Hawaii ’07: Day 4

Waianae Travel Blog

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Hawaiian spinner dolphin off the west coast of Oahu

Getting up was tough at 5:20 am, especially after Clint called at 4:30 (he didn't know I was here). But it was a hell of a lot easier than getting up to go to work. I packed my stuff for the day last night so I got up, put on some sunscreen and my bathing suit and headed off to the bus stop. I really wasn't too sure how the bus was going to work out. The bus schedules are kind of confusing but I got the directions off Google so I figured I'd be alright. Sure enough I got there at 8 and had plenty of time to walk to the boat. I was 15 minutes early and got myself situated. The boat was “manned” by two women, Tori (one of the owners) and Ann. The boat was named the Alaka'i, a 34' Baha King cat. Left the harbor a bit late (the people with me were stuck in traffic) but got to a good spot with a big pod of dolphins in no time.

Two of a pod of 20 or so Hawaiian spinner dolphins
The boat really cut through the water and made for a relatively smooth ride considering the size of the waves we encountered (6-8' I'd guess). The dolphins here are really cool. They have Hawaiian spinner dolphins, who get their name from their flair for whirling acrobatics. They're little guys too, adults are only 150-200 lbs. After watching them for a while we headed towards a reef by the power plant. On the way there we could see a U.S. Navy nuclear sub at the surface (prob 2 or 3 miles away). We anchored next to the reef which is supposed to be a popular hangout for sea turtles. Is it ever! I counted 4 of 'em. They were just hanging out at the bottom of the reef (25 or 35' deep?). The crew told us that the turtles could hold their breath for 2 or 3 hours so they might not come to the surface, also that if they wave their fins in front of their face at you, they are “flipping you off” because you're agitating them.
Spinner dolphin playing off the starboard bow
Got in the water and was greeted by a bunch of weird looking fish with what looked to be really long noses and some black ones with yellow lining and wave-motion fins on top and bottom. We saw the turtles at the bottom and they did start coming up to check us out. I was swimming as fast as I could to keep up with one of 'em to get some decent pics. I somewhat jokingly asked if they were hiring. After we got back to the harbor (lost my hat to the ocean on the way) Tori told me that I should contact her about a job when I move out here. If the outfit were on the windward side of the island I'd be all over it, but after seeing the leeward side I know for sure I don't want to live over there. There seems to be a lot of poverty and drug problems and the lack of rain doesn't make for very lush foliage.
More spinner dolphins
It was kind of cool to get 2 job offers in two days though! I headed back to the hotel to shower and eat. I was starving. They fed us on the boat (nice chicken salad sandwiches and fresh pineapple) but it was a lot of physical activity swimming and standing upright on the boat in those big swells. So I headed up to Perry's Smorgy just a few blocks up the street. The place was recommended as having decent all you can eat food. Cheap, but plentiful and not bad. I disagree. The selection wasn't great and the food was AWEFUL. Headed back to the hotel and decided to stay in for the night, work on uploading pics and videos to the computer and nurse my ridiculous sunburn on my back. I put sunscreen on, but apparently not nearly enough. I'm going to have to find a sun-blocking shirt from here on out when I go snorkeling.

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Hawaiian spinner dolphin off the w…
Hawaiian spinner dolphin off the …
Two of a pod of 20 or so Hawaiian …
Two of a pod of 20 or so Hawaiian…
Spinner dolphin playing off the st…
Spinner dolphin playing off the s…
More spinner dolphins
More spinner dolphins
The harbor at Waianae Regional Pa…
The harbor at Wai'anae Regional P…
Out at sea going to see dolphins, …
Out at sea going to see dolphins,…
An ancient native temple ruin near…
An ancient native temple ruin nea…
Waianae
photo by: mahoney