Today was “Swimming with Dolphins” day. The Dolphin Research Foundation runs tours where they attempt to drop you near spinner dolphins. If everything works well, you get to see them and swim around them for a bit.
We drove about an hour away from Waikiki, to Oahu, on the dryer side of the island. The company operated the dolphin swimming tour out of the Waianae Boat Harbor. From the harbor, we traveled another half-hour or so around to the correct location.
The boat would position itself ahead of a pod, then we would scramble into the water and swim for our opportunity. What exactly that opportunity might be would depend on the dolphins.
Joy was very excited, yet we also knew that this was the place where everything could go wrong. The boat prepared us for going into the water. Jenny had been preparing her with scuba equipment, and had done several scuba preps to maximize the chances of this working. When Joy hit the water, it was all too much. The sea was just too rough for her. She grabbed onto me and needed maximum help. Unfortunately, she did not get a close encounter with a dolphin. Anna, my niece, also folded after one drop in the water.
The boat picked us up again, repositioned, and we went into the water again. I did my best to keep up, but fell behind our tour leader. That proved fortuitous, and someone one the boat shouted, “Look behind you.” A pod was coming straight at me. I wish that I had had a camera, because about ten swam past about 10-15 yards away.
The water there was fairly clear. At one point, looking down, I counted about 50 dolphins in the area.
Following the dolphin fun, we went to a different area to see fish. Along with fish, we saw a few green hawaiian turtle. Looking at fish was far more relaxing than chasing dolphins. We floated for a while, but soon grew too tired. Swimming is exhausting. After lunch, we turned around and went back to port.
After the port, we went on a wild goose chase to the end of the road. There was supposed to be something scenic. In fact, there was a terribly hot road that led to nothing special. If we went down to the rocks, that could have been fun, but nobody had any will for that. All in all, Joy got cranky and I fully agreed.
The girls had been determined to climb the mountain, which was one of those fantastically steep volcanic slopes, and it took me a while to talk them out of it.
After lazying about the afternoon, and cooking some pizza for dinner, the majority figured that it was good to go up to the nearest volcano and watch the sunset. We made this decision after sunset. Total fail. It was a waste of our time.
Bed after that. Sleep. Blessed sleep.