Friday, March 7, 2008

3.8.08 Hawaiian Monk Seal at Ko'Olina

OK! OK! OK! Now stop your whining ALL of you, or I WON'T tell you the Hawaiian Monk Seal Story!! he he he...of course NOW it won't be nearly as funny after all the build up! LOL And hang in there, it might be long, but I think you'll find that my ultimate humiliation is worth the read...

Ok, so my favorite beach in all the world is about 5 minutes down the road for me and it's called Ko'Olina or "the lagoons" it's a series of 4 gorgeous natural lagoons on the leeward coast of Oahu (past Kapolei, before Waianae if you ever come to visit!) There is a Marriott resort there called Ihilani (sounds like EEE HA LAA NEE) and it's where all of the Pro Bowl Football players stay when they come for the game (if that tells you anything! LOL) It's also the spa that I would LOVE to go to...but sigh...sales must pick up QUITE a bit before that happens! LOL

Here's some pics that I've taken there (I believe these are both at Lagoon No. 4)


This picture is taken of the lagoon from the beach.




This picture was taken from behind the rocks that you see in picture no 1 above (on the right hand side) back up towards the beach.



So now that all of our furniture is gone, there's not a lot to do once the kids and dh are home for the evening so we've been heading to the beach most days and enjoying the GORGEOUS sunsets that dip below the horizon right smack dab in the middle of the lagoons. So the other night (the day of the infamous lizard incident) dh and I went to the lagoons by ourselves (the best is lounging on the beach with nooooo kiddies around begging to play or "look at me!" lol).

Ok, so right away after getting there, dh and I head in to swim. This lagoon is pretty small and most days when the tide is out you can nearly walk the length of the lagoon (not so in the others!) and dh wants to head toward the rocks that you see in picture no. 1 above. (The line of rocks that separate the lagoon from the open ocean). Now let me first say that I'm not a HUGE fan of slimy sea creatures, but for the most part they don't frighten me when they bump up against me. That said, the two exceptions would be jelly fish and crabs (yes, 3 if you count sharks, but duh...THAT'S a given!). And there are hundreds and hundreds of crabs that live in the rocks in the lagoons (ds Ethan LOVES to crawl up on there and catch them! Me? Not so much) so I am a bit leery to follow dh, I'd rather just float around and hang out...but I acquiesce, he is after all taking me to the beach without the kids! :)

So out we go towards the rocks and the water is getting deeper and deeper and then starts to shallow out a bit the closer we get to the rocks... just then I look up (taking my eyes off the bottom of the ocean JUST long enough to see it ) there is a HUGE Hawaiian Monk Seal sunning him or herself on the rocks right there in the lagoon!! Here's a picture of an Hawaiian Monk Seal (although not THIS particular one! LOL)



I think this one was a male simply because of it's size - it was HUGE - and they are so incredibly rare to see unfortunately, because they are one of the most endangered animal species in the world (less than 1,200 in the world!) so I was fascinated! I point him out to dh and we go in a bit closer to look without disturbing him.

As we get closer to him I'm trying to remember what I know about the seals and the one thing that I can absolutely remember is that they are gorgeous, but have been known to be aggressive with humans AND known to bite them! (Ok, hang in there we're getting to the funny part...LOL) So dh, who clearly has more sense than I, decides to hang back a bit, while I stupidly continue to advance.

I don't want to disturb this magnificent creature so I'm really quietly walking towards him and the water is getting more and more shallow when I realize (and say to myself)...oh yeah...there are a LOT of crabs around here...I don't want to get bit, that's right, I'm afraid of crabs"!!) so I CONTINUE to slowly walk toward the huge seal, but instead of keeping my eyes on him, I watch the floor of the ocean (hello...remember the crabs? and yes, it is VERY easy to see the floor of the ocean in our gorgeous clear Hawaiian waters if any of you were wondering!) And eewww! This is what a Hawaiian Swimming Crab looks like!!! Yuck!



