A NEW LIFE: HAWAIIAN STYLE
1993 was a pivotal year for us. I had just retired from the Army, and Jennifer was alone. Teaching entered a time of major change. We decided to make a dramatic lifestyle change. But we were not quite sure how to go about it. Circumstances took care of that. Robbie called my good friend and partner in crime one day and wanted me to see his latest project- building two submarines for a new company in Honolulu, Voyager Submarines, Hawaii. They were to be tour subs, but these were not your usual glass-bottom boats. These were serious machines, able to dive to 328 feet, carrying 48 people, and required the sub pilots to hold a Coast Guard Master's License, no easy document to attain. I toured the 'sub' as it were, just a 9-foot in diameter by a 72-foot long tube. It didn't look much like a sub. Robbie asked if I'd be interested in becoming a sub-pilot for Voyager. I laughed. "I've never been in a sub before, Robbie!." That night I told Laura about the opportunity - to live in beautiful Hawaii. To my surprise, she instantly shot back: "Why not?" I quit my teaching job, and Laura quit with Drs Keith and Waltz. My application was instantly accepted. On April 15, 1994, I got on a Hawaiian Airlines jet with a one-way ticket. Laura was left to sell our Edmonds condo and give the cat away, and five months later in September joined me to start our new life. By December, I had passed all six Coast Guard tests, documented my sea time and training on the Voyager subs I'd be piloting, and began work as a pilot and the company Training Officer. We spent 17 years in Hawaii. Our move changed our lives in ways we could not have imagined.