A few days ago I went with my girlfriend Lindsey to Hawaii. One of the experiences that stood out the most for me was our Hanauma Bay Park experience. At this beautiful place one could snorkel and enjoy a rich marine life like nowhere. It was my first time snorkeling so I was pretty excited but a little bit scared since I had never had a first degree encounter with a marine life. I was feeling safe though since Lindsey is Hawaiian and she knew the Bay pretty well.

The image below was the first thing I spotted when I arrived in the bay. Tones of people clustered together in the ocean! I thought they were all dead but Lindsey then explained to me they were actually just floating over the water. That sight was enough to make me a little uncomfortable with the snorkeling activity.

We were warned by the life guards that we had to know our equipment pretty well before started snorkeling otherwise it could be dangerous. We practiced for a while but I still wasn't feeling fully confident about snorkeling.

Lindsey on the other hand thought I was ready to go.

I had no choice but to follow her.

It was all foggy and I could see no marine life whatsoever. The only sound I could hear was the ominous sound of my respiration through the snorkel. There were sand on my fins and they were hurting my feet!! I was so scared I grabbed Lindsey's hand and squeezed it with all my strength.

Lindsey started pointing to my right. There was a family of exotic yellow little fish in front of us. They were adorable. It was so exciting!! I smiled and started feeling more relaxed.

I looked around and realized we were surrounded by those magnificent creatures. I finally started enjoying our snorkeling adventure.
Suddenly, a strange red fish reveled his face from a hole. It seemed as if it was kind of smiling.

The strange and huge fish kept coming closer and closer. The closer he got the bigger was it's smile. Lindsey kept pointing at the fish in excitement. She actually thought I was excited too since I was so agitated. Little she knew how much I was actually panicking.

The fish not only got closer to me but it scrubbed his scaled back in my belly. What a weird feeling!!! That was too much for a first encounter with a marine creature like that. I freaked out under the water and ended up drinking almost 2 gallons of salt water. Luckily the fish didn't harmed me but I will never forget his strange smile.

Lindsey believes the creature just wanted to welcome me. Aloha to you big fish but next time you don't have to be so nice.


tek! said…
haha great little story! thanks for sharing
Moro Rogers said…
Woo. Makes me want to go snorkeling again.^__^
Matt Jones said…
Hah! hilarious story -really nice storyr sketches
DSM said…
Leo, thanks for all the drawings. That's a beautiful blue to start my day!

I think that's a big coral fish who passed by you. Next time if you listen you can hear them nibbling on the coral....
Claire said…
Ha! That is so funny! I went snorkeling for the first time this year too with my boyfriend Carlos. We were snorkeling in Barbados with sea turtles which are adorable. But at one point I turned around underwater and saw a HUGE jellyfish with the biggest tentacles I'd ever seen. It was right behind me! I screamed underwater and frantically tried to swim in the other direction. Carlos turned to see what was happening. It was about that time that we both realized that the huge jellyfish was actually a buoy with ropes coming off of it.
I was in such a panic I had to take my snorkel off and calm down while Carlos just laughed hysterically.
Lucas Ferreyra said…
It's another universe down there. Nice story!
Love these drawings! I went snorkeling in Maui a long time ago and loved it :) It looks like you guys saw a large parrot fish! I saw a few of them last time I was there. Anyway, great story!
Tooninator said…
haha. great story. charming boards
Shishir Naik said…
hahaha....Fun experience!
Best post ever!!!

I had the biggest grin on my face as a read your post today. I could just imagine you freaking out. I hand no idea wild fish would come so close to a human.

Your illustrations are amazing, i didn't have to try hard to imagine the situation. Lindsay sounds great, i am happy for you Leo


Leo Matsuda said…
tek!- I'm glad you liked it. thank you for your kind words!!

Moro- You should go snorkleling in hawaii, Moro!! i would love to see your beautiful paintings of the sea life.

Matt J - Thank you so much for stopping by in my blog!! I'm glad you think it's funny.

DSM - Thank you for the kid words!! Some of my frinds told me about the nibbling too. Next time I'll try to listen to it.

Claire- That's an awesome story!! You should storyboard it too. :) I love turtles. I wish I saw them while in Hawaii. Maybe next time.

Lucas: it's definitely something else. :)

Megan: Exactly!! It was a big parrot fish. He really got very close to us but I bet he didn't mean any harm. He just wanna say hello. ;)

Toonimator- Thank you for stopping by, man!!

Shishir- It was fun for sure. The ocean can be a bit frightening but it's an amazing feeling to be around those great sea life creatures.

Christian- I'm so glad you liked it!!It always makes me happy hearing your compliments. You are one of my favorite artists and your kind words always inspire me. Thanks for the love, Christian and you gotta meet Lindsey sometime soon. :)
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