Monday, October 19, 2009

Hawaii Adventure Day 6: the Kapoho Tide Pools and post Hawaii

Apologies on the delay in writing, I have been busy bleeding (yes, that old excuse!). I was bleeding on the trip and continued the tradition back home, some of which (like the sinus cavity nosebleeds) might come from the altitude (but for three days?). There are many, many ways to bleed. Some of the not fun ways are a day or two of anal bleeding from inside. Not nice to look at the toilet bowl, not nice to wipe and come away with “Oh my GOD!!!” We presume that some roughage in restaurant food or the fruits I tried got through and cut me up in the lower intestine. That stopped today and I am not on the mask full time with purple hands in order to breath so time to get to work, no?

Oh, yeah, yesterday was bad breathing and a pink and red froth coming out of the lungs and mouth, which I think was all the stuff I had aspirated the previous days cutting up to the surface. Like I said, lots of bleeding.

Why did I not go to the hospital? Well, because if my intestines are cut up due to some roughage, then sticking a scope up there isn’t going to make it bleed LESS now is it? Also, have you ever had a bleed in your SINUS CAVITY cauterized? If I thought I had lost a pint or two….or three, I definitely would have gone. As for the oxygen conversion and erratics: well, one seems to feed into the other but if I am on a full flow concentrator rebreather mask and that isn’t working, all they can do is increase the flow, which, if the problem is autonomic failure (which it is), then it isn’t going to help. But that was the afternoon. In the morning I went shopping.

I had just gotten off a day and a bit of full time oxygen and it turns out that the ONLY place I can go to get clothes to try on to buy in town is closing. Tall Girl has gone bankrupt and the stores in the US are probably already closed. The one in Victoria was selling out and I have a total of 1 pair of jeans, 2 pair of joggers (you have seen them in the Hawaii pictures, over and over). And it seemed unless I went, that is all I would have.....forever. So off we went, and I tried on about 22 pairs of jeans, trousers/pants, and joggers. I found two pair. Linda of course found lots and had to restrict herself. This is not exactly how I hoped to balance finances post Hawaii (AHHH!), but with only other prospect as flying to the UK over the next year to Long Tall Sally to get any new clothes as I have: no belt, 1 pair of socks, 1 pair of jeans, 2 joggers, some tops, no jacket, and no winter or PJ’s which fit, so we came to shop. Linda is here in front of the store close out (notice it says “UP to 80% off – we never found the 80% off, just the 20-50%) with a t-shirt that says “Organically Tall”

I talked to the workers and they all have jobs, after the store dies in 12 days. As my neuropathy has progressed a great deal, I need clothes that are easy to get on and stay on (Neuropathy means my nerves are dead, a whole lot of them, almost all my feeling nerves, and most of my movement ones, and feedback nerves, plus real problems with hands over the last couple weeks). I have the scary hair of having tried too much on and am wearing cords which I bought (turned out the $34.99 was actually a $64.99 but I could only find two cords/trousers/jeans), and a t-shirt which says, “No, I don’t play basketball.” It is a small because it has better width on the shoulders and length than the X-large. Also, it turned out to be a reduced price of $16 instead of $10 like every other (like Linda's which was $10) because it was the color black. Black t-shirts cost more. Do you now understand why this company was going out of business? When they charge $40 for a t-shirt? I love the shirt because I used to be asked it all the time, in fact one woman while I got this picture taken said, “I love that t-shirt”, so I wore it home. The irony is that I did play basketball, I was just really bad at it. Loved it, and if I had a good coach would have done great. Oh well. But yesterday got that and some winter PJ's and some winter socks, thank goodness!

