Previously: Nutty Day

We woke up in the morning to whales having sex outside our hut. Well…okay, not exactly, but when we were both up and moving around, there was a lot of whale-jumping activity in the ocean, and I grabbed my camera in the hopes of catching one of them on film.

Our hosts were in the garden, too, and they told us that the synchronized activity we saw meant that the whales were trying to mate (it’s not so easy getting Tab A into Slot B when you’re swimming around in the ocean!). This got me more determined to get a good shot of the whales, but my little digital camera is no match for a telephoto lens with manual shutter.

In other words, every time I saw a whale jumping, by the time I pressed down on the button and the camera took the picture, all I captured was the splash. I don’t know why they wouldn’t just pose. Sheesh.

After I got tired of snapping pictures, we got in the car and headed back down to Kailua-Kona for a day of tourism.

Because I didn’t get a chance to go snorkeling with my mom (and Ray won’t actually go in the water, so it’s not like I had a snorkel buddy on this trip), we booked a trip on a glass-bottom boat so I could have a chance to see the reef creatures.

We got to Kailua-Kona with an hour to spare before our tour started, which was just enough time for us to grab some lunch and meander down to the dock. We weren’t sure where to go once we were at the dock, since there seemed to be several tour kiosks per slip.

But it wasn’t too difficult to find the sign that said “Glass Bottom Boat – 1 hour tour” (thank goodness it wasn’t going to be a 3-hour tour, because we all know what happens with those!), so we stood next to the sign as our boat, Marian, pulled up to the moorings with its previous tour group.

The tour itself was fun. The boat wasn’t crowded, and Ray and I got a whole window into the bottom of the boat all to ourselves. And I got a bunch of good pictures, and we also got a nice explanation of the sea creatures, as well as some fun anecdotes about the bizarre sexual lives of parrotfish (a female can change gender if the dominant male dies or is removed from the area).

It still wasn’t the same as snorkeling, though. Next time we go to Hawaii, I’m going to make sure I have a chance to go snorkeling, really snorkeling, and I’m going to have my waterproof camera case with me, too.

Once we were back on land, we took the rest of the afternoon to wander the tourist trap beachfront road, Alii Drive. There was a farmer’s market, and we picked up a bunch of shirts and a gorgeous necklace & earring set with beads made out of weleweka, which is a beautiful, rare, small, fuzzy seed. I wore the jewelry for my Aaron Copland solo two weeks later, to give me peace and strength.

Since we were already in tourist mode, we gave in and ate dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., which is a chain, and really nothing more than a marketing machine, but the food is really not bad at all, and at least there isn’t one near where we live. And they had a lot of local fish on the menu, which was a plus.

Next: On Top of the World (Part 1)

Tourist Trap
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