Betty had to master snorkeling before we ventured out in the Pacific Ocean to go swimming. First, the gear; Betty finally found a child size wet suit, and we got fins, masks and snorkels.
We headed to the protected water on Magic Island. Magic Island is a manmade peninsula that was added to the Ala Moana Beach Park, and protects the entrance to the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor. It was a favorite place for families with kids to swim, because it had a breakwater creating an enclosed pool with a sand bottom and no waves. Magic Island was created in 1964, the year before we came to Hawaii.
Betty had learned to float and swim a little in Hilo in the pool, so I was glad the wet suit gave her enough flotation to boost her confidence so she could swim with the fins in the shallow water. When we get out in the ocean, the water would not be calm and shallow, so I wanted to be sure Betty could cope with water in her mask, and clear the snorkel. For a city-gal who didn’t want to get her face wet, Betty was a real “trooper” and learned to be safe in the water.
Can you imagine a scream through a snorkel? It sounded like a loud “Whoop!” as Betty screamed and stood up! She had a sudden close encounter with a Hawaiian Blue Pipe Fish, a little stick-like creature about a foot in length. They both were surprised!