Snorkeling at Kahalu’u Beach Park and Hiking at Arch City

My general policy is not to publish blog entries about a vacation while we are on vacation; it just seems too much like an invitation for mischief.  Besides, selecting and sizing the pictures takes a bit of time. Steve and I have just returned from a 2-week vacation in Hawaii. I wrote blog entries while on the trip, and will begin publishing them with this one. For those who care, the date of each entry corresponds with the date of the activities, and I’ll publish one daily for the next 2 weeks.

Our first full day in Kona got off to a slightly slow start.  After running a couple of errands to pick up provisions for the week, we headed out to Kahalu’u Beach Park for some snorkeling. The plan was to get there between 11-noon, before getting some lunch and heading out on a hike.  Well, we got there right at 11:30 and found a parking place around the crowded bay. We were just gathering our snorkel gear from the car to head to the beach when Steve discovered he had forgotten his mask.  At first he said he could do without, that going back to the condo didn’t make sense.  That was silly and I told him snorkeling without a mask was what didn’t make sense. So we headed to the condo and back again and started snorkeling around 12:15.

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We went out a little further along the reef than we have in the past and it was pretty cool.  There are loads of live coral out there and bunches of sea urchins. It was neat for a while and we were snapping away with the pictures, but it started to get way too stressful. I didn’t want to touch the coral for fear of damaging it and I sure didn’t want to put my hand down on a sea urchin.  In addition, the water was pretty shallow around the coral and the current made it difficult to stay in place without brushing up against some of it.

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So after a while we headed back in and towards the center of the bay where there was a bit more space in the water to maneuver. We saw a fair amount of fish, but no green sea turtles which we usually see in abundance here.  We’ll go elsewhere later in the week in hopes of swimming with the Honu.

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Later in the afternoon, we went to what the guidebook calls Arch City, just north of the Place of Refuge.  It is a mile-long stretch of lava sea shore that is pocketed throughout with sea arches and blow holes. 

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You have to be pretty aware of where you are stepping, but we went at low tide so the rocks were dry and we wouldn’t get swept away.  Good planning, huh?  Of course, low tide also means the blow holes weren’t really blowing as much as glugging.  There was one in particular that I noted sounded a great deal like a clogged toilet being plunged.  But it was fascinating out there and we had a great time on our first excursion.

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We ended the afternoon watching the sunset from the Place of Refuge. Tomorrow: Hilo area.

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