We started our final day in Hawaii (for now) by driving over to the southwest side of the island for some more snorkeling at a place called Electric Beach. It's called that because there's a power plant nearby that has cooling lines going out into the water, and where the warm air comes out of the lines, there's a lot of coral that has formed, and lot of sea life gathers there.
It was a little bit of a swim to get out to the main coral formations, though there was a fair amount of stuff to see along the way. The coral itself was pretty cool, growing on top of what I assume are the cooling lines. Some kind of big structure at least. And there were some large schools of fish swimming around down there too. The water was pretty deep, probably the deepest place we snorkeled, and there were even some scuba divers down below. Snorkeling always feels a little surreal to me, because you're looking down into the water and it pretty much feels like you are underwater. But you can still breathe and see. Makes me feel like I'm watching a movie or something. Anyway... Additionally there was a pretty strong current (at least compared to other places we swam) that made it so you had to keep swimming pretty much constantly to stay in place over any one particular spot. I spent some of my time swimming against the current to the far end and then letting the current wash me back across while I looked down on the fish. At one point I did see a turtle swimming around near the warm air outlet, but the temperature difference there made the water a little murky, and there were also a crowd of snorkelers over there who eventually blocked my view and I lost track of him before I could get a photo. Oh, one other thing about snorkeling, because your view is so limited, it seems like whenever I was snorkeling near other people, the chances of someone accidentally kicking me was pretty high, so you kind of have to swim defensively. :) I hope I didn't kick too many people unknowingly myself.
A school of what I think are probably paletail unicornfish. The ocean floor is way down where you can see some faint dark spots.
George diving down for a closer look. Someday I'll feel good about doing that. :)
I really liked the view from where mom sat and read while we were snorkeled (as you may recall).
After we got done snorkeling, we headed back to Kaneohe. We discussed possibly going for a hike, but it seemed like everyone was pretty content to have some last time to relax at the house and just pack up their things and enjoy some family time together. For lunch we went to a place called Zippy's that is apparently a local establishment. I wasn't all that impressed with what I got (a sausage and eggs breakfast plate -- everything was a little on the cold side). I swapped photos with George & Kimi and played with the kids some more. For dinner, I don't even remember. Maybe we had leftovers or a sandwich.
Elise playing with a crazy straw
In any case, eventually the time came to say goodbye and we headed back to the airport, dropped off our rental car, boarded the plane and headed back to Salt Lake. I am usually pretty good at sleeping on planes and this time was no exception, except that the temptation of free movies kept me up for a couple hours. I eventually got about 4 hours of sleep, which made for a tired next few days.
As usual, while I was sad to leave, I was happy to return home. I enjoy seeing new places, but I always like the feeling of coming home to my own bed and my own place and just being at home.
More photos from Day 7.