Saturday, November 09, 2013

A Very Wet Day

Thursday was a wet day, A very wet day. We were up very early to slog through Honolulu traffic to Hanauma Bay, a marine reserve that was set up to conserve and manage a very healthy and very accessible coral reef near Honolulu.  We were told to get there early to make sure that we had a space in the parking lot (Make A Wish made arrangements just in case it was jammed) and we were there for 9:45 AM, along with about a zillion GoPro-toting tourists that really didn't get the concept of don't stand up on the reef.

But fortunately, I had forgoten that Abby Brogan also moonlights as an underwater superhero and proceeded to escort/drag/carry Ellie past the hordes of googins and out into deeper clearer water where the novices didn't dare.  What they found there was nothing short of spectacular.  Turtles, live corals, and fish like Ellie and I had never seen before.

Ulua, or trevally, cruising the reef.

Ellie showing off the surface dives that she practiced in the pool all summer.

Abby the Underwater Superhero showing off on the bottom

One very cool urchin.

A school of convict tangs

One of the many poses that Abby used to escort Ellie around the reef.

All told Ellie and Abby were in the eater for almost three hours with one short break for Elecare and snack. Will, was happy as could be to patrol the shore wade in the warm water and throw pebbles.
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Friday, November 08, 2013

Dry Day

Waterproofing Ellie has been very successful for us over the years:  Some Press n' Seal on the CVL cap and two sheets of Tegaderm over the whole site and she is good to go.  but one of the downsides of this is that more than one day of this makes  her skin raw and sore.  So we generally try to have a dry day after every wet day to let her skin recover.

For our first Hawaiian dry day we took off for the center of the island to the Dole Pineapple plantation, a spectacular tourist trap complete with a narrow gauge train, the World's largest maze (like a hedge/corn maze but with hibiscus)  and more pineapple desserts and concoctions than you could imagine.  The kids loved it and we had a blast and we were home early enough to have a rest before Ellie got to do one of the other things on her Wish:  A luau.

The Brogans, via the sea!

And yes, Ellie was on stage more than once.

But this was all a warmup for the coming wet day when Ellie finally got the chance to swim on a coral reef.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013


Charismatic- (karizˈmatik/)
Adjective. exercising a compelling charm that inspires devotion in others.

 Megafauna- (ˈmegəˌfônə/)
noun .  the large mammals of a particular region, habitat, or geological period.

Monday was a good day.   Especially for a girl with her heart set on seeing big ocean critters.
A spectacular dolphin experience in the morning:

Followed by a Do-It-Yourself turtle safari with Abby in the afternoon:

Yes, Monday was a good day.  

For Will as well: 

Sunday, November 03, 2013

The unfiltered early returns

After a quick dry run in the pool this morning, Ellie, Abby and Erin took to the sea to see some fish.  

Here is Ellie's unfiltered words fresh out of the water:

A success.  

Abby had to drag her away from the fish.

Friday, November 01, 2013

What's your Wish?

Make a Wish

And We're Off!

Yes, after months of planning and the requisite extra fun that comes with a girl with some extra considerations, we are finally off to fulfill Ellie's Make-A-Wish wish:  to swim with sea turtles and dolphins, see a volcano and go to a luau.  

Yes, if your deduction is up and running, we are off to Hawaii!  Tomorrow morning to be exact, and we couldn't be more excited.

We have known for a long time that Ellie would likely qualify for a wish and almost a year ago we started the process to apply.  As we expected she was quickly approved and then it was just a question of timing and the coming week is just perfect.

So at 5:30 tomorrow morning the magic limo arrives and we (Abby, Ellie, Will, myself and Ellie's nurse, Erin) are off to Oahu.  Ellie is armed with a sleeve of tegaderm to waterproof her CVL, a fresh snorkel to keep up her skills from the pool this summer and a new underwater camera.  She has learned her Hawaiian fish names and even used Humuhumunukunukapuaa as a special second grade spelling word this week.

We will be sure to take lots of pictures and are going to dust off this old blog to make updates along the way. 

It should be quite an adventure.  And if we get more than we bargained for, a doctor that used be with the Children's Short Bowel Program works in Honolulu.