Okay, well I was wrong yesterday when I said that the 2 hour time difference made getting up early feel not early at all. If you don’t sleep well the night before, getting up at 5:00 feels early no matter how you cut it. This morning we headed out early for our 7:00 whale watching trip.
Our past trips to Hawaii have all been in the October to November time period, so we’ve never actually been here during whale season. Just as we were leaving the harbor, we heard a big splash and turned to see the plume of water where a whale had just breached. Unfortunately, we didn’t see (or just miss) another breach on the trip, but we did see plenty of whales.
We also found a huge pod, or maybe it was several pods, of spinner dolphins in one bay. At one point they literally had the boat surrounded. There were some lucky people snorkeling in the bay at the time. I was rather envious.
As we were heading back to the harbor, I saw something in the water. I wasn’t sure what it was at first; was is a whale, another pod of dolphins? It turned out to be a manta ray. Kind of a bonus of the trip and I’m really glad I spotted it.
As you may know, I tend to turn our vacations into death marches, so we had a bunch of stuff planned for after our early morning whale watching; after all, it was just about 11:00 when we were done. But we were both so tired, we decided to go back to the condo and take an hour-long nap. Afterwards, we headed into “downtown” Kona to stroll along the strip and visit the shops.
I am aware that there are people who bemoan the fact that Kona has gotten so “built up”. This is such a relative term when you realize we’re talking about 5-6 blocks of the ocean front that have restaurants and souvenir shops. Well, those people must be happy now. The recession appears to have hit Kona hard and half of the store fronts in this area are now empty. It is really amazing how many shops have closed.