I'm back in Seattle and recovering from jet lag and a little cold. Happy to be home amongst friends, cats, family and fast internet. But I must tell you of our epic journey coming home from Solomon Islands slash why am soaking wet in this photo.
The sky was looking a bit foreboding when we left Tulagi to make the 1.5 hour journey in a small motor boat to the international airport in Honiara. The journey gets a bit longer when it's choppy, so we ended up spending 2.5 hours being tossed by waves. I felt like I was in some sort of slapstick comedy sketch because waves just kept crashing over us, there was no chance of staying even remotely dry. You opened your mouth to say something and it was immediately filled with salt water. As if the waves weren't enough, half way through, it started down pouring. Naturally, at this point I was thinking about every movie or TV show that involved being shipwrecked and tried to keep my thoughts more positive, imagining myself happily living on "Gilligan's Island" instead of some sort of Life of Pi scenario where everyone dies but me and I'm forced to live on a raft with a ferocious animal. Shout out to Nelson, our experienced boat driver who did an amazing job of keeping the tiny boat upright through all of this.
When we landed, I discovered that Jason, who was sitting on a different bench in the boat was only about half as wet as I was and then theres the fact that his hair dries in minutes, so he changed his shirt and managed to look normal. I, on the other hand, wrapped a windbreaker around my waist and assured our taxi driver I'd try not to drip on his seat.
There aren't a lot of tourists in Honiara, so I couldn't say if people were looking at me because I was a tall American lady with a lot of bags or if it was because I was the only person on the street who was soaking wet and you could see my blue with white polka-dotted undies through my dripping wet pants. Oops.
We arrived at the airport and low and behold the airlines had CANCELED our flight. I spent the next hour, running back and forth between counters trying to figure out how to buy tickets for the only other flight out that day.
After securing new tickets, we were running out of time so I had no choice but to wait in line to check our bags and then go through security and immigration soaking wet. The woman at security attempted to pat me down, but upon discovering that my shirt and pants were soaked and the rest of me was fairly clammy, gave me a sort of disgusted look and waved me through. Lesson learned, take a shower with your clothes on the next time you're trying to smuggle something through an airport. The man who stamped my passport was nice enough to not say anything about it being somewhat damp.
Once we made it to the gate, I was thrilled to discover our new flight ended up being delayed a few minutes so I was able to FINALLY run to the bathroom and change. It was a glorious feeling to no longer have wet fabric stuck to my thighs. Unfortunately at that point, I'd started to dry, so I spent the rest of the day with salt flaking off of my body and out of my hair like horrible horrible dandruff.
After this, the rest of the journey home was wonderfully uneventful.
I'll post more photos of our trip soon!