Swimming with the fishes...
Kailua-Kona Travel Blog› entry 3 of 6 › view all entries
March 3rd, 2008 – by: agarcia
The raft they used was the smallest transport I have ever been in while in the ocean - it was kind of scary.
The raft had room for about 12 people and 2 crewmembers. During the ride we sat at the edges of the raft and held onto the interior railings and ropes. There were also no canopies so sunscreen was a must.
The driver was excellent. She gave us a thrill ride as she maneuvered the raft through some rocks and we felt the sides of the raft lean from one side to the other as she made her turns. She could’ve easily driven the raft around the rocks but it wouldn’t have been as exciting.
She at times decided to follow other rafts and their wake made the front of our own raft bounce up and down.
We snorkeled in two locations - Honaunau Bay also referred as the Place of Refuge and the Kealakekua Bay. The waters were generally calm and though the water was cold upon entering, you soon get used to it. And having some of my family around me gave me a sense of security and kept at bay my fear of water deeper than 5 ft. That made it the perfect time to test my underwater casing for my camera.
Honaunau Bay is known to have Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles swim at the bay. It was such a thrill when I realized that one of these turtles decided to swim a few feet below me. It was much smaller than the ones we saw on Punalu'u Beach so we guessed it was relatively young.
We stayed there for about a half hour before we moved to the next snorkeling spot.
At Kealakekua Bay we saw Captain Cook’s monument, which stands on land owned by the British government. The monument was set to commemorate the location where native Hawaiians had killed Captain Cook in some conflict between the Hawaiians and the British crew.
There were no turtles in this spot but the water and fishes were a lot clearer thanks to the sunnier skies. Another cool thing to see was how the coral reefs sloped away into deep waters.
At this location, the coldness of the water was getting to my fellow snorkelers and me. Only the man who wore a wetsuit was willing to stay longer and was the last one to come back into the raft.
One more thing to note is that several rafts of the company go out at the same time and kept in constant communication with each other. When one group saw whales or dolphins the word spread quickly among the other groups. So in addition to snorkeling we got to see spinner dolphins and some whales. There was one whale that actually breached the surface and created a nice splash.
The crew told us that there were laws that required us to remain 100 ft away from dolphins and whales so we watched them from a safe distance.
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