Monday, October 29, 2012

Snorkeling and Dolphin Watching in Oahu (#hnlbambina)

My favourite day in Hawaii included swimming with a wild sea turtle.

Chris and I did a tour with Hoku Nai'a that included dolphin watching in the morning, lunch on the boat, and snorkeling in the afternoon. We left Waikiki early in the morning, and boarded the brand new 149-passenger two-deck catamaran, custom built for eco-friendly dolphin watching around 9 a.m.

The dolphin watching was so cool. We saw a pod of at least 15 spinner dolphins, and they lived up to their names. As I remarked to Chris, I had to stay on the top deck of the boat or I would have been too tempted to jump in and swim with them.

Around lunch time, the boat got quite rocky and a lot of people started to get sick. The crew apologized for the rough ride and blamed the winds. I don't know if it was riding the subway while pregnant that made the boat ride a walk in the park for me, or just the fact that I was so excited to get in the water but thankfully I was fine.

Finally, the moment I had been waiting for arrived. I got to enter the water! As soon as we got in, one of the tour guides pointed out a sting ray swimming beneath us. Then a sea turtle was spotted. I tried to take photos with an underwater camera we purchased at the ABC Store, but it was so hard to see through the view finder. At one point Chris wanted to go back to the boat, so I swam back with him and then back out to the group. Those few moments when I was "alone" with the fish were amazing. I swam with a school of fish going the same direction as me and I felt a part of their pack.

When we got to the second snorkeling location, many folks decided to stay on the boat. I was the first tourist in the water and the last out. This time there was another turtle who was quite active. He swam by me, maybe five feet away. I think he was OK with getting closer to us because there were less people in the water. Our tour guide made sure we kept a good enough distance as not to startle him. Of course, by this point, I had no more film left in the underwater camera. A part of me was actually thankful for this - it made me truly experience the moment rather than attempting to capture it on film.

While it was mostly adults on the boat, and at least half only boarded to dolphin watch, one family who had a four-year-old daughter entered the water and she was quite happy to do so. I can't help but hope in a few years Hannah will be interested in joining me and seeing wild sea life up close. Being able to snorkel with my daughter would be the ultimate highlight of any vacation I could ever take.

YYZ Bambina is tagging all Hawaii-related posts #hnlbambina.

© 2012 YYZ Bambina. All Rights Reserved.

1 comment:

  1. I love snorkeling! And that is insane a 4 year old went into the water to do it. I don't even think I knew how to swim at age 4 and my daughter is only NOW getting used to being in water (shallow). Sounds like an awesome tour in Oahu. So many animals to see while snorkeling! I will have to go one day. :)


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