The last Snorkel Day of summer

Happy Friday, everybody! I hope this week was kind to you. It’s going to be a great day in Hilo for Deep and Beyond volunteers and participants. Here’s what it’s all about:

A couple of weeks ago I saw this flyer in Starbucks.

20130810-071859.jpgI emailed for more info and learned that Deep and Beyond is an organization offering experiences of nature, adventure and freedom to people with disabilities, and disadvantaged youth.

Snorkel Day is one of their key events. Volunteers are trained and then paired with a special needs participants to spend the day playing, splashing, floating… Essentially reveling in the freedom and perfection of the ocean!

I signed up and recruited my friend Beth to join me. We arrived at Richardson’s to find an impressive set up:

20130810-073752.jpgEvent staff provided the training, then proceeded to pair us up with our buddies for the day.

We started with sunblock, then fitted the participants with gear (masks, life vests, boogie boards, noodles and fins!!)


and then followed the participants’ lead to jump in and play!!!

The sweetest moment (for me) was when volunteer Katie and participant Christine and I joined hands and became a blissed-out-backfloating-chain. In that moment, we were just three people soaking up the sunshine, feeling content and free.

I was not prepared to feel such a simple joy, and try as I might, there’s no way i can put words to what I felt in that moment. To say water is a great equalizer is an understatement.

Friends Ro and Natasha joined me for the next Snorkel Day at Spencer beach park on Kona side.

I was so blessed to swim with Christina (my friend from the previous time) and Michael, another new friend.

Michael and I lucked out when a huge honu swam right under us. And the thrill of our swim with Christine was showing her a pencil urchin. The car we found on the ocean floor was a close second.


My friends had a great time with their buddies, and I think they’re going again today!

I’m pretty bummed that due to work, I will miss the final event of summer. Wishing all of the volunteers and participants a terrific time, and I’ll be there when you start up again!


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