Saturday, February 20, 2010

Oh My....

Hi Everyone,

Well, I haven't posted recently but I have a good excuse! I came down with Swine Flu! At least I think I had the Swine Flu, I had all the symptoms of it and I was awfully sick. I was sick enough to miss a show and to do a lot of (s)whining. I'm better now and ready for more adventure so I'll be posting another entry in the next few days....

I did want to share that we've been seeing a lot of dolphins recently. Yesterday as we viewed Na Pali coast there must have been a pod of 60 Spinner dolphins around the ship. They were jumping, spinning and cavorting. One of them swam right by the ship, just under the surface of the water, for about 5 minutes. It really looked like a ghost.

The whales have also been at it again - lots of breaching, tail slapping and head slaps. Those whales know how to put on a show.

We did go on a whale watch and snorkel trip on Monday. It was spectacular. We had a full grown whale (a male?) breach about 50 yards from the ship. It breached like 4 times in a row and then it stayed on the surface where we all got a real good look at it. The snorkeling was only so-so mostly because I got super cold. I think I was still getting over the flu...dumb flu.

My Birthday occurs in just over a week! I will be 40 years old in 8 days! Hooray for me!!!


Monday, February 1, 2010

Hawaii...Still Awesome

Napali Sun
Caldera of Kilauea

Hi All -

Well, we're exactly halfway through our contract! We've been having a great time and I don't anticipate any serious doldrums. It is hard to be away from home. I miss seeing family and friends, going to knitting on Monday nights and cooking at home. However things like hearing Humpback Whales sing while you snorkel, hiking to an awesome ocean Blowhole complete with Rainbows and having lovely people to share it with makes up for it.

Larrance and I are working on a list of what we want to do before we leave on April 17th. It's a long list but I think we'll accomplish a lot of it.

On Deanna's Birthday, we hiked the Acid Warzone to the Nakalele Blowhole. It was incredible. We hiked on a cliff high above the sea and gazed down on semi-accessible tidal pools and the landscape had been carved and sculpted by the ocean spray. The colors were amazing - a mix of red, a dusty green, grey with the blue background of the ocean. We came to a smaller blowhole first and then kept on to the larger blowhole. There was a high surf advisory that day so the blowhole was very active.

The best part of the blowhole was every time it blew (some of the blows we're like 300 yards high) it created a "curtain" rainbow. The rainbow would start by the blowhole and then as the mist moved away from the blowhole and toward the land so would the rainbow as though someone was pulling a curtain across the landscape. Lovely.

We had to leave the blowhole when a group of teens appeared, surrounded the hole and began screaming and sticking their faces into the steam of water. It went from quietly inspiring to still inspiring but somewhat irritating.

Mike had a visitor last week - Tamara Nolte - and so we all went snorkeling on Maui at Black Rock. Black Rock is just what it sounds's a big out cropping of black rock that you can swim along. So one side you have black reef and on the other you have open ocean....I got a new mask, snorkel and fins so I was super speedy and we swam out quickly to see turtles, eels, lots of fish and an Eagle Sting Ray.

I have to say that this is a well known and easy to get to snorkel spot which had the unfortunate effect of attracting a lot of idiots. This sound harsh but let me explain. There was a turtle very close to the shore. It was a big turtle. On the shore there are several signs that say - don't touch the turtle, don't block the turtle's way and so on - but in the water all bets are off. There were about 7 of us watching the turtle. There was one woman and one man who kept swimming right on top of the turtle and then when it would swim towards them they would flee as though it were a shark and not a turtle. The turtle wanted to get away at one point and a man next to me blocked it's you would with a home intruder....I had to stop my fist from rising from the water to punch him in the back of the head. Well, not really but I kind of wanted to and I think the turtle did too.

Anytime I yelled to Larrance that I saw this or that, the thrashing yahoo's would come rushing over and scare it away. So I stopped saying anything...they were all in a hurry anyway so they missed a lot of stuff. Larrance and I are going to develop a series of hand signals so we can communicate without attracting the Thrashers.

I kept hearing strange sounds and I thought it was my new mask burbling and gurgling under the water. Then I realized that the sounds really sounded like Whale Song....a I swam away from all the thrashing tourists and closed my eyes to just listen. Sure enough I could hear the whales singing...from what I understand it's the males that sing to flirt with the ladies! So I was eavesdropping on a Whale singles club...sounded like a pretty hot party.

We're planning on doing some hiking, snorkeling and some possible helicopter'ing in our remaining time.

Here's some more photos!

Kona Sunset
Napali Blue
Akaka Falls - Hilo
Wailua River Valley