This morning the rooster alarms sent us stalking down the beach to see if the sea turtle had spent the night. All that remained of her were massive scrapes in the sand, where her carapace had plowed the beach and streaks where her fins had pushed her back into the ocean. After a brief stretch, we took our short two-mile jog up lower H. and back and decided to give snorkeling another chance. First we each ate an apple banana, just the perfect size for a post-run, pre-swim snack. I had mine smeared with peanut butter for a little extra protein, thank you generous neighbors Paula and Paige who donated their groceries to us before they left! We had just enough time to digest as we slapped on our waterproof sun block and swimsuits. Glad we did, it was sunny today and it was the best visibility we’ve had so far.
The ocean was pretty calm to start and we easily made it to the second reef. We decided to try for the third reef. The ocean floor drops away quickly and only white sand blankets the ever deepening bottom. We swam out past where the paddle boarders cross, past the outriggers. We stopped when Greg saw a sailboat only slightly beyond our plane. The sea floor was coming up again and we could barely see a reef materializing. We were floating so far above the reef it was hard to see any fish, the vastness of it made me feel so tiny! Greg motioned at a ghost like shadow, in the shape of a giant sea turtle. It seemed he was as big as me! The dark shape seemed to be hovering just above the sandy bottom; he was way down there.
After swimming around for a bit, it was clear we weren’t going to get too good of a look at anything out there with the reef being so far below. We decided to make our way back to the second reef, where the fish would be closer to us. As we crossed the ocean desert again, it dawned on me how far out we had gone, it seemed to take more effort to get back, as the wind was starting to pick up; just Greg and I, lots of sand far below and plenty of blue water. I found myself checking the surface often, to make sure no boats or paddle boarders were upon us as we swam back to shallower water and to make sure that Greg was indeed still behind me. After one of these quick glances up, when I put my head back down, just below me, flippers spread wide, was one of those nearly as big as me sea turtles. I feel like he was just checking in, “What you doing all the way out here? You okay?” I could feel him asking. He looked us over curiously for a few moments and we him. Satisfied we were strong swimmers; he headed back out to that 3rd reef, where we have heard the Sea Turtles make their home.
As the ocean floor came back up and coral started punctuating the open expanse again, we saw another large turtle, wedged under a rock, just chilling. Back in the shallows, we enjoyed following schools Surgeonfish and Unicorn Fish galore. We saw Trumpet Fish, Needle Fish, some sort of red spiny thing, lots of urchins, Butterflies, a few Puffers, tons of Picasso Triggerfish and Parrot Fish. Greg also glimpsed a snake like thing, but it had gone when he went to show it to me, so we haven’t been able to identify it yet. The water got choppier and we decided to head back.
A cup of coffee and a shower were enough to get us on our way to the farmer’s market; after which we came back to make hot cereal with mango and passion fruit. All of the morning’s physical activity made us ready for a mid morning nap, followed by a quick quesadilla for lunch before we started the main event for the day, laundry! We arrived last Sunday and in that time I have sweated through all of my running clothes, befouled my towels and generally rendered many other articles of clothing unwearable. Greg needed to do some laundry, as well. It made me feel like I was in college to do laundry in the Laundromat style laundry room behind the office (though to be truthful I probably imposed on my parents who lived only 10 miles from my college to do most of my laundry when I visited on Taco Tuesday, but I occasionally needed some quarters to do a load at the dorm). We used the dryer for the bath towels and socks, but most of our clothes we just hung around the house and the trade winds dried them as they blew through this afternoon.
We let the Fish Market cook for us tonight; two generously laden Baja style fish tacos with pico de gallo, cabbage and a creamy yet tangy special sauce. Greg also enjoyed the shredded pork taco. The sun is dipping low, so our evening walk and visit with neighbors is near and I’ve snuck into the kitchen to make Greg a surprise dessert. I layered slices of pineapple bread with vanilla ice cream and pineapple slices to make a quasi tropical ice cream sandwich/ pineapple upside down cake. No doubt we’ll dig into that before we retire for the night.
Part of what I dreamed about when planning to spend a month in Maui was falling into a routine. I hoped it would go something like this: yoga, run, eat, snorkel, eat, nap, eat, something, eat, walk on the beach, eat?, sleep! It seems we are approaching this ideal. I know that unforeseen circumstances will sometimes prevail; rough seas, insect invasions and the like. That is okay; the unpredictable aspect is part of what makes travel exciting. But if we are doomed to spend the rest of our stay in a regular routine that follows today’s protocol, I wouldn’t be at all disappointed.