Our last trip to Hawaii proved to be the most beautiful, spiritual journey that I have ever recalled having. The two weeks were spent on the Big Island- A place where I feel my spirits and soul soar whenever there. It truly must be the Paradise of legends.
I must first say that ever since I was a child I have been inexplicably drawn to anything having to do with whales and dolphins. Yet, it wasn't until I was a grown adult that I have had the pleasure of seeing them in the wild. At home on their seas.
Recalling my first whale-watching trip off the San Juan Islands in Washington State, I know that even though the whole trip was a wonderful journey the sight of the killer whale pod was, for me, the most memorable experience. To see these beautiful creatures playing in the deep blue water around the boat was breathtaking, and worth the several hour boat trip to find them.
My second experience was a trip taken in Maui, Hawaii. Here we traveled into the pristine waters of the far Pacific to watch several humpback whales at play. Taking sight of the first spray and then the massive tail flipping back into the water made me gasp in awe at their sheer size. Watching as they glided hundreds of feet below our boat and exclaiming at the enormity of these creatures even at that deep distance. The water turning an iridescent blue whenever their huge bodies appeared below the boat. Unbelievable.
Two weeks was spent on the Big Island of Hawaii. The natural beauty of that place will forever be imbedded in my memory- The sight of Kilauea as the molten lava glugs into the ocean, creating more land of dark, rich earth-The deep, green beauty of the rainforests hiding their abundance of prehistoric flora- Hiking off of the beaten path to reach ever running waterfalls-the intensely colored rainbows after one of their legendary rainfalls. Everyday the beauty of this place surrounded us. And it was noticed, appreciated and loved.
We headed out one day to grab a couple of kayaks to paddle across the bay to the Captain Cook memorial. We understood the snorkeling there to be magnificent. This was also the home to spinner dolphins. We were told that if you headed out in the morning you would most certainly be accompanied by these sociable and joyful creatures as we made our way across. Sadly, however, we saw not one. Yes, I was a bit disappointed but once in the water with fins and face mask that was forgotten.
It seemed that the best I could do was to watch the tamed dolphins at the Hilton in Kona. There a program called Dolphinquest allows visitors to get into a large tank with several of these mammals. Not exactly what I was thinking of. I decided to save my money and sit back and watch the two dozen adults and children take turns petting and hugging these silver creatures. Hey, this way at least I could get a mai tai.
On our last day in Hawaii we decided to go for one last snorkel, as our flight did not leave until late afternoon. We had much to do to get ready for our trip back home but I wanted one more chance to slide into those waters (who knew when we could make it back here).
We drove the short distance down to our favorite snorkel spot. Here the water is edged with a shelf of an old lava flow. The most beautiful and colorful tropical fish are at your feet almost before you even leave land. Once in the water I began to swim out to a reef where dozens of large green sea turtles could always be found lazily bobbing and swimming around. As I made my way underwater I heard a very strange, yet somehow familiar, chatter. Dolphins! Somewhere, sharing this deep blue with me were these amazing creatures I had so wanted to see. Popping my head above the water, I looked around to see if I could see anything. And, there they were. Straight ahead, driving right towards me I saw two fins. Quickly, so as not to miss anything, I dove back underneath the surface to look for them below. And there they were. Two of these most beautiful, romantic creatures were playing underneath of me. I was transfixed. I simply stopped moving. It was as if I had become part of the water. Floating right at the surface, looking straight down, hardly breathing, just watching. They swam in spirals just below where I floated-their large, slick bodies spinning around one another. Diving and twirling, doubling back to each other as they continued their upward spiral. Breathtaking. I continued to watch and listen to their clicking, whistling and chattering until they were no longer in sight. A calming, gentle feeling of well-being came over me as I watched this exhibit of sheer joyful play. I was moved, somehow changed by this enchanting experience.
Was it simply the experience of interacting with such wild beings on their home turf, so to speak? Or was it something else? I think it was something else. It was magical.
I found the following passages. I thought it appropriate to include them here.
At this time, around the world, there are Dolphins reaching out to connect with Humans, actively seeking an intelligent relationship, above all to PLAY, to re-kindle a relationship lost as Humans lost touch with their deepest essence.
The Dolphins have, throughout history, had the infectious effect on all Humans of bringing them hopelessly into such a heightened state of beingness & such deep healing of pathological states, that people travel accross the world to have an intimate experience with them, in the wild.
Fortunately I did not have to specifically travel across the world to have this experience. It was a gift.
To think, I almost did not go down to the ocean that morning. But fate had a different plan for me that day.