Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Honeymoon, Part V

From hereon out our days started to get very similar. We'd found a few things we really enjoyed and sort of kept doing them day after day. You'll have to forgive us if the next couple of days get repetitive, but we were having a ball!

We were up earlier than usual because it was Friday and that meant we had a snorkeling trip planned; on a boat and everything! But first thing's first! We stopped at Buns in the Sun for a quick breakfast, which was excellent! Then we drove south on main highway until we found our exit. That was a bit nerve-wracking because we kept feeling like we were going to far and had somehow missed the turnoff, but we eventually found the exit, drove into a little cul-de-sac, decided that wasn't the right place, so we drove a bit farther and ended up in boat launch area that looked more likely. We parked the car, found the Sea Paradise charter office (and noticed the cul-de-sac we were in just on the other side of a small pocked of beach, so we would have been fine there). We checked in, didn't need to get any snorkeling gear from them because we'd brought our own, and then proceded to wait for a good 45 minutes because the captain of our boat apparently had car problems that morning. That was a little bothersome, but not too much because we had a good time watchign a group of kayakers get organized and into the water. We also watched another group of people leave for their outing.

Finally, our captain showed up and we walked down the pier, threw our shoes in a big storage bin (you know you're going to have a good day when you don't need shoes!), took a seat on the boat, and we were off. The boat was pretty large and the captain quickly pointed out that it could hold 42 people, but we'd apparently picked the right day to go because we only had 13 people. Awesome! So, it was nice and comfortable, with plenty of room to move about and spread out. It was a catamaran, so the front had two big netted sections to lay on. That was cool and Julia and I spent a few minutes up there watching the water go by underneath us -- and getting splashed a bit.

The trip to Kealakekua Bay took about an hour and when we arrived we saw a handful of people snorkeling near the beach and another boat or two that had disgorged their charges a bit farther out into the bay. Our captain found a spot away from everyone else and told us to hop in . . . reminding us it was illegal to pursue and sea turtles or dolphins we might see. He also told us that a pod of spinner dolphins (so named because when they leap out of the water they usually also spin around (not flip, but spin)) used this area to rest, so we might see some. This bay is also where the Captain Cook monument is located. It was built to honor Cook because he meant a lot to the Hawaiians (even though they eventually killed him), and the land the monument sits on still belongs to the British. Funky.

Anyway, we all hopped in with our little tubular floaty things and started swimming about. As opposed to the previous time we went snorkeling, we were in prime coral reef territory and the water was clear, so we could see perfectly. Here's the thing, we didn't see anything out of the ordinary or spectacular, but we loved it! It was beautiful and fun and interesting and refreshing and too damn cool. Julia and I both loved it. We swam together the whole time and made noises at each other through our snorkels and pointed to get the other person to see something or look in a different direction (and the sounds we made usually made us laugh because it wasn't really identifiable as words even though we were talking -- with the snorkels in our mouths). We saw many different types of bright yellow butterfly fish, blue damselfish that scintillated in the sunlight like a rainbow, moorish idols, banded angel fish, little bitty yellow tangs, aptly-named needlefish (usually in threes or fours for some reason), surprisingly large spotted pufferfish with black skin and white polka dots, spikey urchins of various sizes, a single giant green starfish with many, many arms, and a number of other things I don't know the names of.

It was great.

A big tourist boat pulled up near us, so the captain called us in and said we were going to move a bit so we could have a little privacy. Plus, he said, someone had mentioned there were some spinner dolphins spotted just down the coast from us, so we'd see if we could get closer. Just as he completed the thought someone pointed off the bow of the boat and said, "There they are." And sure enough we could see dorsal fins moving through the water roughly in our direction. The pod was split into a few different groups and the moved randomly and calmly most of the time, but every now and again one of the dolphins would jump out of the water and spin in the air as it continued its forward movement which brought is splashing back into the water a second later. We couldn't enter the water while they were so close, so we all watched them and pointed out where the groups were to each other. A couple of times a group was withing a few yards of the boat and we could clearly see the dolphins. There were even a couple of mothers with their babies. And if you like dolphins you can only imagine how cute a baby one is! They really were precious little things.

After a while they moved off and we found a new place to snorkel (all of us hoping the dolphins would come back and swim with us because it's fine if the dolphins come to us, but not if we go to the dolphins). The new place was in the same general area, so we saw pretty much the same things. We were a bit farther out to sea however, so if we swam even a little ways out we could watch the floor of the ocean quickly slant down and away from us and out of sight. That was pretty amazing. Like a giant pit or mouth opening up beneath us. Incredible.

A while later the captain called us back and said it was time to return, so we toweled off, got comfortable, and sat back for the ride home. On the way, the first mate (at least that's what I'll call him since he wasn't the captain and he was the only other person on the boat) told us the story of Captain Cook and why he was respected by the Hawaiians and why they ended up killing him. (Short story: Pick which bay you sail into and the time of year you do it carefully because you'll get very different receptions depending on which god is currently "in power.")

The trip in total took a good five or so hours including the time it took us to drive there and back, maybe even a bit more, so it was early afternoon when we returned. A few hours of swimming is tiring so we decided we were pretty much done for the day. We'd seen a sign for a theatre near the house, so we found that, wrote down a couple movies and movie times, then went home for a nice warm shower -- and to put aloe on Julia's back since it was burned pretty bad after a couple of days in the sun; today especially for some reason.

Once we were showered and aloe'd it was time for a nap! Like I said, swimming makes you tired.

When we woke up we decided to check out the new Target. Yes, Target. Mostly because I wanted to get a Hawaii shirt and I didn't care if it was from a little vendor or not. Plus, I thought some "aqua socks" or flip-flops would be really nice since the sand and rocks could be a bit rough on my delicate little feetsies. Good plan! Target was nice and cool -- and familiar, which is astonishingly comforting for some reason. Anyway, we walked in, felt at home and while I found my shoes and a shirt, Julia started looking through her clothes. Since this was a new Target (literally a week old), they had everything in stock and she found about a dozen items to try on. Anyway, at the end of our little trip, she'd picked out five (or so) outfits and I had my shirt, shoes, and some new sunglasses. It was fun. (Julia even had to send some of her old clothes home with me because they wouldn't fit in her bags once she put the new stuff in!)

We'd decided to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and we had a little time before that started, so we had sushi at a new restaurant (Genki Sushi, a branch of which is in Seattle somewhere apparently), and it was excellent. We really enjoyed it. Then we went to see the movie, which we also both really liked. Afterward we headed back up the mountain to read for a while and then sack out.

More soon!


Post a Comment

<< Home