Getting in the water

I’ve lived here 4.5 months now, and I finally got into the ocean, AirCast and all. This is actually the first time I’ve been in the ocean since I was here in late August and it was well worth the wait.

I went out with my friend Julie on a trip with Dolphin Essence and Captain John on Thursday morning. His boat is a Zodiac, so it is limited to no more than 6 passengers. There were four of us on my journey, and such a small group really makes a difference. I’m still on the crutches, though I’m mostly using a single recently, but I used both since I knew it would be wet and graded at the harbor. Thankfully, I was able to get into the boat fairly easily, and settled into the only actual “seat”. We started the journey by pausing in the harbor to view a large honu, and appreciate the spinner dolphins. There were over 100 dolphins there, but we couldn’t get in the water because it wasn’t safe so close to where all the boats came in and out. They were beautiful to just watch. John performed a Hawaiian chant that really set the tone for the rest of the morning, encouraging us to open our hearts and respect nature. On our way north, we got in the water several times to swim with manta rays and bottlenose dolphins. With such a small group and boat, we were able to get moving quickly and get much closer than I expected. I decided not to use flippers, as I wasn’t sure if I could use them properly on my left foot. I did surprisingly well in the water, keeping the AirCast on, and kicking normally. It was a bit tough to get back into the boat, since I had to climb a PVC ladder, but since the Zodiac was so close to the water, I didn’t need to get very high, and was able to clamber over the side with minimal trouble I did manage to leave skin and blood in the ocean, along with my hair (as usual), so I considered it an offering for a great experience. Being in the water, with all my weight supported, felt amazing because I was able to be so mobile. I’ve forgotten how that feels.

Once we made it north, we spotted whales and spent quite a while following a small pod. We thought we were only following one that we’d seen breach in the distance, but they kept piling on and eventually we located 5 distinct whales. John said the first couple were adolescents, and they seemed to be having a grand old time speeding ahead and coming to the surface to get flip their tails. The cap to our trip was when a whale surfaced VERY close to our boat and startled/delighted all of us. Julie was standing on the side of the boat, and started shrieking when the whale suddenly surfaced close enough for her to touch, then skimmed along the side before diving down under the boat to move forward and join his buddies. We were all completely stunned and couldn’t believe it had happened. The rest of the trip back was much less eventful and we all were subdued, savoring the experience.

My legs were somewhat sore that night, and I took it easy on Friday since I’d been so active the day before. I had some painful twinges this morning, but I think I’m recovering pretty well since I was never in much pain (or any pain, during the trip). This is a really good sign to me, as today is my 16-week “fracture-versary”. Per the doctor, it takes 16 weeks for bone to heal when broken, so theoretically, my leg bones should be completely healed by now. Let’s just hope that I can build up my muscles a little quicker, and get my ankle more mobile so I can get to walking with no assistance soon!