Friday, April 30, 2010

Hawaii Day 6/Volume 7 KONA(Big Island) & WHALES!

Up and about around 7:30. We love sleeping on the ship, it's so relaxing with that cloud soft mattress and and waves.

We have arrived on the other side of the Big Island at Kona. This is the only port that we can't dock at so we have to "Tender" out. That is a new word to me but it means a dingy or an old life boat picks us up and takes you back from shore the entire time your there. They run every 20 minutes so unless it's a really busy time it's not a problem.

This was our day we planned to do our "Whale Watching". This is the port where a lot of people go fishing or scuba diving and since were not in to that this was our choice or to stay on ship and rest. The Excursion Lady was MOST unhelpful. First time and only time on the ship that they were. I think it was because they didn't have one so they were not about to set it up with someone else.
Soooooooooo we walked around the ship a bit and waited on our "tender".

It was the first day that it actually felt HOT.. and I'm running out of clothes and what I have is not so cool. Actually laid in the sun for a bit but like I said it was hot that day.

We did finally get our little dingy and headed for Kona.
It's a very touristy shopping place, but of course all of the ports are that is why it's always a good idea to have plans! But boy did I find some wonderful bargains. Got Tina, Lea and Nikki outfits (and wore them all :) )

We found a Whale Watching boat to rent and I think the time was around 1 or so, so we had some time to kill. Had a snack a rest, changed from my uncomfortable clothes in to Lea's outfit and drank a SMOOTHIE!

The boat man arrived. Very nice and enthusiastic about the trip! The name of the large rubber boat was the SEA WOLF. Only one other couple and a single person on the trip. I was worried about being able to get on and off things but it's not been a problem at all. Everyone very accommodating.

We first saw a very large group of Spinner Dolphins. These are much smaller then the dolphins we are use to in Florida. We probably watched them for 20 minutes.

We decided they looked kind of like Sword Fish when then were jumping and spinning. I was mesmerized by them.

We went further our and our narrator spotted a baby humpback whale!

It's so exciting the first time you lay eyes on something like that. Then there was the Mama and another adult. Narrator said it was probably the mother's mother.

We watched them surface over and over again. Easy to see why they are called "Humpback" whales because that's mostly what you see and THEN you see those beautiful tails! Every white under their tails is different. It's like a fingerprint, that's how they identify which whale is which.

We spent over an hour out in the ocean watching and watching. Some of it was very rough, but surprisingly it didn't hurt my back or side at all. the seats are extremely cushioned for that reason. On the way back toward the dock we went in to "The Cove". Not sure what movie was filmed there but there was one. I can't remember. Maybe one of Elvis's? It was a beautiful place.

On the way back I asked the narrator if he ever got tired of going out on these trips.. He said absolutely NOT.. He said every day he sees something new, or he expects to see something new.
He said he saw a baby whale calf just born the week before. He has a real love for them.

We made it back to be last of the day to "Tender" ! That's because we were sailing at 7 I think. When we got to the shore there were lots of people swimming in the water by the dock.
It looked like it would be a good idea that day. It was hot and the only day we did get burned. Me on my face and shoulders and Brownie on the top of his head! He didn't think about sunscreen there!

We had made reservations to eat at the "Western Steak House". So we showered and got all dressed up for our special night at our restaurant. The service at the restaurant was wonderful, the food itself was just so so. Not any better then the free food:)

After we ate we walked on the deck. It's ALWAYS windy :) But it was so pretty out there but this was a real warm evening.

We looked around the ship a bit. We should have gone to a show that night but we were tired. We took some pretty pictures!. Tina did a good job putting me together ~

Thursday we are sleeping in so didn't get clothes ready. We love the soft floating bed!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hawaii Day 5/Installment 7 Big Island Hilo VOLCANOES!

Woke early and went to listen to the young woman(The Ships Hawaiian Ambassador) tell us about the Big Island and the Volcano's. She told us we would see red lava tonight as the ship cruised by. Back to the room and got prepared. Had to go to AP to rent a car again. We were told they only had a jeep! Whoooo whooooooo! :) So off we go in our little jeep.
Traveled up up up again, this time to the Hawaii National Volcano Park. This was so worth the car rental for the day and even the cold windy day.

In fact after stopping to view the first steaming volcano we immediately went to the gift show and got hooded sweat shirts! No one warned us about it being cold there and I'm guessing no one else was either because they were flying off the shelves LOL.

While we were in the gift shop/Museum we also looked at some exhibits and history
We saw more steaming volcano's then I can even remember!

Most were fairly far away but the camera brought them in close and they had viewers to see them close.

