Our snorkeling destination for the day is a place called Kealakekua Bay, this area is of huge significance to Hawaiian history. At one point Kealakekua Bay was a large fishing village that was known by the locals for it’s massive annual harvest festival. The festival was to pay tribute to the god “Lono”. Citizens would travel from all over the island to bring offerings to Lono and partake in the festivities. It just so happened that at this very place, during the festival of Lono, was the place where Captain Cook happened to land when he initially came to Hawaii. In addition to being the first place that Captain Cook landed, it was also the place where he died (this happened on a later visit to Kealakekua Bay).
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Travel Blog #133 - Snorkeling The Kealakekua Bay Marine Preserve With Fair Wind II
This morning we checked in for our days snorkel excursion down at boat ramp at Keauhou Bay, which is located on the southern end of Kona Town. As we pulled into the parking lot we could see the large blue shape of the Fair Wind II tied up to the pier. We checked in at the main check in office where we were issued our boarding passes to get on the boat. It took about fifteen minutes for everyone else that was going to show up. As we were all on the boat the captain turned on the motors and slowly pulled the double decked “Fair Wind II” away from the pier.
Today, there is a large memorial that was constructed by the British to honor the memory of the legendary Captain Cook. I found that some of the best snorkeling was actually right in front of the memorial. Another place that I liked was an underwater arch that was located a bit farther out along the point. As soon as we got in the ocean I was amazed by the clarity of the water, as well as the copious amounts of marine life. Another thing that was unique to the area was the presence of freshwater springs underneath the water. These were easily spotted because when the freshwater mixes with the salt water it creates a blurriness in the water. Also, if you dove down and swam through the blurrier looking areas you could feel a dramatic temperature difference between the warm ocean water and the much colder freshwater from the underwater springs.
When we were done snorkeling we made our way back to the boat to eat lunch and then go for a few runs down the water slide into the ocean. We made friends with some visitors from the Northwestern United States and spent the majority of the trip back to the harbor talking with them.
After we got back to the harbor we decided that we’d had enough sun for the day so we cruised back towards the downtown Kona to window shop the stores on Ali’i Drive, it was an amazing day!
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