What’s my sister, Ashley Baxter, a gnarly rough day in the Pailolo Channel and Eddie Vedder have in common? A hint might be found in the lyrics of “Future Days,” written by Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam – “Back when I was feeling broken
I focused on a prayer, You came deep as any ocean, Did something out there hear?”
My sister had an incredible weekend and I just had to write about it and the astounding events that led to that weekend.
About 13 years ago, when I was only 6 years old and my sister, Ashley, was 10, our family was suppose to go to Molokai on our boat. As we were driving to the west side, my dad decided that the conditions were far too rough to take us across the Pailolo Channel. But, he figured that we could still launch the boat and have fun staying close to Maui and enjoy the day. I guess I was a little sick with a cold, so my mom decided after launching the boat, she would take me home.
So the new plan was to launch at Mala Wharf on the west side and then my mom and I would pick up my dad and Ashley later that day at Maalaea Harbor, which was closer to home.
After a few hours my dad called us from the boat and said that Ashley really wanted to go to Molokai and had talked him into it, so they decided to go. The waves in the channel were huge – about 12-15 feet. And the winds were at least 20-30 mph. There was a small craft warning.
But, here is where the story gets really interesting.
When they were in the middle of the channel my sister started hearing voices. She was certain she was hearing cries for help. Over the engine noise, over the crashing waves, over the howling wind this little girl convinced my dad she heard something. She asked my dad to turn off the engines. That is definitely not something a captain wants to do in those conditions – but my dad did.
That’s when they heard clearly where the cries for help were coming from and saw canoe paddles waving from the water.
Ashley had found three people in the middle of the ocean that had fallen overboard from a sailing canoe. It was one man and two women who would probably have drowned if not for my dad and sister deciding to brave the elements of the day and head to Molokai. (My sister can be VERY convincing)
OK – so what does this have to do with this past weekend?
Well, the guy my sister saved was Eddie Vedder of the band Pearl Jam. Recently, Eddie reached out to my sister after all these years and invited her to come to Seattle and hear them in concert and get a pass back stage.
She got to meet Eddie Vedder and then to her surprise he told the story of what happened to him that day and invited her up on stage. Watch the video here! It is incredible to listen to the story he tells.
You have got to watch this YouTube video and listen to the story Eddie Vedder tells. (video below)
She is one amazing person, my sister Ashley – my savior and my hero. Always proud of you sister.
Love you Ashley.