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Travel Blog #105 - Dolphin watching with Captain Zodiac


We met up with Captain Zodiac office at their office, located on edge of the Honokohau Harbor about ten minutes north of Kona. When I showed up the people at the office greeted me and then directed me where to meet up with the boat. I followed their directions and found the boat in a slip near the boat ramp (about 75 yards away from the office). The boat was a black inflatable surround speedboat, the captain was making some last minute adjustments and I was the first passenger to show up.

After I boarded the boat the captain took some time to talk with me about some specifics of the trip. The plan was to leave the Honokohau and head south towards the Kealakekua Bay Marine Preserve. He explained that it is very common to run into pods of dolphins on the way to the preserve. As the rest of the passengers made their way to the boat I stowed my gear and made my final preparations to get ready for the days filming.

As soon as we made our way out of the harbor the Captain was able to demonstrate the power of his twin outboards as we smoothy accelerated and made some big s-turns on the smooth glassy waters of the Kona coastline. Smiles stretched across everyones faces as we all held on and enjoyed the ride. As soon as the captain got the boat up to speed we began to rapidly make our way down the coastline. We had the throttle pinned until we encountered our first pod of dolphins in the waters offshore of Kona town.

"Look at the pod of Spinner Dolphins right by the buoy!"

The Captain said as he pointed to the waters in front of us. We spotted the fins initially right by the buoy offshore of the Kona Pier. When we got closer they had made their way further South. The entire group was made up of Spinner Dolphins, they were collected into a pod that numbered in the hundreds. The group came up right next to the boat and we could see how many babies they had traveling with them. I've seen pods of dolphins that had babies in them before, but I have never seen as many baby dolphins as I did today. We even had a pair of fully grown dolphins with a baby dolphin in between them jump out of the water right next to us, it was quite an encounter.

As we made our way towards the bay I was pleased to see a plethora of sea caves and blowholes dotting the rocky coastline along the way. When we rounded the final bend and the monument came into view it was apparent that our speedy vessel had beaten the other, larger boats that also visit the area.

As soon as the boat came to a stop I had my snorkel gear ready and jumped off of the side to see what I could find. There was all kinds of marine life to see. Large schools of smaller fish, big pelagic fish and a variety of colorful corals made up the the majority of what I saw. I was most impressed with a large Omilu that I saw (a variety of Jack), these fish are hunted so heavily that they are rarely seen in coastal waters. Normally the ones I do see are rather skittish and tend to keep their distance. The one that I encountered inside the preserve seemed to know that I was not hunting it because it came right up to me. Not only did it come close, it then proceeded to swim circles around me for about a minute. This is something that is rare to see.

Another thing that I really liked about the diving in Kealakekua is the places towards the inside of the bay where vents from the underground freshwater streams that flow down the mountain empty into the ocean. The freshwater appears hazy compared to the salt water and it does not mix together right away so if you look closely you can see large columns of blurry water coming up from the bottom, as you swim through them you'll notice that the fresh water is much cooler then the salt water that surrounds it.

After we were done snorkeling we made our way back to the boat. Once everyone got back on, we left the bay and began our journey home. The Captain took us on along the "scenic" route on the way home. He took advantage of the flat ocean conditions and stayed very close to the cliffs along the way. We were able to maneuver inside some sea caves, and right next to some blowholes. The Captain was well versed in the history of the area and shared some great stories with us along the way.

There's nothing like the thrill you get from riding in a high performance vehicle. Weather it's a car, a plane or a boat, if you put enough horsepower inside of it and have enough open space, you're bound to have a good time. After talking with some of the other people on the trip I think that the fast ride of the boat was one of peoples favorite parts of the tour. I think it was hard to choose, between the giant pod of baby dolphins, the snorkeling at the bay, the sea caves on the way back and the fast ride on the boat I think it all added up to a good time. Diving in the smooth waters of south Kona was my favorite part of the day, the snorkeling here is truly world class and to get to experience it first hand is always a treat.




Travel Blog - Articles #100 to #109

I think it is safe to say that if there is any single activity that an equestrian would enjoy on their trip to the Hawaiian islands, it is CJM Country Stables.

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Today we did one of the premiere tours that is offered on the island of Kauai. We paddled sea kayaks down the entire Napali Coastline. We started at "Tunnels Beach" and made our way underneath the cliffs all the way to the immense Polihale Beach on the far west side of Kauai.

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When we checked in at the Outfitters Kauai office in Poipu the clouds were close to the ground, covering the ground with a light mist. It seemed like it would probably burn off in the next few hours, but for the time being it provided a much cooler climate then is normally found on the sunny south side of Kauai.

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The first of all of the Hawaiian Islands to have helicopter tours on it was the island of Kauai. Once you go to Kauai, you will understand that this was no coincidence.

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Rarely will you find a boat that is so well suited to the excursion that it goes it as the boat that is operated by Liko Kauai Cruises. Their 49 foot catamaran is powered with twin 260hp inboards and the overall design is fairly narrow.

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Island Adventures is the only kayaking company that goes up the river through the Hule'ia National Wildlife Refuge. This river eventually goes up towards the Kipu Ranch.

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If you are in decent shape and want to do something worth telling your friends about once you get home you should consider doing a Kayaking trip down the Napali Coast on Kauai.

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Since "Cruiser Bob" first pioneered the original Haleakala bike ride decades ago the format of the rides has changed, but the industry has remained the same in many ways.

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Umauma Ziplines is located on the northern coast of the Hilo side of the Big Island. The location requires participants from Hilo to take a short drive up the Hamakua coastline to the ranch.

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Other Blog Articles

Snorkeling is the most popular vacation activity in Hawaii. We offer snorkel trips from sailboats, large powerboats and even small zodiac rafts. We've got blog articles about our trips aboard all types of boats on all the major islands and if you're thinking about doing a snorkeling excursion during your stay we encourage you to check out our blog articles and videos to get a better idea of what our trips are like.

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$91.90

Explore the Big Island's Kona Coast on a 24' Zodiac Inflatable raft. Sights will include sea caves and grottos, dolphins, manta rays and turtles.

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