Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea

Fishes in the deep blue sea


It occurred to me today that I’ve been back from Hawai’i for three weeks now and I haven’t gotten around to telling you about it yet! Bad Beth! Bad bad Beth!

Well, it’s gotten to the point where I don’t know if any of you still care to know about it. That and there’s so much to write about, I don’t know where to start! And unlike Tinyhands, I don’t have the patience to go into detail, so I’ll have to leave the honors to him.

I’ll give you some of my favorite moments though. Like the time we went stargazing at Mauna Kea. We drove to the summit of Mauna Kea in the afternoon, went inside one of the Keck telescopes to see it in action, then stayed at the summit to watch the sunset. At 14,000 feet, we were among the last few people in the U.S. to see the sunset. We then drove down to 9,200 feet to the visitor center where a park ranger was pointing out a few constellations in the sky with his nifty laser pointer.

Now, at 9,200 feet, there’s a lot more of the night sky you can see, and when you’re on an isolated island, hundreds of miles away from big cities, the sky literally is the limit! There were more stars in the sky than the park ranger could point out. More stars than I would ever see in my lifetime. We saw two satellites passing by and, as if on cue, a beautiful shooting star streaked by. I wished I could have wrapped that moment in a little box and put it in my pocket for safekeeping.

The following day, we went on a helicopter ride! Now, y’all know I’m a terrible flyer, so the thought of being on a tiny helicopter frightened me. But I knew I’d never forgive myself if I didn’t do it. So, I said a little prayer before takeoff, triple-checked to make sure my seatbelt was securely fastened and tried not to touch anything in front of me (cause they had me seated in the front, next to the pilot).

The instant I felt the helicopter lift from the ground, I got goosebumps! Then suddenly, the pilot tipped the helicopter forward and we were flying! It was exhilirating!! It was like being on a roller coaster ride, only safer and much much cooler!

We flew over some waterfalls and then headed towards Kilauea (one of the 2109410935_3fc47706f6_m.jpgmost active volcanoes, if not THE most active). Huge clouds of smoke were coming from the volcano and you could see bright, red, flowing lava oozing from the Pu’u O’o cinder cone. Most of the hot, liquid magma is flowing underground or in lava tubes, but they peek out at certain points in their path, creating vein-like patterns on the ground.

Volcanoes are fascinating, aren’t they? I loved that you can see the cycle of life and death created by these volcanoes. On certain parts of the island, you can see miles and miles of dry, desert-like lava fields. You can just imagine the amount of destruction it caused. But in a few spots, you can see little plants growing in these lava fields and in a few years, trees will be covering these dry lands in much the same way it covered the entire island eons ago.

We spent a day on Oahu, where we visited Pearl Harbor, the Dole Plantation, the North Beaches and the beautiful Waikiki Beach. While it was nice on Oahu, I can’t say it’s a place I’d visit again. It was too touristy, there were too many people (even on a weekday) and everything seemed fake and shallow.

We went snorkeling a couple of times. My favorite was at Kealakekua Bay, near the Captain Cook Memorial. The only way to get to the bay is by a small boat, so we rented a 2-man kayak. I’ve never kayaked before in my life, but hey, I rode in a helicopter, I can freakin’ conquer the world now!

We kayaked past a dolphin reserve, but there were no dolphins that day. We packed sandwhiches and fought off mangy mongooses (or is it mongeese?). The snorkeling in that bay Sea turtlewas unbelievable! It was a bit rough getting into the water because there is no beach off of which to launch, but we managed to climb over wet, jagged rocks safely. The minute you got into the water, you’re suddenly surrounded by reefs and every brightly-colored fish imaginable! And we even spotted a sea turtle swimming by! I’m so used to seeing them just lying on a beach, doing nothing, that I got such a huge kick out of seeing them swimming! Tinyhands tried to follow it, but it quickly hid into the reef. Swimming with dolphins is nothing, everyone gets to do that. Swimming with turtles, though? That kicked ass!!

Anyway, we explored a lot of the Big Island in the short 9 days we were there. I learned so much and miss so much of Hawai’i. I miss being able to breathe fresh air. I miss that it felt like we were surrounded by beautiful flowers all the time. I loved being able to see poinsettia flowers growing wild everywhere!  Living so close to New York city, the light pollution has almost obliterated the stars in the sky, so I miss being able to see them every night. I miss being so close to the beach. I miss sunshine and the warmth it brings. I miss the poke and the big fat pig (or peeg as the natives say it) for dinner. I miss their music. I miss the laid-back attitude, the slow-paced, “no worries” style of living.

Hawai’i has ruined me for all the beaches here in the East. From now on, I expect my beaches to have tall palm trees, I expect the water to be clean, and I want to see beautiful fishes in the water, not floating trash. Someone told me that I now have to suffer the burden of knowing what I’m missing. It’s true, I find myself hating New Jersey more than ever. But I am so thankful that I was given the chance to see paradise even for a short while. I would rather go through the rest of my life carrying that burden than to have lived blissfully ignorant.

Ps.  Click on my sidebar to see pictures.


~ by Binibining Beth on December 19, 2007.

6 Responses to “Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea”

  1. I love your description of Hawaii. It made me sigh in peace and take a mental step away from all the problems and busyness right now.

  2. Wow… and no mention of giant cockroaches. And I’m still awwwwing from your surprise birthday party.

  3. Glad you guys had fun. Now, if only I could get my butt over there.

  4. Meery Christmas to you and tinyhands.

  5. Merry Christmas! 🙂

  6. The big island was my favorite when I went to Hawaii — I took that helicopter ride, too… Your post made me wanna go back.
    To Hawaii.
    And, yeah, even to Jersey.

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