Monday was a big day for me: I swam with the fishes.
(It’s not what you think)
First, a little back story – back in 2008, my mom, sister and I went on a Disney Cruise. We had a swell time, but that last fateful day, on Castaway Cay we had purchased an ‘excursion package’ that included unlimited use of bike rentals and snorkel gear. I had never really snorkeled before, but I decided to try. My mom and sister were instant naturals. I, forever awkward and clumsy, just couldn’t get it right the breathing, seeing (my mask kept fogging, etc) and it was just…not good. But bad went to worse when I saw fish near me! I started flailing around and even screamed! The lifeguard had to blow his whistle and let me know that if I wasn’t in danger, I had to get out of the water because I was basically disturbing…everyone. Oh man.
The truth is: I love animals. But (always a but!) I am terrified of most of them.
So, my mom had reason to ask me if I was planning on entering the waters of Hanauma Bay that day, our family planned excursion of the day.
I was considering it before we arrived, but once we had all gathered and paid our entrance fees ($7.50; free for those 12 and under, and Hawaii residents) it was time to watch a video about preserving nature – and I made up my mind: today was the day.
The bay is quite a steep walk down from the visitor’s center (and there is a shuttle available, like a Disney parking tram) but we hoofed it down and found a good spot.
As soon as we were settled, I jumped at the chance to get out there – you know, before I changed my mind.
I got my gear together – even donned a rash guard top to avoid sunburn – and was ready to go! As the informative film had educated me, I was sure to test out the snorkeling apparatus in the shallow water before attempting to swim out. Liann also gave us a quick tip: baby shampoo smeared in the googles keeps them from fogging (it worked).
And we were off!
(insert imaginary pictures of my first glimpses underwater, as I do not have an underwater camera)
At first, I didn’t see much of anything, but was proud that I had gotten the breathing down. We kept swimming, and soon enough, we saw many colorful schools of fish! That was cool…I followed my mom’s lead (snorkeling is one of my mom’s favorite activities) and it wasn’t long before we passed another coral formation – and we saw A SEA TURTLE!
We stayed around the sea turtle for a while – it was just so neat to be so close to such an incredible animal!
Once the turtle swam away, I told my mom that I was gonna head back to shore. She swam about 1/2 way back with me, so someone else could go back out with my mom (snorkel buddy system!) and I was just so excited about what I saw…and that I didn’t wimp out!
How did I do it?
I am pretty convinced it has something to do with this:
Yes, right before we reached the beach, Liann took us on a little side trip over to Cake Couture! She is a regular reader of this blog (Hi Liann!) and so she suggested a stop there for some of their delectable treats. She had tried the Red Velvet there before and enjoyed it, but had heard great things about Lemon, so she ordered that. I had a hard time choosing (choices that day included Chocolate, Chocolate Cheesecake, Chocolate Strawberry, Cookies and Cream, Lemon, Peanut Butter, Red Velvet and Vanilla). If you follow me on Instagram or twitter, you know what I chose 😉
So, moral of the story…sometimes, people need liquid courage to do things, but apparently, all it takes for me is a good cupcake! 🙂
Tomorrow: the last installment of the Hawaii recaps…Pt V: Luaus and Lava Flows!