Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A Whale of a Tale...

When we were talking about our trip there were so many things I thought we'd want to do - go see the active volcano, take a helicopter ride (ok, I didn't really want to do that, in fact it scares me just thinking about it, but it seemed like something you were supposed to say you wanted to do), play golf, hike through the rain forest to a waterfall, and of course go on a whale watching cruise. I mentioned earlier that before we could check in to our resort we had lunch at Tommy Bahama and met a very nice couple who upon hearing our "to-do" list, chuckled a bit and then promptly told us to not be so ambitious and to just relax and enjoy our vacation - maybe pick one of those things to do and leave the rest for future visits. Ok...but what one thing would we do? Well, upon hearing that the trip to the Volcano National Park was basically an entire day of driving, we crossed that off the list. We thought about doing the hike on our last day once we had to check-out of the resort, but then worried we'd be all sweaty for our flights. Golf we snuck in early morning, so that was easy and after spending the afternoon at the beach and watching the sail boats out on the ocean I knew we just had to get in a boat ride and a chance to see some whales up close and personal. 

Unfortunately, the weather the morning of our excursion was not what we were hoping for. Cloudy, rainy and bit breezy (they said morning was the best time to take the boat to ensure calmer seas - uh, not today, ha!). Though that didn't stop the crew from wanting to go out and since we'd already paid, it was all aboard! 

The rain actually held out for a bit during our excursion - though the clouds did get in the way of the beautiful views we expected to see. Alas, the fresh sea air on our faces and the thrill of seeing the whales pop up from time to time paired with the challenge of snapping pics without dropping my phone overboard led to a pretty exciting 20 minutes or so. 

That's when the skies opened up and we all quickly found ourselves crammed together below deck. My claustrophobia quickly outweighed my desire to stay somewhat dry, so it was back outside into the rain for us where we heard the captain say that we would turn back and cut our two hour (better than a three hour tour, am I right?) trip short by 90 minutes and that we'd get refunds. Bummed, but happy about getting our money back, we sat back and tried to enjoy the last few moments on the water - when all of a sudden the whale Gods smiled on us and we found ourselves surrounded by whales that were keen on giving us a show to make the rain all worth it! 

The captain and crew couldn't believe how many breaches we saw - they agreed we were definitely being rewarded for facing a rare rainy and windy Hawaiian morning on the sea. It really was an unbelievable site to see and one we won't soon forget. 

They say rain will make the flowers grow - well in our case, rain will make the whales put on a show! :) 

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