Monday, 11 January 2016

Travel Diaries: Lahaina

In my last post I expressed how I had always wanted to visit Hawaii.

Naively and partially because I never paid any attention in geography class, I assumed Hawaii was just one place or one island.

Clearly I was very wrong.

We spent one day in Honolulu on the island of Maui and the day after we docked in Lahaina - Maui

This place is more of what I dreamed Hawaii would look like.

There were gorgeous beaches complimented by palm trees that towered above you. There was a small town centre with quirky shops that sold trinkets and souvenirs.

We went into a local fudge store that sold fudge that had been made fresh that day. It was to die for.

But, small shops and fudge aside, I had one mission for that day.

In all my life I have only seen a couple or turtles and all of them have been in either captivity or on TV. So my mission today was to see a turtle in the wild.

So me and two other members of the cast got a taxi to the Sheraton Maui resort.

A gorgeous hotel with an absolutely stunning beach view. 

We strolled on to the beach and went for a swim in the ocean.

There were several hundred people on this beach and the majority of them were snorkelling around. 

I heard whispers from various people that they had seen turtles around these parts so I was ecstatic at the thought that there might be one and I could conquer my mission for the day.

However, before turtle spotting, myself and my cast mates swam out quite far into the ocean. 

We encountered a group of people who were climbing up some extremely steep and dangerous rocks in order to cliff dive off of the peak.

What a good idea!

And so, monkey see monkey do, we decided to do the exact same.

As I stood up on top of the cliff, I looked over to my right to see the horizon of the ocean. Luck be with me, as I did so, a school of dolphins went swimming by.

I turned away to face the sudden drop that was in front of me and as I looked down I suddenly felt queasy and a little uneasy.

I plucked up the courage and just took a huge leap of faith and before I knew it I had broken to surface of the water and I had plummeted into the ocean.

It was completely exhilarating.

Once the rush of cliff diving had worn off, It was now time to complete my mission.

I walked ashore, rented some snorkelling equipment and began my search for turtles.

I swam and I swam and I swam and I saw fish after fish after fish and turtles.

I pursued on for nearly an hour and still no sign of any turtles. 

With sorrow in my heart I decided to swim back to shore...maybe it just wasn't my day to see a turtle...

And then, above the noise of the cascading waves I heard a voice screaming:


I swam towards the elated voice as if I was swimming in the olympics.

And there it was.

A turtle. 

But not just any turtle. This one particular turtle was absolutely enormous. 

I snorkled up to it in complete awe. It swam so close to me and I held my hand out towards it as if to show that I was no threat and I meant no harm.

It's face drew closer and closer to my hand and eventually after it had inspected my being, it elegantly swam past me and I was able to stroke it's shell. 

I followed this turtle around for what seemed like hours. 

Eventually it was time for me to leave and as I watched this turtle fly through the ocean, I couldn't help but feel completely elated and at peace that I had completed my mission in a completely satisfactory way. 

Next Stop: Peurto Vallarta - Mexico