Valentine’s Day this year was warm and sunny.  Every year we say we are going to get away from the long grey winter of the Pacific Northwest.  

This year we did it!  

It all started with a great deal on some tickets through The next thing you know we are in a taxi leaving the Honolulu airport  heading to Waikiki beach. It is still a bit of a dream to know that a few short weeks ago my main concern of the day was what sunscreen SPF to use.  

My first visit to the Hawaiian Islands was back in the 1970s, and I have never tired of the beauty found in this part of planet earth. On a more practical note, I highly recommend taking a taxi to Waikiki beach when you land.  You can always take a shuttle bus departing from Waikiki back to the airport.  There are coupons on every street corner it seems to take advantage of the trip to the airport for $8-$14. The shuttle does stop at several hotels to pick up other homeward bound happy travellers.  It has been my experience that you can pretty much be on the beach by around 2:30pm the same day that you leave the West Coast if you hail a cab when you arrive.  It is about $40US into the Waikiki district.

It is a  known fact that after every full moon the jellyfish come into the beach and you will see red flags with the icon of a person swimming and the shape of a jellyfish underneath.  It has the zap electrical signage to make sure that whatever language you speak – meeting up with a jellyfish can hurt.  

Of course every time we are in Hawaii we remind ourselves we should have looked  at a full moon schedule to avoid the jellyfish purge. The jellyfish only remain  for about five days and then go away back to the deep blue water. While we were there the flags came down and we were in the Waikiki beach water every day.  

We always reminisce about one of our Waikiki holidays where we were visited by two turtles while enjoying the ocean.  It happened outside the Royal Hawaiian, also known as the Big Pink Hotel.   All of a sudden a large turtle’s head poked up out of the water about twenty feet away.  Then another turtle poked its head up out of the water a little farther from the first turtle.  The three of us were yelling and pointing and just amazed that these sea turtles felt so safe to be near us.

You guessed it, of course we could now officially say we – Talked to the Turtle. 

On this trip though, we hadn’t seen any turtles. We talked with another beach goer while standing on the shoreline about the sanctuary that Waikiki is  for the sea turtles. The holiday goer we were chatting with was quite knowledgeable about the local sea turtles of Honolulu. He informed us  that jellyfish are actually a delicacy for the turtles and so there should have been at least one sighting. The jellyfish flag warnings were down and gone now so maybe the turtles were out swimming in the deep water. 

Less then ten minutes after this conversation, I thought I noticed  something in the water about fifty yards away.  Then I saw a group of guys with their Frisbee and what I thought was something was really nothing. 

The two of us were in about three feet of water when the turtle showed up.  There was a slight swell of water in front of us and a green sea turtle the size of a cow just glided by in front of us.  It was approximately ten feet away, I could see her breathing and looking at us.  He or she showed us her underside and then her back and the one side of her face that had her eye on us the whole time she glided by.  Honestly if there was a video on the two of us, you would have seen me screaming “look – look”  and my boyfriend totally still with his mouth open in awe.

When I looked back at the beach, nobody had even noticed. Everyone was talking and in their own groove.  Headphones on. Another person rolling over. People walking by us on the shore with the happy slow pace of relaxation. The man who we had just  talked to was nowhere in sight. 

I turned around and looked back out to the ocean. Busy Waikiki beach…

We both just stood there in the ocean, quiet.  What was there to say… Then I heard a woman’s voice behind me.  I turned as she was making her way  over to us in the water.  

“That was a blessing that just happened for you.”  

That was a turtle blessing…. 

I said to her.  “So you saw that?  You saw that turtle that was the size of a Volkswagen beetle?” 

“Yes, I saw it, she said”.  “That was really wonderful.”  

Then we talked – the three of us.  She told us her story of how her mother had lived in Hawaii for years and passed away just last year.   On her mother’s request her ashes were retired into the water off of one of the  Hawaiian Islands, in a water ceremony.

Love the Day.    Love the Moment.

Rudimental – “Feel the Love”

Have a beautiful day,

photo: Wyland- ancient mariner





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