Place of Refuge

After a morning of cleaning up the warehouse with Jess we packed a lunch and made our way to the top of the road to Place of Refuge, a preserved Hawaiian village in Ho’nau’nau. We caught a ride with a middle aged couple driving a black lexus – they were from Asheville, NC. They were nice enough to drive us to the top of Route 16 and let us out. I don’t think they realized it was a pretty good hike down to the shore but we started our jaunt down and got picked up by two cowboys on their way to the rodeo but drove us all the way down to Two-Step. I sat on a pile of dog food bags and Jess sat on the floor as we both held on and looked back as the leaves crackled and blew in the wind across the pavement. We both acknowledged the sound and smiled. The cowboys dropped us off and I started to laugh – Jess was covered in dirt – hands, face, legs and butt…I took a picture to document the moment and we made our way down to Two-Step.

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The snorkeling was in full effect and it was good that we had our sights on walking around the place of refuge to have a picnic and take it all in. Tiki men and totem poles scattered the white sandy beaches. Expressive faces and long hair and naked wood carved bodies. Tall lava rock walls and structures made from wood and thatch.. made you wonder what it must have been like those years back. We made our way to the oceans edge and saw turtles grazing on the rocks – looking for a little food. We spotted some spouts our in the distance and decided to hunker down in the shade, have some lunch and watch for our breaching griends and they came – one after another- followed by a pod of dolphins just along the edge. It was my first one. A few dozen dorsel finds flowing in and out of the water – it was beautiful to watch. After lunch we made our way across the volcanic rock towards two stephttp://www.livejournal.com/update.bml to follow the dolphins and do a bit of snorkeling. We found a nice spot away from everyone and nestled in.

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I grabbed my snorkel gear and made my way to the jumping off point. I was ready to discover the beauty of the ocean deep. Sorbet colored coral decorated the bottom where hundreds of colorful fish lived – I watched them swim around – catching the ebb and flow – letting it take them where they wanted to go. I got to a huge drop off point where the coral was no longer in view. Just the deepest, most brilliant blue from a Frank Frazetta painting welcoming you to a whole other world. I gasped in my wonder and amazement. I ran my hands down my body and felt slippery to the touch like a whale or dolphin. I was slowly becoming entranced with this world when I decided to turn back to shore and explore the corally depths once more. I followed a wave out past the point and found a beautiful school of yellow angel fish making patterns that moved and changed with the flow of water. In the middle was a giant turquoise fish that took company in this school.

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For Christmas Rory had Jeff from Sea Sports send me an underwater camera that I was able to use on this day. I slowly floated about admiring the school and friend and took a picture. I could have floated on all day with my new acquaintances but alas the salty waters left me feeling parched and ready for some water and a snack. As I lifted my body out of the water and place my finger right on a sea anemone. Ouch. I made my way back across to my fair lady who was still perched out on our sweet spot in the glorious sun. We had a lovely afternoon together talking of many things bringing us that much closer together. Jess decided to go for a swim and when she did two sea turtles swam right up to her and stuck around – seeing what they might get from her. She grazed their backs with her hands and I snapped her picture. I felt its flipper graze my thigh ever so softly. It came back a few more times and bopped its head out of the ocean – I locked eyes with the gentle beast – such deep and glassy eyes. I felt a connection and it was beyond any human word or feeling… just beauty and silence all at once.

photos courtesy of jess

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