Highlights from Hawaii?
Lots o' highlights, but here's a special one:
One of my hopes was to swim with some sea turtles. Had seen tons of beautiful fish, but with two days left, no turtles yet, I was a man on a mission.*
Rented some snorkeling gear and paddled out into a relatively strong current. Mask started leaking. Should I get a new one? Yes. Exited the ocean, took off flippers, walked back to get a replacement.
Along the way, ran into an Australian emerging from a snorkle. Asked about sea turtles and he pointed quite a ways out, 60 yards or so past the rocks at edge of beach.
Flippering out a second time, the current was stronger than imagined. The waves periodically sent salt water down my breathing hole. To quote Costanza, 'the sea was angry that day my friends." But I soldiered on.
Emerging about where the Aussie had recommended, I was bobbing in the current, trying to catch my breath. The sun shone through about 40 feet of water, exposing coral below. And nothing more. A total bust.
Just then, i saw an enormous cloud of sand to my side. And then a large moving blur of grey/green. All within 3-4 feet of me. Scared the daylights out of me. Sure enough, was an enormous sea turtle, five feet long. He had come up for a gulp of air. He glided purposefully with a slow, steady motion. I swam next to him for 7 minutes before he descended back to the bottom to have a powwow with another turtles (covered in sand, which I had not spotted).
Exhausted walking to the rental hut on the beach after swimming to shore, a woman asked if there was anything out there. I said "Two turtles if you look hard enough." "Really?" "Really." :)
* Not the Brandon-turtle kind