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."
3 hours ago