But back up a week and in Hawaii, after the sulpher at the volcano, I was very sick. You may assume that I rested. You assumed wrong. Before going to see the lava that night, I navigated Linda and Cheryl to the Kapaho Tide Pools as Linda really wanted to go snorkling and see fish. People often think of these fantastic views of scuba divers. We didn’t have that but we did have a series of interconnected tide pools on the southern tip of the island left over from the 1955 eruption. Many of them are still heated from below and many houses along here have closed off some for private pools. But there are still so many, nicely warmed for coral and sheltered that there is an abundance of fish. There are eight types of coral of which if you look for colours you will see brown, yellow, purple and others in the pictures. The underwater camera’s haven’t been developed yet. These were taken with our trusty Canon (which was then double bagged in Ziplocks).

While navigating toward the tide pools we passed the plantation areas from the lava rich soil of the 1790 eruptions. The land is covered with plantations. Linda stopped at this one to take pictures. At first, from the road we thought it was banana’s. Linda was very excited as she had not see these fruits ‘from the tree’ as it were. It turned out to be a papaya plantation and once Linda had taken her pictures, we continued on.

Being again PURE LAVA, Linda and Chery went ahead while I rested and were already deep into gazing. It turns out that fish like to blend in, and so the trick is to look at the water until instead of gazing over them, you see the amount and schools of fish that are passing before your eyes. Down the bottom of the picture is a yellow and striped fish called the Sergeant Major and is seen in most pictures as there are many schools of them. The other fish, like the two blue and orange ones up at the top of the photo are as yet unidentified.

Linda, with her underwater camera, was deep into the hunt. We had not brought masks (and with salt water, don’t put your eyes under, trust me!), so she was aiming and shooting areas. But watching her, I saw these two fast and flighty fish feeding.
Cheryl was watching a puffer fish and we saw a turtle together while Linda took off. Cheryl, as the lava is slick from algae growth atop it underwater used her walking stick to move from area to area, pausing to check out what there was to see.
For example here is a good picture to practice with, as there are 11 or 12 fish, some swimming, some sideways on the bottom feeding, some clear and black striped hiding, all in this small area, only a few feet large. The trick is seeing the fish, not the rocks.

Linda was heading out into one of the larger tide pools which has many different types of coral (very sharp and will cut you if you step on them), look for the different colors on the floor of the ocean. Because that is where these lava shelters lead, right to the ocean waves.

Linda managed to find a shell, which we wanted for a friend, only there was already an inhabitant inside, a little hermit crab which you can see crawling out right now. And about to upend the shell and take off for water. The speed those shells can move with the crab underneath going full tilt is rather comical.

Here, by the purple, green and brown coral Linda got to see a pair of angelfish swim past, the streamers following. Or as Linda excitedly put it, “It is just like seeing fish from the pet stores in the wild!” I am not quite sure I get that but I sure would have liked to see the Angel fish. I however was pretty stuck in one place, and actually ended up with some lava rash on my bum (lava is not a forgiving or soft rock).

Here is a particularly colourful and fast moving fish on the right bottom facing off with a grey and dower looking fish down at the left bottom while the other fish including several Sergeant Major fish take off!
Cheryl has followed the Lava to the ocean waves, where the nice warm temperature starts to drop off. The warm water makes it easy to forget how much reflected and direct sun you are getting and we all ended up getting tanned or in some cases a bit burnt.

Linda, focused again, is carefully watching and stepping around the coral. In a way she is right, it is like being in a giant aquarium, with no one in charge, all the fish just going every which way. There are several who liked to hide under rocks, and others who like the sun. Here is a picture with over a dozen fish but which has five different types of fish in it, this including one large one coming out from under the rocks and one which is hard to spot due to the coloring, made so that it matches the background (hint, click to blow it up and look in the top left).

As for me, using floatation, I was carefully sat above a deep cove of brown and white coral. I just hoped that nothing came out and nipped my heels (not that I would have felt it, just the thought of it is creepy!). Not a great picture of me but yes, I came, I saw, I did the tidepools!

