Yes, it is a snorkeler's paradise! Saturday, 10/04/14
One of the outfits the hotel concierge recommended was SeaQuest Snorkeling Adventure, at Kealakekua Bay. The 1933 catchy tune, "I want to go back to my little grass shack on Kealakekua, Hawai'i," refers to the same bay. (Guess what's been rambling around in my brain ever since? ... arraugh!) They offered a Deluxe Morning Adventure package that included exploring both the Captain Cook Monument and Place of Refuge (Honaunau) Bays, as well as sea caves and lava tubes! We signed up, and drove about an hour south of our condo early Saturday morning to meet the boat.
On the path to join the snorkeling group at the boat.
I think we were 13 adventurers, plus Captain Dave and his First Mate, Vickie.
Heading out of the bay.
My Captain ... loves being in or on the water! Especially clear, warm water like this.
Didn't quite catch the Spinner Dolphin "spinning," (tho we watched it), but I caught one leaping!
Spinner dolphins are small (and cute). A pod frequents Kealakekua Bay, and we saw lots of em' today.
Our first adventure in the water was at Pu'uhonua O Honaunau, a National Historic Site, which is also known as Place of Refuge, on the other side of this peninsula. There's quite a history here. The sky is hazy, as you can see, from VOG (a nasty volcano fog) from continuously erupting Kilauea.
In the water, suited up with snorkeling gear, and feeling brave as I eased my face into the water.
I did it. One look at the marine life, and all was well.
I floated into a school of black triggerfish (black durgon or Humuhumu'ele'ele in Hawaiian), gliding along with them alone in the ocean for several minutes, feeling as though I was in my own private aquarium. Absolutely wonderful. They're much larger than the one (above left) appears.
We actually saw much more, urchins and a spotted sea cucumber and colorful fish of every description, but our GoPro camera didn't capture clear images in deeper reef waters. A highlight was seeing a dark Octopus scooting along the sea floor, with a parrot fish harassing it (?). I saw it discharge ink and the parrot fish moved away. I motioned to Jimmy to "come see," and when I turned around, the Octopus had disappeared... till I saw movement ... and it had camouflaged itself into the exact color of the coral. Then it dropped into a cleft in the reef. Cool beans!
After approx 45 minutes, it's back in the boat and on to Kealakekua Bay.
Jimmy was smart to apply another round of sunscreen.
Captain Cook's Monument. You can't drive to this one. Due to its remote location, it's only accessible by water or a hiking trail. Great place to snorkel. Prior to entering the water, Capt'n Dave reminded us to not touch anything, no marine life, nor could we climb out of the water to the monument. Too many irresponsible people step on fragile coral and disrespect rules designed to protect the reef. Kind of "that's for you to obey, not me" attitude. It seems to be rampant everywhere.
And if you're lucky, you'll see a Green Sea Turtle!
We were on or in the water from 8am till Noon and really enjoyed our snorkeling adventure. Captain Dave was personable, knew everybody's name in minutes, and told one joke after another, most of them groaners. I did like the following bit: I watched a sea bird skim the water off to our starboard side, and asked him if he knew what it was. He said it was a Masked Booby. And added, "If you see one, be sure to look for another. Boobies travel in pairs!" Groan! I looked it up in my bird book when we got back to the condo. Capt'n Dave was right! About both!