Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States


Oahu Trip (Day 3)

Day 3: Friday, March 17
St. Patrick's Day & Scuba!
I got up to enjoy a 40-minute swim in the larger of the two pools and then joined the free "Pilates" class on the deck area near the Fitness Center. The class wasn't really Pilates, more of a mix of some yoga and body-weight strength training, but it was still a good workout and so lovely to be outside. Mr. E and I used more of our vouchers for the breakfast buffet and then set off to have "second coffee" at the Starbucks on Kuhio Ave, which has a special Reserve bar where you can get exclusive beans and blends. Mr. E had the Jamaican Blue, and I tried the Guatemala.

After we finished sipping, we walked a block up to Kalakaua Ave. to check out the St. Patrick's Day Parade. The lead-off bagpipers were particularly impressive!

After some essentials and souvenir shopping at Long's Drugs, we got lunch at the Royal Hawai'ian Food Court on our way back to the hotel, where we got ready for our first-timers scuba lesson. We took a taxi to Kewalo Boat Basin, just past the Ala Moana Mall, where we managed to find our boat and crew from Oahu Diving. We had two instructors, Brad and Eric, and the boat was piloted by Captain Dan. Six other first-timer divers were part of the group as well. Brad got us all suited up in the appropriate gear -- wet suits, masks, and fins -- and then we got strapped into our vests and tanks once we were on the boat and headed out into the harbor. Eric gave us instructions for all of the equipment basics as well as some underwater hand signals, so by the time we reached the first dive site after about 15 minutes, we were ready to take the plunge!

We all made it successfully to the sandy bottom near the reef, about 30 feet below the surface. Our group set off to explore, led by Brad and Eric, who also took lots of great photos of the divers and the marine life. We saw some beautiful fish, an eel, a small shark, and lots of HONU!!! Oh my goodness. It was so incredible to see these amazing creatures so close up in their natural setting and to swim with them. Honu, honu, honu!

We got to have a second dive, which was a bit deeper, but this reef didn't showcase as many honu, so I'm glad the first site was such a popular spot for the turtles.

And remember, don't touch the turtles! That can be harmful to them, and the penalty is a pretty significant fine, for good reason.

Instead of taking a taxi back to the hotel, we decided to walk the 2.5ish miles, enjoying the path through Ala Moana Park and along all of the resort hotels at the western part of Waikiki. After we got cleaned up, we had dinner at the nearby Wolfgang Puck Express and made a final stop at Cookie Connection for dessert treats. We opted for post-dinner cocktails at the Moana Terrace, and I got a chance to see the 7:45pm fireworks from the Hilton Resort, but Mr. E missed out since he was getting some stuff from the room. We finished up our evening by checking out the DVD "Passengers" with our free DVD rental card and watching the film in our room.


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