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Friday, May 18, 2018

More Hawaii

On our recent holiday, DH and I had lots of shore excursions to choose from when we were on the 7 day cruise.


 The ship stopped at four of the islands and it was our 2 day stop on the island on Maui that we did a tour that was certainly different to anything we have done before. Because DH doesn't enjoy helicopter or small aircraft tours, we avoid these. I wondered whether he minded 'depths'? There was this tour in the itinerary that he had dismissed as 'far too expensive'!  It probably was too expensive but I was very interested, so offered to pay for us to go if he was happy with going underwater.
And so it was that the next day, we left the ship about 9am and waited for our shuttle bus to the quaint town of Lahaina...it was a bit drizzly at Kahului, the town where the ship was docked.

But on the other side of the island, it was sunny! We had to go to Slip 18...








Yep! We were going on a submarine dive to look at coral reefs and fish...this was our shuttle boat...

It was glorious weather...

We travelled along the coastline for a while and the views were wonderful.

And then we headed out to sea so left the coastline behind...




The captain on our shuttle boat had kept up a commentary as we went along and suddenly he alerted us to a vessel coming towards us...it was 'Roxy' the support vessel.

The submarine that we were going out to board was somewhere below us. Our captain, Roxy's captain and the sub's captain were all in touch by a special telephone system. The Roxy crew make sure it's safe for the sub to surface, that is, no other vessels etc.
Now when we got to the dive site, my excited 'gung ho' attitude did waver a bit and I may have gone a bit quiet when I thought about boarding the sub with the waves heaving....
But excitement overtook fear when the submarine started to surface!


Roxy is moving in to stay on one side of the Atlantis...

Roxy helps hold the sub steady as our shuttle prepares to go into position on the other side of Atlantis...as our shuttle captain said, 'they make a sub sandwich'! Lol.

When all vessels were in place and ropes etc in place, then the transfer began. The previous dive group were loaded on the shuttle and we were able to board the submarine...climbing down ( back to the ladder stairs) to the viewing area. One lady in our group decided not to board the sub, fearing claustrophobia but I found it quite spacious...then again I'm small! Lol


On our 45 minute 'cruise' we saw many different types of coral, fish, a few giant eels, sharks, an artificial reef made by a deliberately sunk ship, The Carthaginian', stingrays etc etc and we were fully entranced!! The deepest the submarine went was 120 ft approximately. Most of the time it cruised at 100 ft below the surface but just for a few minutes, we went to the seabed.

The information posters on the wall of the submarine




DH took this photo of Roxy's propeller as we started to dive...


Part of the wreck of the Carthaginian.

In the next photo there is a shark lying on the sea bed. The guide on the sub commented that she may be preparing to give birth.

A bit more of that wreck...

One of the first variety of coral that we saw...

A shoal of fish; they are a lovely green/yellow colour
Another variety of coral
Towards the left of the photo, a big eel is poking his head out of the coral...amazing!


This fish looks like a cartoon, but it was real!


What a wonderful excursion! Even when the credit card bill came after we were home, I didn't blink an eye as it was just such an experience!  I'm a great believer in 'making memories' and this submarine excursion sure did that!

 
 


Monday, May 14, 2018

That Volcano! 

One thing that I was really excited about when we recently holidayed in Hawaii, was the opportunity to see a volcano. The Volcano is on the island of Hawaii or the Big Island as it's called there. On that tour excursion we were told that the volcano was a very low risk of erupting any time soon. In fact, the night time viewing of lava flows just didn't happen while we were there...how disappointing! But...
We were back home just a few weeks, when what should happen? Yes, that 'quiet' volcano erupted, destroying homes and spewing out poisonous sulphuous gases! I somehow suspect that the Volcano National Park Tour Excursion is not available at the moment on the Norwegian Line's Pride of America cruises. So we were very lucky to have seen this Volcano caldera.

It was a rainy day when we visited Mt Kilauea, but even the constant drizzle couldn't dampen my excitement at seeing this...smoking away! The caldera/crater was huge!
In the information centre I read about the danger from the fumes...the day we were there, the risk was low.

The view from the information centre...

Then we reboarded the bus to head off to an area that was the site of the lava flow in the 1979 eruption...
It was like solidified black mud...acres and acres of it!

Also at this stop, we walked up to a lookout to view another volcanic crater...no smoke this time, but it's sheer size made it very impressive. This lookout was a lot closer to this crater than the ones at the smoking Kilauea Volcano.

Another stop was an area where there were a number of steam vents...the steam puffed up every few minutes, and boy was it hot!

Our guide pointed out a fern that grew near these steam holes...the only plant that can withstand the heat of the steam...amazing!

Another stop was at the Thurston Lava Tubes. Lava once flowed through these underground and we were assured it would no longer do so. 🙄

Near the entrance to the lava tube...


