There’s so much I want to remember about my trip to Hilo and the boat ride. If anyone is ever in Hilo and the lava is flowing into the ocean (like it was and still is right now), you must must must do your boat tour with Lava Ocean Adventures. They’re the only boat tour that gets that close to the lava. Its touted as extremely dangerous and if you happen to search them on yelp or trip advisor, you’ll read several people calling it too dangerous and anyone going on it idiots.
Well, I’d like to think of myself as a non idiot, so take their reviews (the ones who have never been on the boat) with a big fat grain of salt. Because really, what do they know??
The company is legit. They’re fantastic and incredibly skilled with handling the boat.
After awhile, it was time to head back to the dock, so the captain (who is also the owner), began leading us back. Only this time he said he’d be getting us there a lot faster than us coming, and he floored it.
…do you ‘floor it’ in boats? Full throttle? Either way, we were booking it and taking the waves hard!
Before we even left the park, he told us we would get wet. And even though I brought my waterproof jacket and a ziploc for my camera gear, I honestly thought it was be a drizzle, a sprinkle, a little mist or spray.
I wasn’t prepared for the full onslaught of water hitting my face on the way back.
Initially I had my camera out ready to get our trip back, but before I knew it, I was doing everything in my power, with one hand, to protect it at all costs from the water coming into the boat and all over me. My other hand had a white knuckle grip on the seat in front of me just so I wouldn’t fly out of my own seat with every wave we took. We slammed down hard every couple seconds with water pouring into our faces.
He warned us all that the bumpiest seats of the whole boat were in the front. You can guess which seats we had… Row 2.. in the front. It was as if someone splashed a full pitcher of water in my face every 60 seconds for 30 minutes straight, that’s how wet I was getting.
off topic my mascara didn’t budge, smudge or streak the entire time! a winner in my book.I managed to shove my camera and lens under my jacket to protect it, and after having my bag get soaked, finally gave it to G-man to stick under his rain poncho.
The waves were huge, but nothing compared to one moment. I don’t know what I was doing or where I was looking but I heard a man make an odd noise to my right and my head jerked forward and I must have gasped or said something because that caused G-man to whip his head forward and we stared with morbid fascination at a 25 foot wave directly in front of us.
The whole boat gasped as the captain laid off the throttle to keep us from getting slammed by this massive wave that appeared out of nowhere. He got us over the top of the wave and then… we came down and BAM! we slam the hardest of all the slams, back onto the water. Every one of us grunts and groans at the force of the impact but instantly scream, cheer, clap and laugh as we continue to blaze ahead.
It’s a moment that I know happened, but almost can’t fully recall because it seemed so surreal. On the way back to our hotel, as G-man and I were recounting everything, I even mentioned how I almost can’t remember how it all took place, and he agreed that its almost a little hazy for him to recall, too. I blame it on PTSD.. kidding, but we both know it happened, it was incredible..and certainly terrifying all at the same time.
Now, here’s the video I created from the whole experience. Before you watch it, let me preface some things
1. It’s the first time I’ve ever shot video
2. It’s the first video I’ve ever shot on a very very rocky boat in rough waters
3. I might zoom in a little too much from time to time while on a very very rocky boat in rough waters
4. It’s the first time I’ve ever put together a bunch of videos, blended them and put it to music, plus uploading to vimeo
5. Creating this took me several hours..so if you have unhappy things to say about it..don’t say them, mmkay?
Lava flowing into the ocean from Emily Grapes on Vimeo.
Have a wonderful weekend, friends! Hopefully you enjoy the video as much as I do!
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