Daily Archives: 2015-02-22

Swimming with Wild Dolphins – Honolulu, Hawaii

Woke up unnaturally early at 530am and I was not happy about it. I didn’t really sleep at all, because I kept worrying about not waking up on time. I hate that. I do it often when I have schedules or appointments. Which is why I generally stay away from those types of commitments. Anyway, we didn’t have much time to eat since room service came a bit late. I shoved Michaels pound of meat (bacon, sausage and ham) into a bag and wrapped up my omelette. The bus was arriving in 8 minutes and though I was sure it would be easy and quick to get off the ship, I didn’t want to risk it. Nothing like the wrath of a bus load full of tired tourists angry because you made them wait.

It was still pitch dark out and I was groggy when I climbed on the huge tour bus. I was awake enough to notice that 95 percent of the bus was Japanese. We signed the electronic release form and I played some Candy Crush while we drove to the site. An hour later, we pulled into Waianae Harbor. We all filed off the bus and waited around until we were instructed to follow to the boat. We were all loaded onto the boat and found our seats. The sun was coming up nicely and it was looking to be a nice warm day. We were introduced to the energetic and very chipper crew who had quite the act going on. It was easy to get involved and I was impressed by their ability to get everyone participating. It wasn’t long before I was singing and high fiving with everyone else, even though I was still a little tired. We were all given boat rules and instructions before being fitted with our shorties and snorkel gear.

We sped around the waters looking for pods of wild dolphins. After a good 20 minutes, I started getting worried. I thought how silly it seemed to be looking for dolphins and what the chances were that we wouldn’t even see any. I began to feel doubt and regret that I dragged myself out of bed for this. Plus I was getting cold again. The sun was dipping in and out of the thickening clouds.

Just then, we slowed down and lo and behold, dolphins. And not just a few, A LOT. There must have been at least 60 split into several pods. I couldn’t get into the water fast enough. As I jumped in, I only felt cold for a second before I started swimming my heart out. I was going to get to those dolphins before they swam away. Turns out, I didn’t need to try so hard. They ended up coming to me. They swam around, through and under our group dozens of times. Michael and I got a little carried away and separated from our group a bit. We were so enchanted by the Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins and just wanted to get closer.

At one point, I was swimming just two feet from a mommy and her baby. We swam together for a good half minute before they shied away in a different direction. Those suckers are fast when they wanna be! I felt so blessed to have that special moment. It was unlike any I had before, and way beyond the package dolphin experience you can get with trained captive dolphins in tanks. It’s like the difference between going to the zoo and going on a safari. There is no comparison. By far, one of my fav experiences to date. I only wish I would have been scubaing rather than snorkeling with a large group of 40. It would have been much more authentic to be down under the water with them.

We were meant to go on a second snorkel in a different bay but since there was a surfing competition on, we had to forgo it. We ended up in a really crappy bay that had nothing to see except a few fish and cloudy waters. We did feel that we were ripped off for that second half. The captain cooked up hamburgers on a grill that was attached to the back of the boat. We decided to stick some of the bacon we had brought from breakfast, to make bacon cheeseburgers. The crew was impressed by our ingenuity and remarked that no passenger had ever thought of such a clever idea. Obviously they had never met Michael, The Bacon King.

We headed back to the harbor and while everyone else baked in the sun getting a token hula lesson, Michael and I climbed aboard the bus to wait. We just wanted to get back to the city and get any last minute shopping done. After all, we wouldn’t be in real civilization for a while. Once we were dropped off, we wandered around the area picking up last minute supplies. Finally we boarded the ship and waited to leave Hawaii. We were exhausted so we tried to have a nap after having a snack on the lido deck. But I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned. Finally we just woke up and headed to the gym so I could complete my 10,000 steps. Just as we made it to the top deck, the ship began to pull away.

I walked on the treadmill and watched for whales in the distance. There was one especially active young humpback that was almost showing off. We watched him splashing around and making quite the scene. It was a fantastic goodbye. I watched the Oscars on the treadmill TV which helped the time go faster. The sun sunk lower in the sky and the day was done. My pedometer vibrated my goal completion, so my workout was done too.

We had dinner, listening Chris croon for a while, then retired to our cabin. It was a long day, and hopefully I earned a good solid sleep. I was very much looking forward to sleeping in.

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