Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Swimming with Sea Turtles, and the Hula Dancer

On this trip, we've come together as a giant family, and are staying in several houses on the same compound. During the day some of us will head in one direction and others will join, or head in a different direction. In the evenings we come back together for dinner, or at least the evening before going to bed, and compare notes, and then plan the next day's activities. Brian's brother Barry, and his sister Lori both came back on Sunday night raving about Laniakea Beach and the Sea Turtles, so Brian and I planned that trip for Monday. So, after waking up early, packing a picnic and all of the sandy gear into the car, we headed for the North Shore and Laniakea Beach

There were turtles everywhere.  The two above (Claudette on top, and Iron Man - misnamed because she's female) were hanging out on the sand.  They had ropes around these two to remind folks to keep their distance. You can see Claudette lying on an algae covered rock reef.  This is what a lot of them come up to eat, or if you're Iron Man, you're just basking in the sun.  There were turtle ladies there to remind everyone to keep their distance (6 feet even if they swim up behind you), that they do bite sometimes if you aren't paying attention, and to remind you that they are wild animals, and deserve to swim in their own ecosystem without people touching them, or trying to ride them.

Brian caught pictures of these in the surf.  As  you walked the beach you saw them just a few feet offshore hanging out in the crashing waves. DOZENS OF THEM.  We couldn't really swim here where the lifeguard was located because of the reef and the strong currents (and the larger waves), but you could snorkel among the boulders in the bay. Thank goodness I have an underwater camera.

Brian took T-Rex, and later I went with Big Al, Cheesie and Lori and Leigh Ann, over to the boulders. You could simply sit in the water with the snorkel and watch these smaller guys dive for food and hang out in the waves.  Blondie did go over to them, but watched from above the water.  She was knocked down by a wave on the North Shore, and wasn't too keen to go back in the water to snorkel.

At one point the lifeguard goes running out of the tower (with equipment just in case) and heads over to this man, shakes his hand and sits and chats with him. They finish talking and again, the VERY RESPECTFUL handshake. As he walks by I ask the lifeguard who he was (much to Big Al's embarrassment), and it turns out this is the director of the triple crown of surfing, out enjoying the day.

At some point in the day we decided to stay and watch the sunset (on Brian's list of things to do) but his mom sent us a text saying the hula dancer (I'll get that post up soon) from Jerry Santos is coming to dinner and wants to teach the kids how to make leis. I left it up to Brian, but he just looked at the girls and said, "Grab your stuff, let's go!" Did I mention that I just adore that guy? So we drove the 45 minutes home, and the girls quickly settled in with Nohono and the flowers.

Cheesie trying to string the flowers without splitting them

Nohono helping Blondie, and cousin "D"

T-Rex and D with all of the plumeria he brought.

Big Al with her finished Lei

Blondie and Nohono adding croatan leaves to a lei.

SHAKA with Rachel and Nohono.  Rachel found flowers left over from the wedding and made a lei from those as well. Nohono has a super Aloha spirit. He's so mellow and laid back. At one point he was mentioning how he had left his laundry outside to dry (crazy expensive electricity here) and it had rained a little bit as he took a nap. He said he just shrugged and thank the heavens for the blessing on his clothes. 

Then our guest brought snacks to share, some sort of spice he added to pineapples, and a mochi crunch you add to buttered popcorn (the latter being my preference).

Brian fired up the grill and made amazing hamburgers,

while the kids (and Nohono's son and neighbor) swam in the pool. Here's Alex with our now favorite, Shaka!

Everyone who made leis.  I am so loving the spirit of the locals we have met here. I'm working on a blog post about the surfing for Tuesday, and how it came to be, so stay tuned.

1 comment:

Susan said...

Awesome photos of swimming with sea turtles! Thanks for the comment on my blog. I hope you do make a grave rubbing on fabric and stitch it. It is easy and rewarding!