Some of them were close enough we could see the soft ash bubbling. No one seems alarmed! So I guess it's safe!

I remember visiting Mt. St. Helen's the year after it blew and this reminded me very much of that.

and it also reminded me of the area around Dierkes Lake near Twin Falls Idaho, where I use to visit my Aunt Nellie. Lots of hardened lava and sort of a moonscape look.

They kept referring to "Lava Tubes" and we finally discovered what they were.

Then a little later we drove up to one. There was a trail to hike down in to it but just didn't think I'd make it back up!

Also, in the middle of the moonscape we drove in to a mini "rain forest". They just appear in places all over the islands.
It was beautiful and had some very different looking stuff.

Lots of birds here and there but we didn't get pictures we just heard them everywhere! Some strange stuff in tree's that looked like Spanish Moss.

This is just an amazing park and we could have spent another half a day there but it was getting late and we needed to eat and it was cold and windy so we headed back to town in our JEEP :)
We got some fast food and turned in the jeep and got the car shuttle back to the ship.
Since we were told we were going to see the lava that night, we decided to lay down and take a little nap before going to eat.

So after a couple of hours we showered and dressed a little warmer and headed down to eat and watch.

The ship departed as we were eating and after that we went out on the deck to watch ! We sat and stood and stood and sat. And we waited and waited. We had been told we should see it about 9:30....................And this is what we saw :(At 9:45 the Captain announced that due to the "VOG" and rain we would not see it!

This is what we WANTED to see

So we gave up and went back to the cabin to plan for the next day!

Another Favorite day!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hawaii Day 5/ Installment 6 Second Maui Day(Kahulai)

The Alarm went off at 8:00 AM. I love this time zone! I called Tina so I could tell her about the day before and our trip up to Hana... Another day of plans! We did our usual breakfast at the buffet and then we were off to find the car where we parked it. It's warm but looking very rain threatening but it does that over the mountains most of the time. I've noticed if you try to look at the islands on Google you can almost never get a picture without clouds.

We were looking for a Pineapple Plantation, but found a VERY nice Tropical Plantation with a huge Gift shop and museum. We were there within minutes and the drizzling began, but not bad.
The park had a huge display of Tropical plants, fruits, nuts, flowers etc. There were two trains

for visitors with two adorable Hawaiian young women. One of them told us she was just 17, the other was probably a bit older.
It was breezy and misty but it didn't get in the way of the trip. The girls explained about the different flowers,


and did a demonstration on coconuts. Found out that if the coconut milk is white that means it's had BUGS in it! It should be clear water.

(I remember my mother drinking that white milk! if she only knew!) They also explained how all the coconut is used, from the tree to the husk to the shell, the meat and the "milk". They said that the reason coconut is in so many beauty products is because it does make the skin smooth.
After the train tour we walked around the park on our own

for a bit and watched the little ducks in the pond.

One was an "only child" and quite pitiful! It started to rain pretty hard so we decided to go inside the shop.
My delightful husband purchased me a 14 k gold hibiscus ring and a sterling silver chained Tahitian pearl! They are so beautiful!
We got some more post cards and the rain had let up.

We detoured a bit and went to the beach where we could walk on the sand and comb for shells and rocks. It is just so beautiful there it takes my breath away. and it was warm and dry by then and felt so good to walk and sit on the beach.

We found a little walk up window place in a little strip mall on the way back and ate shish kabobs!

We traveled back to the town and turned in our most uncomfortable car and got the free shuttle back to the ship.
When we were arriving they announced that they were going to have some sort of Arts and Crafts for Adults and children in the theater so we decided to try that! It was fun! We made Lei's out of Kukui nuts!. Brownie did a much better job then I and think he wore his the rest of the day! Mine was more knots and ribbon then a lei! I saw where they sell them on Amazon for $15!!!!!!!!!!

As we were eating dinner the ship left Maui. This was an earlier departure then some days. Very sorry to leave. Maui is so beautiful and there was so much more I wanted to see.

Maui is for sure my 2ND favorite Island. I could easily have spent a week there. We barely scratched the surface...........onward and upward!

When we returned to our cabin we saw someone from the housekeeping staff and told them our room is just freezing. She told us we could turn the heat on to combat the cold blowing. No way to stop the fan from blowing cold air on us but at least we are no longer BLUE .

We got out our books and planned for our next big day.. we will be on the Big Island at HILO and that means we will see volcanoes! For some reason I always thought Honolulu was on the "Big Island" but what did I know :) I honestly had not given a lot of thought to Hawaii so it was all a wonderful surprise for me.