Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Big Island Day 6

Today was an eventful day, to say the least!  We were exhausted from the ER visit the night before and had to wake up early to be at the harbor by 7am for our dolphin excursion with Kona Ocean Adventures.  Karl was able to come with me on this one.

As we were getting out of the car to walk over to the boat at the harbor, I was shutting my door and I shut the car door on my thumb.  My thumb was stuck in the door jam because the door was shut all the way and it hurt pretty bad by the time I finally was able to get the door open to get it out.  I was not in good shape.  It was humbling to have so much pain come from the tip of your finger.  It reminded me of when the doctors told me when I was pregnant "come into the hospital when the pain is so bad you can't talk through it" and I used to think "what does that even mean????" and then I had Dean and figured it out.  I took a bunch of advil and went to the gas station and got a giant cup of ice to ice it as it had swelled up huge and was turning purple and black, especially under the nail.  By golly, nothing was going to make me miss those dolphins!

I was able to suck it up and do the dolphin excursion anyway.  The dolphins come into the Kona coast in the mornings after going out at night to feed to rest in the warm safe waters.  So our boat will come up on a little pack of dolphins just chilling in the water, and we all put on snorkel gear and just glide into the water quietly and just coexist with them.  It was beyond amazing.  It was probably my favorite thing we did on the trip.

Us on the dolphin excursion
These were spinner dolphins so they were about 5 feet long and occasionally just jumped out of the water and spun in the air.  They also surfed in the wake of our boat.  For a while we just drove the boat in and just chilled and watched the dolphins from the boat.

Dolphins right next to the boat
So amazing and darling!
Swimming in the boat wake!
More dolphins
I was able to get in the water four separate times and snorkel with the dolphins.  On one occasion, I counted 23 dolphins swimming underneath me.  A lot of the dolphins had little baby dolphins that were able 2 feet long swimming right next to them and they were SO cute.  A really cool thing was when you would get in the water, you could hear the dolphins clicking and talking to each other.  When it would get louder you knew you were getting closer to them.

More cute dolphins
Swimming with us!
Me on the boat
Karl on the boat
The 4th time Karl took pictures of me going in to snorkel with the dolphins.
I am a practical old person now who doesn't want to get sunburnt so I wore shorts and a shirt.
Me snorkeling to find some more dolphins
On the boat, we had lunch and stopped at this awesome little beach that is only accessible by hiking a mile over lava rocks to get to this pristine white sand beach or by boat.  We anchored the boat and Karl and I swam over to it and body surfed for a while.  That is another one of our favorite memories from this vacation.  We weren't very good but had some good laughs and enjoyed the beautiful beach that we had all to ourselves.  For lunch the crew had a white pineapple, which was the most amazing fruit I have ever tasted. I found out that they are pretty scarce on the island and hard to find in stores because the farmer's that grow them keep them all for themselves since they are SO good!

After lunch we were driving back to the harbor and dolphins just came up to the boat and were swimming with us for a good 20 minutes.  I leaned over the front of the boat and took these pictures, I was probably about a yard away from them.  It was incredible.

These dolphins were like a yard away from me.
They were precious just swimming with our boat.
More swimming
Diving down
Right outside the harbor, the captain of the boat took a little detour to show us the natural blowhole that occurs.  There were all these giant lava rocks and he drove the boat right up close to show us how the water goes up in the blowhole.  The current was pretty strong and the boat was going up and down and rocking a lot, so the captain put the boat into gear to high tail it out of there when the engine to the boat stalled.  He kept trying to turn the boat back on but it wouldn't start.  A really awesome and potentially dangerous situation had turned into a crazy panic situation.

The captain was yelling into the radio for another boat to come rescue us, the boat started slamming against the rocks making these horrible grinding noises, and the 8 of us on the boat are now throwing ourselves against the rocks to push the boat away from the sharp rocks.  People's hands and feet were bloody.  We were lucky and a little zodiac that we passed at the mouth of the harbor came right over and pulled us out with a rope.  The captain jumped in and found some stuff had clogged up the propeller and we were able to drive back to the harbor but it was a scary 30 minutes!  Karl loved it.

After we got back into the car, Karl drove me back to the hotel and went to a dentist for his poor teeth.  As I was back in the hotel my thumb was hurting worse and worse and I was unable to relax, touch it or be nice to Karl.  Karl decided to take me to the insta care.  I was unsure of what they were going to do for me exactly (if it was broken, there wasn't much they could do for a thumb tip) but I stopped caring.

We went over to the urgent care and they saw us and the Dr. told me that it was a massive hematoma and that she needed to drain it and that afterwards I would feel so much better.  I liked that last part so for the  next 90 minutes (no one is in a hurry in Hawaii) she drilled a hole in my nail and squeezed tons of blood that had pooled in my nail out.  She was right - I felt SO MUCH BETTER (after).  Karl and her had some great talks about medical care on the island.  I wish I had a photo now but at the time was not thinking clearly.  $300 later we were able to go back to the hotel.  Oh well, there's no price on feeling good.

We went out to dinner that night at Rays on the Bays which is the restaurant at the Sheraton and watched the sun set since we were both feeling better.  This was another really wonderful dinner where Karl and I got to just enjoy being in a beautiful place and have some really great uninterrupted quality time together.  I took some pictures with the 5d while we were waiting for our table.

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This is the place where the manta rays swim at night:  photo IMG_0493_zps87b96906.jpg

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