Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Awesome Honu Dance: Christening New Fins For First Time

  • •••••••••• Wednesday, November 26, 2008 PM Pacific/Honolulu •••••••••••

I got a late start this morning but the feeling that today was the day to finally try out the new fins I bought two weeks ago! I had finished my cyber duties and communications by 11:30am and headed for my favorite snorkel spot; Ulua Beach in Wailea about 10 minutes from my Maui home.

I wanted to take photos with the underwater camera Don C. had so kindly gifted me with a while back... but in my excitement that I finally felt like being in the ocean, I forgot it. Too bad, because what happen next would qualify me for a trip to the KING to tell the story I am about to tell you.

I put my new fins on. They felt a bit odd but once in the water felt fine. I was searching for octopus and/or honu (turtle) and it was honu I found in spades! Have YOU ever done contact improv with a creature other than human?

It was a perfect day. I entered Ulua from the hotel side and swam up the shallows in the center of the reef towards deeper water. With only 3 feet clearance (depth) in the midday calm water, I felt safe enough. Lo and behold there I found a rather large, green sea turtle (honu), about the same size as the one that had given me my Neptunian nickname; “Turtle Swimmer.”

I mirrored its arm movements ala NLP trying to help signal my being harmless and in fact friendly as we rode the flows eye to eye from about 10 feet away from each other when all of a sudden there was a swell.

That for me at any rate signaled danger and more violent surf. I kicked the fins into high gear quickening my progress toward deeper water.

It was in the 5 gates area (that I describe in a video game I’m writing called “Reef or Madness” designed to teach some tricks of life to inquiring minds... to help them mature them faster and prepare them well for Life’s adventure ahead.

The story of what happened today will remain a cherished memory. Surely it will be part of my book and children’s story I’m writing to help fund a cure for creature cancer.

I am going to tell you how to seduce a creature without words. First you have to make sure your presence is non-threatening. I have learned that the average relaxed honu takes three breaths at the surface before descending back to the bottom. When “out of town” swimmers rush these creatures, it scares the hell out of them.They dart down toward the bottom without taking a breath. They don’t get to breathe properly beyond getting freaked out from being chased.

I knew I had to build up trust since Ulua is filled with tourists. I always approach the creature in compassion and love. Especially since I thought I could see its characteristic arm motion... trying to get the cancer from taking a foothold in the corners of the eyes.

We swam together for a short time. Suddenly the water got rougher. I made a b-line for the deep and lost sight of the mothership. It had at least a 3 foot in circumference top shell - just like the one that gave me the ride of my life.

When the water calmed down I went back to find it but it had vanished. I swam out to the deeper reef and suddenly there it was off to my right. Water filled my mask so I pulled my head from the water and when I looked under the surface again, the mothership was gone.

I heard a sound off to my left and quickly turned to see a second honu that had surfaced for air and dove. I went under and approached it very slowly all the while wondering how the big mothership had dissapeared again without a trace in open water?

The creature that appeared was very dome shaped and much smaller and younger. It started swimming out to sea. I joined it for a while -- from a respectful distance, but it dove to the bottom after its breaths with obvious disinterest in inter-species friendship.

I headed back to the reef and lo and behold at that moment out came the mothership. It headed East. I swam alongside it from the same “safe” distance; about 10 feet - mirroring its movements to relax it. It was down about 5 feet in 20 ft of water.

We swam quite a ways before it needed air. I was intentionally giving it a wide birth - backing off when it finally came up for air. I wanted my continued presence to become familiar and non threatening. Slowly I got closer until I was only 5 ft from it, swimming on the surface, slightly behind or diving under to be beside it and looking into the wounded right eye.

After that first breath, it stayed near the surface to see what I was going to do. After a pause before the 2nd and 3rd breath, it usually dives and continues on its way. But no! It hovered as I approached without flinching.

After the first breath I closed in to about 4 ft. I knew I was an accepted friend when it continued its breathing process. By breaths 2 and 3, I had come within 2 feet and was eye to eye with this large adult female. I noticed its right eye was 50% obscured by a cancerous growth - explaining its repeated attempt to dislodge it with its flipper.

It was obviously happy to see me. My “beams of love and compassion” had worked for it slowly came up under my outstretched arm and made contact with the top of its shell.

It waited for me to get close enough; hailing distance I’ll call it and then proceeded to interact without much provocation from me. I discovered there is a formula for winning the favor of these creatures.

They are vibratory animals. They must sense various vibrations and emanations of energy... beyond the capability of humans to discern. They can easily sense when you are aggressive in nature, or are safe and non threatening. The fact that it wanted to be touched is undeniable and thrilled me!

As it came in contact with my outstretched hand, it began to rotate, just the same way I was familiar with - from my ride on the back of the spinner turtle.

I caressed its back as if it were to soft skin of a woman. I ran both hands over the back of its shell as it slowly made a 360º revolution. I covered the whole of its back smoothing away any sand, silt and algae. Its head touched my chest as my hands reached back to get to the back edge of its shell. I was almost laying on top of it. It seemed to enjoy the contact and had no fear to have its head under my breastbone! Wow!~! It was so neat.

I bet I could have ridden this one. She seemed to want more interaction. She was so friendly and wanted to play. However after the one revolution, I felt that was enough for some reason. Maybe because I wanted to get back and write about my experience or maybe because we’d traveled so far down the beach from where my things were on shore.

It was such a cool thing to feel the trust of the turtle as it spun beneath me. I looked into its eye again after the head came back around. I wanted it it know I loved it. I petted both the back of its neck-head and carapace (the top shell). I swear it seemed to look up and smile knowing we both had crossed the imaginary lines of inter-species communication.

We both new it was time to part and go our separate ways. We had crossed a boundary of nature with our love. It was a great validation of my soulfulness and sensitivity to the honu clan.

What a great gift and celebration of life I had received; to be so honored to win the turtles trust and touch. This experience was about the best “breaking in” of my new fins I could possibly invent. The only thing better is to have had a friend bear witness.

Maybe Next time... and I’ll remember the camera Don gave me too!

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