Monday, May 01, 2017

Hawaii - Day 5, 6 and 7

Day 5 - We went to Pearl Harbor (Puttachi was very interested in it because she'd read an article on it) We did go inside and see the place, but unfortunately, we couldn't get a seat on the ferry to the USS Arizona Memorial (just call it bad planning). Puttachi was deeply disappointed, but she and I decided to be content that we did get to go to the site. There were other museums too, which we couldn't see. Ah well, anyway. As I said, some bad planning, and some bad decisions. What is a holiday without that, eh?

Then we went snorkelling in Hanauma Bay.

All the snorkelling experiences I had heard of involved going in a boat to the middle of the ocean, and a kind of guided snorkelling experience. But this was different. The friends we'd been with had done it before, and so, based on their experience, we rented gear, and just got into the bay by ourselves. Getting used to the snorkel, and more than that, getting used to breathing through your mouth is not at all as easy as I thought. After a few mouth breaths, the body screams for a nose breath, and to tell your brain to shut up and not panic is not that easy (needs time and patience, which we didn't really have.)

So not only did it take a while to get used to it, but the breathing in and out failed me when I was in 6-foot deep water and I panicked and clung to S at the same time that Puttachi had a mini-fright and she clung to S too, and he was amazingly collected and cool in the crisis (and earned my renewed undying admiration) as he led us calmly to shallow water. That was it -- I had had enough of it (besides I can't see very clearly without glasses, and I wasn't wearing lenses and so I couldn't really appreciate whatever fish I saw.) I went out onto the beach, and then Puttachi went back in again with S and had another little fright, but came back fine. I can see how snorkelling might be a good experience, but I think I'm done with it (until next time of course, haha).

Day 6 - I had hoped to do the hike to the Albatross sanctuary (this was what I'd been hoping for, really, the most) - but heavy rain washed out the whole day. We did give it a try -- the rain stopped for a bit, and we went to the starting point of the hike, but it was a dirt track, and extremely slippery. So we just came back. And good that we did, because it rained again heavily.

The good thing was that we got to experience a real tropical thunderstorm after such a long time, after the "fake rain" (as Puttachi calls it) of California. And it was nice to curl up in a hammock and read, as Puttachi demonstrates here.

We walked a little, to the nearby Makaha beach, and the kids played in the sand. And I successfully got a picture of the gorgeous blue-green that I wanted to capture:

In the evening, we went to the beach again to play in the water -- a little beach three houses away from our house. It was like a private beach, and the waves were the best I've seen. Strong and exciting, and at the same time, it was safe.

The greatest plus point was that this remote, obscure beach that nobody knows about (except for the people who live on that little lane) is the chosen hangout for endangered Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles. There are boards on the beach asking us not to touch or go near these beautiful creatures. One turtle seemed to be basking on the beach all the time, and a couple of them swam with us, even brushing past us oh-so-casually. Truly a wild and unique encounter.

Day 7 - An early start, a last cup of tea on the fabulous patio overlooking the ocean, and then off to the airport.

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