This morning, we got up bright and early for a 5-hour, 3-site snorkeling bonanza. We went with Sea Quest, flying across the water in their rigid-hull inflatable rafts. These provided for a quite speedy and bumpy ride, which I loved and for which Steve prepared with a few doses of motion sickness meds.
We started with a snorkel at Honaunau Bay (Place of Refuge), where we saw lots of fishies, and a green sea turtle!
Steve also saw some old fish netting caught around the coral. He tried to free it several times, but the coral had started growing around it and the waves were pushing him into the rocks, so he had to leave it there.
After Honaunau Bay, we headed down the coast, checking out a few small sea caves and arches along the way. One of the benefits of going in the smaller boats rather than with the larger catamaran companies is the ability to get close to shore and actually enter these small caves.
Off we went to the variable “3rd bonus site”. This site is chosen daily by the boat’s captain, based on a variety of conditions. Today, the site was a place where the lava had flowed into the sea during a 1980s era eruption. It was brand new coral and a lots of fish schooling around.
There was also a beautiful black sand beach were able to go up on, and there were patches of green olivine sand as well. The green patches sparkled and shimmered in among the black sand and was very pretty. Unfortunately, I did something while beaching myself that made our waterproof camera be not so waterproof anymore so I didn’t get any nice photos of the beach.
Once I got back in the water with the no-longer-functioning camera, this was also the time that another sea turtle arrived. Fortunately, Steve took some video of it, so I got some screenshots to share. It also had 4-5 helper fish feasting on the algae growing on its shell.
Back in the boat, we sped up the coast to Kealakekua Bay and the Captain Cook Monument, marking the spot where Captain Cook met his untimely demise when the Native Hawaiians realized he wasn’t the God of Peace they thought he was when he had first arrived. Once again, excellent snorkeling, although I think I actually saw more fish at the first two sites, and no turtles here either. We had gotten an actual film waterproof camera with our tour booking, so I started to use it at this site. We’ll be bringing the camera in for developing at some point, so photos from this site may be added in the nearish future.
On the way to the second site, we were lucky enough to catch site of some spinner dolphins and watched them leaping through the water as they passed us. Done with the third snorkel site, we came upon the dolphins again as we headed back to dock. This time, a few of them came out of the water to spin, and as we took off again, they started to catch the wave created by our boat. Very cool!
Finally back at the condo around 2:00, all I wanted was a nice hot shower, and our planned afternoon nap. As I started to disrobe, I was rather surprised to find about a half a cup of black sand in my britches! The question isn’t “how” the sand got in there. It was obviously when I snorkeled up to make landfall on the black sand beach at the second snorkeling location. The question is how it stayed there, completely unnoticed by me through two more 20-30 minute boat rides, another snorkel site, the walk to the car, and the drive back to the condo. That’s some magic sand, right there! Steve’s now calling me Sandy Cheeks.