Leaping for joy...

Trip Start Apr 15, 2008
Trip End May 17, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Hawaii
Saturday, May 3, 2008

Here's my morning so far.  I wake up early....getting up with the light, no buzzers, alarms, schedules....yet a 6 AM waking time seems to be my pattern...I lie there and listen to the waves, and to other people rustling around in their tents.  When I get out I see some action a way off shore....i wonder if it could be the spinner dolphins that I've heard about.   There are a few people in the water...I grab my snorkel gear and jump in too and swim way, way out.   And I see the coral in islands on the sea floor.  Colorful tropical fish darting around...even a big old blowfish....this one is about a foot long and almost as wide...they're so boxy   I get out to where the others are but I m not seeing any dolphins....I swim around...the ocean is a little cloudy...probably from being stirred up by the people and, hopefully, the dolphins....but I'm starting to get cold.  This water is fine if you keep moving...moving your body constantly....but in looking around, I've slowed my motion and I'm feeling my core temperature drop....at least it seems that way...so when my arms aren't flapping I wrap them around myself to keep in the body heat.  

I'm envious of this band of snorkelers who have wetsuits on.   I thought it was a little extreme when they were suiting up...hats and all....but I wish I had a little piece of the attire right now.   I'm actually thinking I'm going to head back...I just don't see them....I've lived this long without swimming with spinner dolphins, I can last a little longer.   And then, I look down and there are a whole group of them cruising along right underneath me.  I count and there are 13...including about 3 moms and babies.    And once I find them, the cold in my body is not as important....I'm having these graceful creatures circle around me, under me, up through the air....spinner dolphins do just that...spin...2 possible explanations...they're trying to shake off parasites...and the other is that they're just playing.   These dolphins are clearly playing if you were to ask me.   When you let a large leaf float down towards them, one of them will circle away from the group and pick up the leaf under its pectoral fin...sometimes even with its caudal fin.   And then they play with it for a bit....a little human dolphin interactive play time....I hang out there for about an hour swimming around with them...they get right up close and then circle again...thrilling....and then the goose bumps set in....I take in their every detail with my eyes knowing that I may not have this experience again....and then my chill forces me to go back to the shore.  Fortunately it's a long swim so I warm up along the way...I get out hungry...and dine on some papaya, mango, and pineapple/coconut/banana bread as I watch the dolphins out there...circling and surfacing and leaping for joy...playing just for the sake of playing....

Later in the day, as I'm preparing to dive into the water around the City of Refuge...and ancient Hawaiian sacred city, I see another troupe of dolphins out in the water...and getting right amongst them, I count 17....right before they surface and become directly visible, I can hear them chattering in the water...I know then that their appearance is imminent...and then there they are, circling around me again...  I stay with them in the water until dusk...and that's not all.  The next morning, the dolphins are still in the vicinity of the campground and this time there are 19.  It's a bright and sunny day...no VOG in the air...the dolphins are enormously playful...and I'm the only one in the water with them.   One actually comes right up to me and swims so closely next to me I could touch it if I chose to... this is awesome...I want to stay here...to swim with these creatures every morning until I have to leave Hawaii...but I also want to see the rest of the island...it's time for me to move on up the coast....who knows what other fantastic things await up there....

By the way, i dont take a camera out to the dolphins....i just want to enjoy it with my own eyes...
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