A painful price for beauty

A photo may be worth a lot of words but in one case that was not enough!

Nothing but ocean south of the Big Island.

Looking at my Hawaiian ocean photos during the last few days transported me back to a rather unpleasant experience. My memory may have seemed more vivid since I was nursing a face swollen beyond recognition from dental surgery.

The saga began in March on day three of our two-week trip to the Big Island. I found myself on the southern-most point of the entire United States, mesmerized by a seemingly endless ocean. We don’t get a lot of views like that on the prairies!

Turning east, I was treated to a rugged coastline with green ocean waves outlining scattered boulders in salty white spray. This was beautiful even in the heat and searing wind. I savoured the moment, though perhaps not long enough.

Standing in the same position as the photo above, I turned to the right to photograph these massive cliffs.

My saga began when I innocently looked north and saw huge waves roaring in on the west coast. I suggested to my wife that we walk closer to get a better view. I stuffed my camera in the bag, slid it around to my back and began walking on a relatively flat area. The next thing I knew, I was face down on lava rock with three teeth, roots and all, lying beside me. I was stunned! My forehead, nose and lower teeth were not even scratched. It was a cruel, precision strike. Oddly, I had no memory of falling but too much memory thereafter.

A nice couple from Hawaii helped me clean up though I wisely ignored their advice to stick the now dirty teeth back in.

A quick triage determined that the pain in my left wrist was increasing rapidly and my lip had likely been pierced by flying teeth. However, my multiple extraction had been so quick and efficient that my gums never really hurt then or later. (This begs the question why so much pain is associated with dental work!)

The wind ripped the water off the top of the wave as it powered its way to a rocky shore.

A few moments later, we returned to the rental car to get out of the heat and sat in stunned toothless silence. A quick look in the mirror ended my futile effort to awaken from what surely must be a dream. We were in an isolated location, two hours from our condo. What was the plan?

Since I was confident we wouldn’t be coming back, I decided to finish what I started. I grabbed my camera and started slowly and carefully walking over lava rock toward the waves that started the surreal sequence of events. In a bit of a daze, I determinedly made a few images of the waves.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think the resulting photos are nice, perhaps even better than that. I was just thinking that maybe a more dramatic picture involving a vicious shark would help ease the pain in my mouth today.

It was a bit disconcerting to see a 12 foot (3 metre) wall of water heading straight toward me. I kept my distance. I’d already had enough adventure for that day.

The massive waves kept rolling into shore catching the sunlight in the spray.

Latest Comments

  1. photographybycalliec says:

    Fantastic images and the colour of the water is soo beautiful, But what an awful experience and a lot of pain, how unlucky were you. Hope all is well now.
    Cheers Callie


  2. rickbraveheart says:

    Been there my friend. Sorry you had the experience but so glad you posted about it to help others understand all photographers go through at times in pursuit of their passion.


  3. Carol says:

    Fantastic colours Lyle and sorry about the teeth.


  4. RejoiceForTheDay says:

    Beautiful pictures, and a beautiful place to be. Sorry about all that pain! What an experience, for sure. Perhaps another trip back to make some different memories this time around… 🙂


    • lylekrahn says:

      It was a beautiful place. This past year I have learned a few times that life often turns out different than I plan and there are lots of opportunities to make memories as well as grow from the experiences.


  5. vanbraman says:

    I hesitated whether to press the liked button. I don’t like the pain that you went through to get the pictures, but they are really nice. I like the shots that you got. The colors in the second one are fabulous.


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