Swimming with dolphins

About 100 dolphins surrounded us this morning as we snorkeled along the coast.

Karl and Jessica with Coral Reef Adventures took us out to see what marine life we could find, swim with dolphins as well as snorkel.

It didn’t take us long to find the first pod of spinner dolphins. The pod was “camping,” or swimming around the same area, and two were even mating.

The pod was close to the entrance of the Honokohau Marina and Small Boat Harbor so we set off to find a pod further out to swim with.

Our next discovery was a pod of spotted dolphins, which included a baby. They swam alongside our boat for a while before drifting off. However, Karl said the spotted dolphins do not like swimming with humans so we set off once more.

Karl and Jessica had trouble finding pods to swim with today – a rare event – but we eventually found an area a little further than usual.

I was a little worried about swimming in the ocean since I’m not the best of swimmers. However, I was fine after that initial swim (well we snorkeled with the dolphins really) and as long as I had some one close by.

Karl apparently even complimented me (according to my aunts) saying that I was swimming like a fish and doing a good job. Not sure about the swim part but I will never turn down a compliment.

It was amazing being in the water with the dolphins and having them all around you. I took tons of pictures and was especially excited to see another baby dolphin.

Between the three swims, Jessica had drinks, snacks, fruits and sandwiches for us. The pineapple was especially good as well as the brownies the captain’s wife made us.

Our time out with Coral Reefs Adventures was great although the four hours went by quick. I wouldn’t mind going out with the group again in February to see whales in the future.

We decided to stay a little longer at the harbor and have lunch at Bite Me Fish Market Bar and Grill. The restaurant serves the fish they catch daily in the Hawaiian waters. Today’s catch was swordfish.


An order of fish dip (above) started us off. I’m not a big fan of fish, but I still enjoyed the food. I had to try a sangria and the super delicious fish melt sandwich, which was too much to eat. I had to take home leftovers. The sandwich had the fish of the day – swordfish – grilled, crumbled and mixed with mayo and than flat grilled with onion, tomato, and melted cheddar cheese and served on rye.

It’s now only 3:13 p.m and we have decided to take the afternoon off to rest and shop.

Beach day


A beach day was needed after Sunday’s travels. We went the opposite way this time and checked out the white sanded beaches along the way.

We stopped at Mauna Lea to snorkel and boogie board. We were there for hours.

Later, we stopped to check out tons of beaches including Hapuna Beach, which had more cats in one area than I have ever seen. Some of the cats blended in with the lava rock.

Our last stop was Waikoloa beach-one of my favorite places. It was in Anaeho’omalu Bay and is the home of the Waikoloa Canoe Club.11

We took the night easy stopping along the way home to watch the sunset.


This morning we are at the Harbor for a Four hour boat ride to sightsee, swim with dolphins and snorkel. More later.


Circling the island

Active volcanoes.

Sound exciting? It was. Sunday was our day to travel down the coast to view the volcano with stops along the way.


Our first stop was Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park, home of a monument to Capt. James Cook. It has sparkling aquamarine water and, when we were there, a novel wooden boat just floating in the water. There were also tons of crabs and dolphins as well. A man sat at the entrance carving wooden statues. We hope to go back later to kayak and snorkel.

St. benedict’s Catholic Church, also known as the Painted Church, was our next stop. A cat sat on the altar up front basking in all the attention he received while church members offered crafts to keep the churn in repair. I loved the various scenes painted on the wall, such as the symbolic picture of a good death with rays of hope shining, the appearance of the Cross to St. Francis, and the Temptation of Jesus. Above, a beach theme was painted with the beaches and palm trees on the side and the open sky at the top.

We finally saw a sea turtle at our next stop, Pu’ uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park. The green sea turtle, Honu, swam just before the beach poking it’s head above the water every once in a while. Surrounding it, were the statues and explanations of early life on the Hawaiian island. Aunt Jo especially loved the wooden canoes on display. They were pretty cool.

We then followed the winding Hwy. 19 further down the coast past an early 1900 lava flow stopping to eat at the well-recommended Hana Hou Restaurant and Deli. I got the super delicious Overloaded grilled cheese sandwich.


I still had to cross the road for a strawberry filled Malasada at the below well-known bakery, which had terrible service but great malasadas.


After that huge and amazing lunch, we kept on driving with one last stop at Punalu’u Black Sand Beach. There were two sea turtles sleeping on the beach.


It was our last stop before finally making it to the widely anticipated Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. We had to see the lava tubes and that was one of our first stops within the park. We stopped at the Thurston Lava Tube, which walked us through the rain forest.


Our drive through the park to the observatory took us past several steam pockets. The park’s staff was not friendly at all, but the views were breath taking.

We stayed at the Thomas A. Jagger Museum until after dark to see more than just smoke rising from Kilauea.


It was a great cap to the day. We continued the rest of our drive around the island after dark and got home around midnight.