It had rained heavily the night before our tour and this caused a lot of water in the tubes; dripping from the ceiling and making huge puddles on the floor of the tube.

There were lights in the tubes but with so many people ahead of me, I found they blocked the light...eek! I fumbled around and managed to find the torch app icon on my phone and turn the torch on.

With soggy footwear and wet coats we emerged at the other end...phew! Lol
What a great day. I may not have seen lava but maybe that is a good thing! Lol



Saturday, May 12, 2018

Wool on Sundays...

Before I write about yarn related 'things', I would first like to thank all those who wrote comments on my last blog post. I wrote about the health issues of our latest addition to the family and I'm pretty sure I wrote back to most who took the time to comment. But if you are reading this mamasmercantile and busybusybeejay, I wasn't able to send you a personal thanks as you are both 'no reply bloggers' which means your email address is not linked to your blog. If either of you would like me to answer your comments, if you use the email button on my page, send me an email, and then I can save your email address and use it to respond to your comments. 

Now Wool on Sunday...


Last month at Sunday Stitchers I showed my progress with my latest baby blanket...if you remember it needed a lot of focused attention and in my case...lots of 'reverse knitting' and re-knitting.

Helen's photo of me during Show and Tell...


I don't think I've done any knitting on this since this photo was taken. I always take Knitting or crocheting on holidays but I didn't think it prudent to take such a project as that blanket...lol

So I took some red, black and gold/yellow yarn and a crochet hook. You see, my blogging and also Sunday Stitchers friend, Susan had been making squares in those colours to give to me to make into blankets for K4BN. They are the colours of the Indigenous flag and items made in those colours are very popular when items are handed out to the needy. ( You probably can 'read between lines' in that last sentence) Susan also makes squares in lots of other colours and I've made a number of blankets over the years from her squares. 

So I thought I would crochet some granny squares while we were on holidays...nice and easy! Between us, Susan (18) and I (12) have made 30 squares...a single bed sized blanket when all the squares are joined.

I laid the squares out and moved them around until I liked the effect...then bundled them up into rows ready to join when I get some time.



After I started stacking up the squares, I realised I should have taken a photo. But I just took a photo of the ones left in rows...


My plan is to join all the squares, crochet around the edges etc before the May Sunday Stitchers Meet up. Just have to make some time. 😉

Once again linking with Janine's Rainbow Hare blog. Janine is also finding it hard to find time to knit a baby project. The yarn she is using looks so soft. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Linus Quilt

Just over a week ago our #4 granddaughter had an appointment at the large children's hospital here in Brisbane, the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital. Her mum and dad had driven the 7 hours to Brisbane the day before and expected to drive home after Tuesday's appointment. But that wasn't to be; A was admitted for observation and tests. You see she had been born with health problems and in her first 2 months, she wasn't as well as she could be. 

Testing continues and it looks like she will stay in hospital until at least the end of next week. Then, rather than going home to the property, she will be transferred to a regional hospital in Toowoomba which will mean she will be a bit closer to home.  It is still a 'long road' but at least the rigorous testing over these 2 weeks, will give the young parents some answers and the direction that treatments will move in.  Because little A has chronic health issues, she has been given a quilt from Project Linus. ( this is a worldwide group that makes and distributes quilts to all children who are forced to spend time in hospital on an ongoing basis.) 



Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Some more of our Hawaii Adventure...

Well in a few hours, DH and I are heading off back home after 13 days in Hawaii. I plan to write some posts about the places we've seen over those days when we get home. But in this post I thought I might share some things we saw last Saturday when we wandered around Waikiki filling in time while we waited for our hotel room to be available. We left the cruise ship at 9am in Honolulu and our cab had us at Waikiki in no time. So with the luggage being stored at the hotel, off we set. It wasn't even 10am. 

We decided to walk through this largish shopping arcade, The Royal Hawaiian. 

The philodendron climbing the tree was real but the huge plumeria/frangipani were fake...😉


The rest rooms were quite palatial...check these toilets...

When I first looked at it I thought it was one of those self flushing toilets. I had used those in Europe and sometimes they flushed when still be used...! 😳🤣

But a closer look showed that there was a bidet function...have never seen one before in a restroom. 


And the washing facilities were pretty swish too...

From the left:- the first nozzle automatically dispensed soap, the next was water and the third was a dryer. In the mirror you can just make out the cubicle/stall doors. They were opaque glass with a lovely texture and colour...definitely 'high end' quality. 


Out in the centre we wandered around looking in shops every now and then...this was a nice shop...


There was a sand sculpture on display in the centre...


Then we walked a block or so to take a look at the beach...


Our room wasn't ready until 3 but we spent the last hour sitting in the foyer of the hotel as walking around is exhausting! Lol