Not only that, I waited and waited and got a picture of this medium sized fish that kept mostly under the rock and coral, only venturing out a little bit before dashing back in. So I waited until I finally got a picture of him.
Here is view of raw lava which makes the pools, only 50 years old but which in a hundred years or so will be rich soil, but for now is desolate but for a few green plants holding on. Beyond that is the rolling surf, one part of the ocean in which no one will surf or swim. The tide pools themselves are a local secret, but we are about a mile from the very southern tip of the southern most island in the Hawaiian chain. That means if you go swimming and there is a rip tide, or a current, then the next piece of land you have to swim for is………Antarctica! Yeah, that’s why people don’t swim here – as a tip, lots of currents and lots and lots of risk. But nice tide pools.

Linda wanted me to bring her just one thing home, a nice little eco system, taken from the pools (here she is enjoying it). "Um, no Linda, I don’t think we can smuggle it onto the plane as luggage?"


"No, Linda, the fish have to stay here, and yes, I know the ones in the shop aren’t as exciting but I suppose we can always come back."


Kate J said...

Sorry to hear you had some ill-effects from your trip (and that bleeding sounds awful...) but the trip itself sounds absolutely fantastic! Hawaii is a place I'm never likely to get to, but I can see why you wanted to go. Having sat in natural hot pools elsewhere I can agree there is nothing else like it... magic! And you all three look good in your swimsuits, too.

I'm so glad the trip was worth all the hassle of getting there, and I'm sure the photos and memories will help you get through the coming winter.
Love & peace

ps I'm sure you do play basketball!

FridaWrites said...

All the bleeding is awful--I hope that stops soon. I am wondering since the issue came up in our family if your oxygen tank has a built-in humidifier on top that bubbles--that can help a lot with preventing lung issues, though I don't know if you can get one (my grandparents had to pay for that part out of pocket).

I know that Eddie Bauer, Lands' End, and JJill have clothes in tall, but I don't know how tall they fit. Well, Lands' End inseams so to 6'. Eddie Bauer regular sizes run long in the sleeves, so their talls may work for you in shirts if they're tunic length. Not that any of these are inexpensive options, but I've had to use them too since most pants are high waders on me.

Great pictures of the fish and the tide pools--I think that's my favorite part. The fish in your last picture almost looks like a betta. The hermit crab looks so sweet with one tiny claw sticking out.

FridaWrites said...

Some of the jeans at JCPenney mail order may work and be more affordable--they have talls and ultra-talls (37 inch inseam):

One of my friends is 6'4 but often wears a lot of dresses--I can ask her where she gets jeans if you want.

wendryn said...

Beautiful pictures! I'm glad you got some time in the water!

I'm sorry your health is so hard right now - I hope you heal soon!


Dawn Allenbach said...

Again, what a fantastic adventure! Wish I could've gone, too.

Get. Lots. Of. Rest.

No, naps do not count for YOUR purposes.

Dawn Allenbach said...

Oh, Eddie Bauer occasionally has crazy cheap sales. Just keep checking.

(I used to take phone orders for them back in my "can't find a job using my degree" days)

Elizabeth McClung said...

Companies who make tall clothes, particularly jeans, slacks, cords seems to make up the sizes, I bought the two which fit me, a size 8 and a size 12 (or 6 and 10 respectively) - which is why internet shopping is kind of a downer unless I have used the company before.

Kate J: oh well, my circulation seems to be overworking and it seems in control now, sorry it took so long to blog, most of that was either transport back or doctor visit time. Blah!

The Big Island on Hawaii I will miss, to be sure, even the fast paced Hololulu. How kind to say I look good in my swimsuit.

I hope not only the trip but the goal and planning of my next adventure....New Orleans! But we have to go to Portland once I have saved enough first to see if it is workable.

I would play basketball but the co-ed pickup game at the Y has been all men so far and joining as a wheelie woman seems like a testosterone wall I don't WANT to slam my head against.

Frida: I will check on the humidifier, I know my air conditioner in the study has one. So I will use that more often.

