Last week (Apr., 2010), four lovely young women took us on a four-hour sightseeing and snorkeling cruise west of Honolulu. I snorkeled for I don’t know how long, being astonished by bright yellow, blue, red, black-white-and-yellow fish, some large, some tiny, lovely coral, several lava tubes. Water quickly got into my mask, but I let it be. I was amazed to see how far away from the boat I got, but gradually made my way back. I got water in my breathing apparatus, and I’m still not expert enough at getting it out, so I took out the mouthpiece and just backstroked to the catamaran. I went back in, but jumped too deep and filled my breathing tube with water. I went back to the boat for help, but by then the swells were rising and knocking me around so much that I pulled a muscle on the right side of my back, just below the transabdominal band. I decided to call it quits. I’ve called this my first successful snorkel, but I think that gives too little credit to my second attempt on Maui.
Yesterday, April 12th, we took a five-and-one-half hour tour from Port Allen up to the Na Pali coast of Kauai, which is inaccessible by public roads. The place that the captain chose for snorkeling was windy and rough. I still tried, but soon found myself farther from the boat than I wanted, and got water in my tube and began to backstroke back. Matt, one of the crew members, caught me from his surfboard, and started to tow me in. A big wave pushed us far from the boat, I thought, and I began to feel scared. He asked me how I was doing, and I told him I was scared. He said he had been in much worse situations than this, and told me to help him bring me in. I kicked as hard as I could and we made it back OK. Dottie says we won’t do the boat snorkeling again. She knows a place here that’s supposed to be pretty good for novices, so I’ll try that.
© J. Russell Burck, 2010