I was beyond pleased to finally have the opportunity spend my morning paddling down the Kona coast, my friend Dan and I. We stopped for breakfast at the famous L & L Drive In located in Keauhou Shopping Center to get "carbed" up the trip. Unfortunately we parked on the hill overlooking the pier, unaware that parking was available right behind the building. Instead we walked the 5 minutes down to the check in point on the other side of the sand volleyball court. The company focuses on taking small groups of adventurers, and we were soon joined by three teenagers and their dad. After the initial assessment I felt pretty confident that I could keep up with this group.
Our guide took us to several idyllic places to snorkel, in small bays with vast amounts of fish. Each time our guide Cassie made sure to take the time to tell us the history of that particular spot. There were spinner dolphins playing games with us, turtles that checked us out, and flocks of vividly colored wild parrots flying over our heads. We even took turns paddling deep into a sea cave alongside the guide! We got to see some authentic ancient petro-glyphs etched on the rocky surfaces. After we climbed out of the kayak and up on the rocky shoreline for a snack.
We paddled a short distance after lunch to some huge rock cliffs where the teenagers and their dad did some diving as Dan and I cheered them on. I felt like a judge at the Olympics, giving them all 9.9 for style..what fun!
I was a little nervous about the trip home but we had the wind at our back the whole way, and it was much easier a paddle than I'd anticipated.
The guide's knowledge of the area, water conditions, and paddling techniques demonstrates why Ocean Safari gets all of their rave reviews. Paddling the waters just south of Kona, away from the crowds at Captain Cook, they've helped over 10,000 visitors' savor the satisfaction of self propelled cruising for over five years.
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