing in Hawaii come true. I felt so special! My parents called me Princess
KeKe (Hawaiian for Stef), and that's just the way everyone treated me.
Doug took the time to meet us at the airport. He brought us real flower leis that smelled terrific. We also got to meet
his son Jack, as well as a member of the family. I loved the hotel, which was right on the water in the center of Kona. We
could do a lot without even using a car.
I have never had so much fun fishing. On my very first day I caught a 15 pound aku (skipjack tuna). It took me 20 minutes
to reel him in and he fought me every inch of the way. The captain told me that this was the largest aku the boat had caught
this season. It was certainly the largest fish I had ever reeled in. I spent the whole morning in the fighting chair, catching
several more aku that day. The next two days we tried to hook some bigger fish such as marlin, ono and mahi mahi. The captain
and crew did everything possible, but we didn't have any luck. I still really loved being out on the water trolling for big
fish. The deck hands were great fun too. We even saw dolphins, pilot whales, and giant sea turtles. Doug arranged for hosts
to come fishing with us, so the time just flew by. On the last fishing day, Doug had us throw our leis into the ocean. He
said that this would bring us back someday. I hope he is right!
I also had lots to do on my non-fishing days. I flew over the island in a small plane. As we went over Volcanoes National
Park, I could see flowing lava and lots of steam. I also saw some huge waterfalls. Not ohnly did I see Hawaii from above,
I got to see underwater too. We took a ride in a glass bottomed boat. The crew worked really hard to get my wheelchairon board
and get me a good view. It was like looking into a giant aquarium. I have never seen so many colorful fish. My favorite is
Hawaii's state fish, the humhumunukuukuapua'a (triggerfish). I can't say that three times quickly! We also drove to a place
called the City of Refuge, where ancient Hawaiian lawbreakers would go to escape punishment. They had a special wheelchair
with baloon tires so I could visit the whole site. One evening we went to a nuau at our hotel. They served typical Hawaiian
food, which I mostly liked (except for the poi), and put on a great show with dancing, singing and cultural demonstrations.
I especially liked the coconut tree climber. We even had famous company for the evening: Priscilla Presley was sitting right
I can't imagine a better fishing trip. This was an experience I will always remember. You truly gave me a hunt of a lifetime.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.