Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Turtles and Sharks and Whales, Oh My!

Today we went sea kayaking. I thought we were going to paddle the kayaks along the coastline, then stop at a few places to go snorkeling from the kayaks. But that would be the routine at any other time of year. We did something differently because........
Our guide is probably not much older than our kids, but he was very knowledgeable. We also saw the guide we had a few years ago. He remembered us because when we went snorkeling from the kayaks with him, we saw a monk seal (extremely rare) playing with a sea turtle next to the reef (never happened before within sight of humans who actually talked about it). He still seemed so excited to recall that moment.
Anyway, our guide told us that we would first paddle out to open water and look for whales, then we would go snorkeling. Kayaks? In open water? Looking for whales? How cool is that?
Let me just say - and I can now say this from personal experience - seeing whales close up from a kayak is almost indescribable. So I won't try.
After that moving experience, we went snorkeling into reefs that formed over fingers of lava flows, with caves and swim through tunnels. I prefer staying near the surface with a snorkel, but Mike likes to dive down and swim through the holes and under ledges and get closer to the coral and marine life. I kept an eye on him as he dove down 30 feet to get pictures of a reef shark, and check out a sea turtle that was sitting under a ledge. I didn't want to take the chance he wouldn't come back up because his current life insurance isn't enough to enable me to travel to Hawaii every spring. There were scuba divers down looking through one cave, and I saw them do a double take when Mike swam by them with only a snorkel. I could practically see the thought bubbles along with the air bubbles over their heads saying, "Where is his scuba gear?" and "How is he doing that?"
He made it back up, with great pictures, too.
We were also able to hear the whale song at the surface when we were snorkeling, so they were quite close. I kept looking out to the deep water beyond the reef, expecting a whale to come to the reef. Not today, but there is always tomorrow.
So today we kayaked with the whales, swam with the turtles, and photographed the shark.
Enjoy the photos.


Jana Roberts said...

You are having a Hawaiin (sp) trip like no other I've ever heard before. You two were always on the adventurous side. Go Baby!!!


r.england said...

I love reading about your adventures and seeing your photos (send more!) I'm glad you're having the time of your lives. You know, you can see a lot of this sea life stuff without getting wet or learning to snorkel with a visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium :-) Love you two. Remember to wear plenty of sunscreen.