Now the OTHER thing that I forgot about at this point is the "pull" or the undertow that is sometimes pretty strong near the rocks of the lagoon... in some lagoons at certain times of the year they actually rope off the rocks as the undertow is so strong that it can suck you right out of the lagoon if you're not careful.

Ok, are you following me still? Gorgeous HUGE and rare Hawaiian Monk Seal, Crabs, Undertow and silly me...any idea where this is going?

So as I'm tiptoeing out to the rock with the seal on it, NOT watching where I'm going (hello...still looking out for crabs) the undertow, unbeknownst to me is pulling me more and more quickly towards the rock, and therefore, the seal. Within no time at all...seconds really...yup you guessed it...BAM there's Shauna rammed right into the rocks and literally feet away from the rare, gorgeous, HUGE, potentially aggressive biting monk seal!!

Keep in mind that the WHOLE time I am walking towards this seal my dh keeps telling me "Shauna, I wouldn't get that close if I were you..." "Shauna, you're being silly..." "Shauna, come this way..." but do I listen? NO.

Editorial comment: If there are any Hawaiian Monk Seal activists reading this blog or members of Greenpeace or people who are thinking "shame on you Shauna!" this is an endangered animal...why would you disturb him!? I have only this to say... I SO did not mean to get so ^&#*! close to this animal! I simply wanted to get close enough to see his cute whiskers and take a good look at him!! I'm SORRY! And to make it up to him and to the other Hawaiian Monk Seals out there I am writing this cautionary tale for others to read and learn from!!! he he he!

Ok, back to my "cautionary tale" BAM! Shauna is pulled right into the darn rock! And several things happen almost instantaneously and simultaneously; ONE: I ram my shins and feet into sharp (very painful) rocks, TWO: Realizing (by the pain) that I have run into the rocks I immediately remember about the yucky "spider looking" crabs that I am now VERY close to, if not on top of, and I freak out - squealing like a little girl, THREE: the now, not so restful, Hawaiian Monk Seal, realizing that some idiot of a woman has bumped into his napping area, rears his head up and ROARS!!! LOUDLY... loudly enough to completely terrify the already crab-freaking-out-squealing-me into nearly wetting myself.

I am now desperately trying to push myself AWAY from the startled and, justifiably irritated, monk seal fearing now not just for my toes (from the crabs) but for my life!! (because, while the seal was in no way threatening to me at this point...hello!!! I don't know anything about how short this seal's temper is!

The tow is making my escape difficult and I turn to "run" still in the back of my mind trying to be mindful of the "yucky crabs" and I am SURE that at any given moment this huge seal is going to hop into the lagoon with me and take a bite out of my trespassing (not to mention somewhat meaty) backside!! I am literally almost ready to cry in fear when I look around to see where dh is...and where is my Airborne Ranger Light Infantry "hoo ah" dh?? Yup...back to me, swimming as quickly as HE can to get away!!! (the man is a triathlete ok?) and all I can think of, is him saying "hey babe... I don't have to be quicker than the attacking monk seal...I just have to be quicker than YOU!

With barely another look over my shoulder (I DO watch the movies ladies, and whenever the stupid woman is about to get eaten or slashed, she is FOREVER wasting her energy and time looking over her darn shoulder!)

Finally outside of the undertow, and swimming as quickly as this old body will let me, I swam towards dh, who is, by the way, now laughing his @$$ off at me swimming with a terrified look on my face! I now realize that the danger must be passed and take a brief moment to look back at the, once again, comfortably napping Hawaiian Monk Seal.

There you go...you've heard my monk seal story...I've once again humiliated myself in front of my dear bloggers and fellow designers...are you happy now??

:)

p.s. the moral of this story is .... don't be an idiot... when approaching a potentially dangerous wild animal, at LEAST have the sense to be more worried about HIM than you are of some yucky looking crabs... SIGH...

back to designing...safely...in my inflatable bed...

21 comments:

Bec said...

My goodness, the only thing missing was the video. I could definitely 'view' the whole incident right from your storytelling. Thank you so much for sharing it. I am glad you and your husband are safe.

