When I was a little girl I learned about the Orca whale in school. This marine mammal quickly became my favorite sea creature and I would spend my afternoons dreaming about swimming with these amazing creatures. I developed my own fantasy island called Orca Island where I could swim and play with hundreds of Orcas. They would let me rub their noses and would carry me on their backs. Obviously this was a fantasy developed from my favorite movie at the time, Free Willy. Non the less, I would draw cartoon like Orcas and hang my drawings in my room as a reminder of my dream to see them in reality.
It started out as a normal Sunday, I was preparing breakfast when Justin got a phone call:
"Hi Jim, please don't tell me your with Orca's right now?"
The Orcas had been spotted early that week so it wasn't a huge surprise that a friend of ours happened to stubble upon them. With this information we enlisted our roommate and friends to get on a boat and head seven miles off shore in hopes of getting to see these amazing mammals.
"Over there!' Justin pointed to a boat far off in the distance, "I think I saw something."
With that we reeled the lines in and took off. At first all we saw were a couple of boats and being that we had to be in international waters by now it seemed odd to have two fishermen next to each other so we wanted to check it out. As we got closer we could see something in the water. Sure enough they were Orcas! Smaller then the Orcas of Alaska but just as beautiful, mom and baby swam close with the bulls near by. Like dolphins the Orcas are very curious and seemed to come straight up to the boat as if to see what we were doing. They would ride our wake and play in the displacement. We stayed with them for a bit taking photos and videos enjoying this rare opportunity and before we new it we looked up to nothing but ocean. The island had completely disappeared.
With the Orcas heading further out to sea we decided to head back towards the island. We dropped our lures back in the water and enjoyed the rest of our Mother's day, fishing, drinking and jumping off the boat into the deep blue.
Flash forward twenty plus years to my life here in Hawaii were I had the opportunity to swam with dolphins, manta rays, and even a hump back whale (swimming with hump back whales is highly illegal in the state, however, I was lucky enough to be swimming with dolphins when two curious hump back whales decided to come check out all the commotion) but never had I seen an Orca whale and didn't imagine I would get an opportunity since the Orca is so rare in Hawaii. Then it happened, on mother's day I got my opportunity.
Within half an hour we were on the water in one of the fastest boats in the harbor. The water glistened in the early morning sun. The sound of the three motors flooded my ears as the wind rushed through my hair. This was really happening! I was going to see Orcas.
We headed south since the last we heard they were spotted off Kealakekua. As we rounded the fishing boey we saw no signs of Orcas. So rather then feel as if we were hunting for these elusive orcas we decided to drop some fishing lures in the water and crack open a nice cold beer. With Bob Marley singing through the speakers and the children playing tag on the bow, we drifted further and further off shore, the island slowly disappearing. Then suddenly Justin saw something.