It is the happiest of Fridays (midterm done, next thesis deadline met, long weekend ahead!) and I am SO excited to be sharing this Hawaii post with you today. Like, ridiculously excited, because underwater pictures. That probably isn’t too big a deal for you if you own a GoPro, but this cash-strapped college student does not, so instead I bought a $15 Kodak underwater camera to bring with us. And the pictures actually (somewhat) turned out!
I saved the 28 pictures on the camera for our last day in Hawaii because that’s when our big adventure was scheduled! We got up early and drove down the coast to the kayak rental shop Eric’s parents made reservations at (Aloha Kayak in Honalo), snorkeling gear in tow.
When we got there, we were given a history lesson about Captain Cook, the British explorer that the peninsula is named for, and fitted with kayaking gear. It took about an hour in total. Then we headed down the landing with our kayaks! Everyone paired up, so Eric and I got to share a kayak.
The kayak across Kealakekua Bay was fairly short, only about half an hour, but wow. Knowing that you’re paddling over water that is hundreds of feet deep, and not knowing what creatures could be swimming right underneath you, sure makes you feel vulnerable! I was on edge during the kayak over but able to relax a bit more on the way back.
When we got to Captain Cook monument, on the other side of the bay, we dragged our kayaks ashore, snacked, and then hopped in the water to snorkel! And these are the pictures I’m really excited to share with you, as low-quality as they are. 😛
Overall, I snorkeled three times in Hawaii. The first time we saw an octupus and the second time we snorkeled in tide pools, both of which were cool, but by far snorkeling at Captain Cook had the biggest, most colorful, and most fish of anywhere.
Besides not capturing the colors too well and being blurry, I really don’t think these pictures do the sizes of the fish justice. The black and white striped fish in the picture above was about a foot long…
And this parrot fish was about two and a half feet long! It was gigantic and definitely startled me when it came swimming out from underneath our flippers. Our because while Eric definitely wanted to go explore deeper parts of the area, I was not keen on the drop-off and, well, you always have to snorkel in pairs!
(Ooops, I just realized there’s someone’s arm in the top right of this picture, haha.) But yes, there was a drop-off to about a hundred feet deep always on our left as we swam up the coastline and I avoided it like the plague. Hey, just getting in the water–when you’re as scared of deep water as I am–was a challenge!
Taking the plunge (literally) was very worth it, though. One of the most amazing things about snorkeling, to me, is that the fish don’t swim away from you. You just float along the top of the water and they go about their business about usual! It’s not often that one gets to see wildlife in such close proximity.
Oh, and I suppose I should include a picture of us, too. So that you can admire my goggle lines in all their glory. 😛 (seriously, though, why didn’t Eric get any? So not fair!)
And then we paddled back to shore! In total, the tour took about three and a half hours, and it was (again) SO worth it. If you’re ever on the Big Island, I would highly recommend it. It was my favorite water-based part of the trip!
Have you ever snorkeled or scuba-dived before? Are there any vacation plans in your near future? And what’s on the docket for your weekend? 🙂