Krista J said...

This was about as funny as the inflatable bed story! You have an incredible knack for storytelling. I enjoy your stories on the blog even more than the freebies...and I really love your designs! I hope your tales from Jersey are just as colorful.

Anonymous said...

Shauna, if only your DH had the video camera with him, you would have won on Funniest Home Videos and got the chance to laze about in the Marriott Spa at the lagoons. Given your run of late with inflatable beds, lizards and seals, I think you need to start carrying the video camera. The grand prize will be yours for the taking. Maybe this is all a sign that it is time to leave paradise for the safety of the mainland LOL.

Erika

Jester's Tear said...

Shauna, this is hilarious!!! Did you feed your hubby to the monk seal and the crabs after you were safe? I know I would have!

Scrapping Mom of 5 said...

No the real moral you should have had your water proof camera with you so that you could record the whole thing. Thanks for sharing. Hope your blow up mattress is giving you more rest these days.

scrappinmint said...

Oh man, I almost spit out my coffee! I was trying really hard not to laugh Shauna, really I was, but I just couldn't help myself. I could picture the whole incident in my mind.LOL You poor girl. Sad thing is, I probably would have done the same. You tell such great stories. I love coming here and reading. Thanks for sharing your monk seal story and for the morning chuckle. :) Enjoy your weekend!

Veronica said...

Oh my gosh. That would scare the freakin crap out of me!!! I know the beach you are talking about and it is absolutely gorgeous there. But never would I try something like that:) You are brave.

englishindiangirl said...

Thankyou for making me laugh,Shauna!If I ever get to Hawaii I will think of you!

Tali ~ said...

You sure gave me a chuckle this morning with that story! I sure am glad that seal didn't decide you were worth a taste. :)

I have only been to Hawaii once, and we did see one of those massive creatures. Beautiful for sure!

Sharon said...

Sooooo funny ... I absolutely love reading your blog because it is always entertaining! You really have a way of telling a story ... and your FUN is contagious. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful personality with us!

Adriane said...

Can I tell you I absolutely ADORE reading your blog? It makes me happy to know there are more people like me in the world ;)

KrisG said...

Hahahaha!!! You had me laughing soooo hard out loud with my dh wondering what was wrong with me. Thanx for the giant buffaw!!!!

Cali said...

This was hilarious. I was laughing so hard, I was crying. Really crabs are far less scary than mad seals. You tell a great story. Thanks for the laughs.

Karen said...

Shauna, that story was well worth the wait! I was laughing so hard because I have a friend who was able to get close enough to a monk seal on the beach to take pictures, so I have an idea of their size. I don't think I'd've gotten as far as you did because even the thought of the icky crabs would keep me on the sand!

Thanks for the story. I hope you keep them coming!

Sharon-shutterbug said...

LMAO!! I was containing my amusement throughout most of the story, as it was mixed with sympathy for your predicament . . . and then you throw in the part about your Airborn Ranger/triathlete hubby and the "just have to be quicker than YOU" remark and I lost it! Too, too funny. Pretty awesome that you were able to get so close to the seal, though.

cinlou said...

Oh Shauna,
I just scared the crap out of my 4 month old son because I burst out laughing but I would have been doing the same thing as you. Oops!! Love your stories!! Thank you for the laugh and I'm glad you are ok.

kami said...

you crack me up girl!! and how much are you going to miss this gorgeous island when you leave? :(

Sheila said...

What a fabulous story and told so well! You should not be humiliated, just amused and appreciative of the magnificense of nature and glad that you are OK. :-) Thank you so for sharing the story!
Jersey? Is it NJ that you are moving to? Did I miss that? You'll almost be my neighbor!

Anonymous said...

Loved your story :o)

Nancy said...

Too funny! Glad you're ok though.

Beth Kern said...

I live in Hawaii, and have visited Ko'Olina many times, so I could almost see the story play out in my mind...and I must say it was very entertaining. I have now saved you in my favs, your stories are told amazingly well. Thanks so much for sharing these.