Hanau ka palaoa noho i kai” (Born is the whale living in the ocean)
Pukui, ‘Ōlelo No‘eau; Hawaiian Proverbs and Poetical Sayings #1261,
Mr. Twitchy and I try to come to Hawaii almost every year. It is an easy flight from Los Angeles and so relaxing for us. It is about the only place that we are happy to just sit on the beach and do nothing all day. Mr. Twitchy says it is his duty to keep the whale traffic moving smoothly during January or February, when the humpback whales make their annual migration to the islands to have their babies. This week we are on the big island of Hawaii for the first time in about 15 years, instead of Maui where we usually go.
The first thing you notice when landing on Hawaii is that the terrain is comprised mostly of lava. There are three active volcanos on the island and the most recent eruption was in 2016. When we were here in 2002, we actually got to see the lava flowing into the ocean and we were able to walk on the hot lava.
In Search of Manta Rays
When we travel, we like to do things that we could not necessarily do at home, like walking on flowing lava. This time, since there are no active lava flows, we discovered that one of the most unique and popular activities on the island is going on a night snorkel cruise to see the manta rays. I will be the first to admit that I am not great with a mask and snorkel. With Parkinson’s Disease, I find it harder and harder to get myself in the water to go snorkeling in the daytime. Going out at night was downright scary, but I told Mr. T. that I really wanted to do this, so off we went in a small boat to see the mantas.
This was an amazing experience. We joined numerous other boats at a spot where the mantas come out at night. A surfboard was rigged with ultraviolet lights underneath and a rope around the perimeter for us to hold on to. In the water we went, 8 of us hanging on to the surfboard which was moved to the designated spot by our terrific guide. The lights went on, and the magic began. First, we saw the plankton, looking like Champagne bubbles because of the UV light. Then the manta rays. These creatures, looking like something from a sci-fi movie, swam underneath us to feed on the plankton, sometimes rubbing up against us, or doing summersaults below. Some of them are huge, with a wingspan of 9-11 feet. The video was taken by Mr. Twitchy with his go-pro camera. The colors are eerie because of the ultraviolet lights, which really make it look like a sci-if movie. Enjoy it!
Will I ever do this again? Not a chance. Am I glad I did it? Absolutely!
It doesn’t get better than this
Today I went to morning yoga at the beach. While doing a balancing pose, a whale breached right in front of us. Forget about trying to balance when you have that view! Then, when we sat up at the end, we saw a rainbow in front of Maui. How perfect was that?
Photo by Sharon Krischer
There are many other things to see and do before I give in to Parkinson’s. In the meantime, I hope to continue to share with you my adventures traveling with Parkinson’s for a long time to come.
A few more pics
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