Land's end go to 6 foot inseams? Wow. I think Eddie Bauer has some unhemmed clothes, but the problem is the fit. Right now, as my high thigh is the one muscles still working in my leg, I have more problem with bottoms fitting over my thighs than my waist. But thanks for the suggestions. I used to work J.C. Penny, they have some decent outlet malls. I miss being in wales and getting all the NEXT clothes in extra extra tall for like 6 pounds.

I wish I had more identification for the fish but they were colorful and plentiful. Being Algae covered rocks the setting was not what people imagine from national geographic but I will try to find a beach like that next time, this seemed a good fit for Cheryl (with some mobility problems, prefering a place that can be seated to watch the fish) and Linda (with some attention span problems) and me (with definate mobility problems).

Wendryn: While the actual health is not optimal right now, I think I am in a better state of health than before. But thanks, I am sort of trying to get better, if working full days means that, then that is what I am doing!

I was glad to get in the water too, to go to Hawaii and NOT get in the water or use a swimsuit - just wish I could have gone to the large pools further on at sunset - the ones warmed to 80 degrees plus by lava from below.

Dawn: Ahh, you know me too well, and I suppose you are resting too?

It would have been cool to go with totally - but I am coming to the Big Easy (I think that is the slang?), at least, I can keep planning, right?

Darn, I was hoping you would know all the fish names.

Raccoon said...

did you at least get some rest once you got home?

Glad you got some new clothes -- it can get cold not wearing any -- although, yikes!, expensive prices...

cheryl g said...

I really enjoyed the tidepools - they were amazing. I still don't know the names of most of the fish but it was fun seeing them.

Neil said...

My first thought this post was a quote from Robin Hood, Men In Tights: Blinken's line when Robin comes back to England was "Master Robin! You're home! And alive!"

Bleeding: not so great. Hawaii: great. Tide pools: awesomely great. Photos of nice people in water: superb. Fish photos: very cool.

Tall Girl closing: Bad. very bad. I buy MY jeans at Work Wearhouse. I'm 6'5" and they have 38 inch inseams as part of there regular stock, for $25. But I'm a guy, and I'm told there are differences in female shapes. And some females don't care for wearing guys' jeans. But they are there, and with a 33 inch waist, too.

Yes, at one time I had a 33 inch waist and a 38 inch inseam. And I was working at the time for Purolator Courier and could run up 5 floors' worth of stairs 3 and 4 steps at a time and not be winded at the top.

I also never played basketball, as I'm not coordinated enough to jump and shoot.

I hope that what rest you are getting is helping your health. I'm glad to see you back!

Love and zen hugs,

Anna said...

Hope that the bleeding has stopped!

Your Hawaitrip seems to have been great. good thar you have lots of photos to remind you. Was the tidepool water warm?

I haven't been emailing for a while, I have difficulty emailingregurarily.(read to tired after coming home from work etc. I hope it's just autumn darkness that's eating me away.) So I will comment now and then instead.
Take care and hopefully your body have bounced back.

greetings from sweden

Tom P. said...

These have been fantastic posts. I really want to go to Hawaii now. Of course, with a shunt in her head flying is mostly ruled out for Michel, but maybe some day.

JaneB said...

Lovely pictures, even if you did have to get lava burn on the bum to get them... looks like a wonderful place, and I'm glad to see you managed some swimsuit time (even if you didn't QUITE get the lounging under palm trees bit right... next time, huh?)

Lene Andersen said...

Glad you've stopped bleeding - that sounds really alarming. And I totally get why you didn't go to the hospital. If they can do anything that you can't do at home, you might as well be as comfortable as you can and that means being at home.

Thanks so much for sharing your Hawaii adventures. It's been fun travelling by proxy.

Diane J Standiford said...

I MUST get one of those tees---"No, I don't play basketball." You two look so cute, ain't love grand?