Just keep writing. I love the novelette. An old navy guy eh....I'm the daughter of a deceased career Marine. As I said previously, the last time I cruised the Pacific I was 3!! When you get to Hawaii, if you get a chance or are in the right location, take a picture of Easter Island. I'll try to find a link for the history and post it here for you. Picture a toddler on the beach with Easter Island in the background. I cringe every time I think that my parents thought it best that we come back east when my dad retired! Especially now that I've been to Cabo, my "heaven on earth" place so to speak. History of Hawaii... how far back does that Navy guy go.... If I can find the book, I'll try to put something here from a story book of mine from years ago. I know I don't know you but by the time you get back you should learn the old songs Take Me Back to My Little Grass Shack (my mom still loves that song), the Hawaiian Christmas song, be able to pass hula dancing 101, be able to tell me that you met a descendant of King Kamehameha (sp???), that you now know every song from the play South Pacific, especially Happy Talk! Just kidding but these are some of my favorites! My granddaughter who will be cruising for the first time in 2 weeks 5 days is going to look just like the young girl Jim Hutton was in love with some day! She's an all-American!
Here's the link for Easter Island if you're bored: http://www.mysteriousplaces.com/Easter_Island/
PS. $10k huh.... food for thought - thanks Rita!!