on getting pinned by a sea turtle underwater and dying a horrible slow death…..

I got an early start on the day and was snorkeling this morning off Po’ipu Beach and after five minutes in the water I turned and……..came face-to-face with a sea turtle the size of a Yugo. A sea turtle!!!!! I was momentarily stunned- terrified, really. As far as I know, sea turtles are completely docile creatures who don’t possess stingers or inject any kind of poison or tear flesh with vicious yanking. But this one was rather large and my first thought was oh my god i’ve gotta move back before this thing pins me to the ground until it realizes there’s a human under it whatta way to die which I realize is a ridiculous thought process. It looked into my soul (and had mercy upon me) before scanning a pile of rocks for breakfast and nonchalantly surfacing for a quick breath of air then re-joining me in the water. Once the irrational terror of being pinned to the ocean floor by a humongous sea turtle subsided, I was overcome with emotion at this wonderful, magical moment. I kept what seemed the proper, legal distance as far as the Hawaiian and GreenPeace authorities might be concerned and followed the big fellow (or madam) until he/she disappeared into water that was too deep for me to psychologically cope with.

Today was the first time since we arrived that I snorkeled at all by myself and not with Adam. He technically does not know how to swim (he doesn’t realize it, but he technically does know how) so we’ve been exploring hand-in-hand in shallows and moderate deeps wherever we venture and we’ve had some nice successes. Last night and later this morning went very well as I’ve finally mastered the perfect combination of anti-fog goop on his mask and we stayed underwater for ten minutes at a time, it seemed. He’s got such moppy hair, adjusting his mask after cleaning it (or emptying his snorkel tube) is an exercise in extreme patience for me and at times I’ve worried I could be reported to Kauai Child Protective Services. But generally snorkeling together has been wonderfully rewarding for both of us. In a day or two we’ll experiment someplace safe without his snorkel vest because I want him to discover just how ridiculously buoyant we are in the ocean.

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