Swimming with dolphins in Hawaii 2018
Hawaii Big Island
So finally, we are arrived at Kealakeakua.
This is a place where dolphin ambassadors from the wild come & meet people.
We are not talking large numbers here.
We are also not talking crazy speeds
We are talking of smallish pods of spinners
Coming to rest & hangout
On a few beaches.
My enthusiasm to swim with them is tempered by some fear
I have not snorkelled before.
Despite regular swimming I am a novice in the water.
Using a mask & fins is a new art form.
I have no wet suit but the water is warm
Its early and I am at the beach early.
the water is calm
except of course where small but powerful waves break on a forbidding shoreline.
Small rough volcanic rocks require shoes to traverse them.
Above the clouds are grey,
The weather is changeable with intermittent storms.
My determination to take advantage of this opportunity is strong.
This is what I have travelled halfway round the globe to do.
I gingerly traverse the rocks,
wetsuit shoes found in a UK charity shop are invaluable.
I have watched people enter from this spot,
but still it seems almost impossible.
I manoeuvre myself to sit by the edge
And with difficulty adjust my flippers.
Great long unwieldy things
Newly purchased from Walmart.
I put the mask and snorkel on my head & try and launch myself
into the small powerful wave
but I cannot kick off and the wave washes me back hard on the rocks.
It’s rough and shocking and it grazes.
The wave takes my snorkel & mask.
I am like a great seal and my blubber is not so effective.
Another wave makes me realise that even if I make it into the water,
my lack of mobility on land
Will make it hard to get out.
I have thrown my shoes up the beach
One went skew-whiff and disappeared
The mask & snorkel, meant to float, have disappeared.
I am grounded.
This is the Laurel & Hardy moment of dolphin swimming!
I take off the flippers,
And in the face of the small waves somehow stand & gingerly balance my way to dry land & my towel.
The second shoe is washed up, returned to me with grace.
Thankfully I put on the shoes.
Relief floods my being!
A woman approaches to help & finds me a walking stick from the newly cut branches,
I sit for some time with her, watching the dolphins jump and spin in the bay,
A hundred yards away.
How could I have ever thought this was a good idea?
My disappointment in my failure to enter the water,
colours my mind.
A man arriving out of the sea, locates my snorkel & mask,
Washed up gracefully beyond my view.
Another day maybe
But not here!
We are in search of a beach where access to the sea is easier.
The white sand beaches of Hawaiian dreams are proving to be a myth.
No white sand here.
We try “Two step”, together; Helen & I
Its lunchtime, lots of people snorkelling off two precarious ledges,
Washed by the tide.
It’s too late for the dolphins
They come earlier in the day.
As we are about to enter the sea
An exiting man says, not to put our fingers in the holes,
they are full of urchins with painful spines.
Great! The rock below is full of holes!
Gingerly I edge myself down onto the ledge
to sit and don my fins.
The waves wash over my nether regions
I am set to go
Noting the best exit, I push off.
One is immediately captivated by pods of beautiful yellow fish
Populating an underground world of creamy grey corals.
Fish flash by, Bluefin tuna and browns & greys
But mostly the beautiful yellow fish.
Not quite as scenic as David Attenborough
But an amazing vision of underwater living.
My mask seems to be misting.
A full-face mask seemed like a great idea
but I seem to have to stop every couple of minutes to breathe normally
(Is it filling with CO2?).
I tread water with difficulty, as fins tip you over I discover,
this would make a great comic video!
The undersea world is intriguing.
Getting out of the sea brings more challenges & more fear
After the third time of winded trying,
I resolve to use my hands on the next wave & risk the urchins.
I succeed only in straining my wrist.
However the next wave I make the rock and can turn over
& sit to remove fins, & mask.
Success! I made it!
Finding a beach with easier access is still a priority!
We resolve to go shopping for wetsuits some miles away.
We are becoming expert trawlers of thrift shops!
And Jacks Diving locker has promise.
Shopping for wet-suits for me is hard.
Helen is soon suited up
in a beautiful light weight number with a zip up the front
for half price.
Their biggest version of the same soft light material
leaves me bulging out of the middle unable to close the zip!
The alternative shortie, 5X hire, is heavy, expensive, unwieldy.
I think I’ll see how I go in a costume & tee-shirt….
Hey the weather is getting warmer,
Blue skies are replacing the black clouds & rain.
We make our way to a concert I have heard of.
We arrive at the pyramid house to the sound of harp music.
The entrance hall of marble with a shallow pool
& amazing art work & antiques is huge.
The house is HUGE
The main living room dwarfs the grand piano
& hundred or so guests.
We have entered a millionaire magic mansion of buddhas.
And a pescaterian banquet!
The sunset is beginning.
With great gratitude & grace
We hear angelic harp followed by Mauian muses,
Singing of ancient traditions, Goddess & Mary Magdalene
Unexpected grace land.
Day 2 of the dolphin quest:
My wrist has been strapped overnight.
We are going to drive 30 minutes to a black sand beach of turtle & dolphin renown.
Later there is a local market & a gong session at 4
Music on another local beach of rock stone & garden.
The beach, Ho’kaena is twenty minute’s drive away, & it’s lovely!
I can snorkel fairly successfully and apart from a couple of misjudged rock encounters
I get out fairly easily!
The undersea world of coral & brightly coloured fish is opening to me.
It’s still a little tiring!
I am going to be SO fit at the end of this trip.
My strained wrist is better for its overnight strapping!
Hooray, a beautiful beach, with a wall to sit on, nice people to talk to ,
And an underwater paradise to explore.
Maybe the dolphins will come play with us there tomorrow!
There are even hot showers for feet washing!
The afternoon presents us with a local market and a gong bath with some BEAUTIFUL gongs!
Alice , our air bnb host has seven beautiful gongs.
We are treated to three amazing wind gongs, two are about 40 inches.
She plays & the heavens open,
thunder lightening , a violent tropical storm!
Think she needs to gong up some fire & air!
Afterwards an amazing feast!
Some great people & lots of fun!
Hawaii is turning out to be so much different from my expectations!
Now where did those dolphins get to? ......