Friday, November 21, 2008
Day 7: Kayak & Snorkel
After a solid rest, we headed out to Island Lava Java again. This time it was carrot cake for Todd: and coffee and Eggwich for me: The cake did not have cream cheese icing so it was a bit disappointing. The weather was cloudy so we were relieved that we were unable to purchase snorkel tour tickets for Friday morning. (They were all sold out.) So we decided to check out parts of the south part of the island we had not yet seen. The first beach was called Kahalu'u Beach and it was smallish with coarse sand and some snorkeling. Because of the continuing cloudy weather, we passed on entering the water. So we headed south to Kealakekua Bay. The road there, Napo'opo'o Rd was very windy and descended probably 1000'. At the end of the road, Derek the aggressive salesman convinced us to rent a kayak and snorkel gear which we were leaning towards anyway since the sun was coming out. The spot across the bay was recognized as the best spot around the island for snorkeling. It cost $60, with snorkel gear even, which was much cheaper than the $250 we would have spent on the tour. We did have to kayak one mile across the bay though, from Napo'opo'o Wharf to the Captain Cook Monument. It took about 30 minutes, we were a bit amateurish in our steering and Todd got blisters quickly. We beached our boat on some black rocks not far from the Captain Cook Monument (where he was killed by the native Hawaians!). That spot is actually British soil. The couple who landed next to us argued incessantly. "Put your shoe on first." "Bring the camera here." "Move to that side." "Enter the water over here." It was ridiculous and we tired of them quickly. I wonder what they are like when they're not vacationing in paradise. The snorkel spots: Here's where I wish I would have bought the Olympus waterproof and shockproof camera before we came to Hawaii. I would have had many more kayaking and snorkeling photos than this! We had to pack our regular Canon SD850 into the "dry bag" on the kayak so it didn't get wet or fall into the ocean. So most of the photos are from a 27 exposure Fuji disposable waterproof camera. I overcame some initial reluctance and decided to go in the water. Good decision. The water was very clear and warm and the sun stayed mostly out which made for the best views we've ever seen underwater. The fish were everywhere amongst the coral. We also swam over to the monument and snapped a picture of Todd's wet head in front of it. Somehow I got a huge cloud of steam/haze on the photo. I already spent a lot of time trying to fix it in Photoshop, so this is as good as it gets. After about an hour, we swam back to the kayak and launched back towards Napo'opo'o Wharf. Our steering had not improved as we zig-zagged our way back. I got so frustrated with our lack of direction that I was beating the water at different times during the return. But a tail wind helped us get back faster than we came. The kayaking exercised our arms, and the snorkeling exercised our legs. Because the rental place only took cash, we had to head up to the main road, visit an ATM and return. It was an extra 30 minutes. It was already 1:45 and no lunch yet. So Todd grabbed a coke and cheetos at the gas station, along with the cash. I was super-excited to see Todd come out of the gas station with Cheetos. What a flash of brilliance! That hit the spot and we decided to skip lunch. Back to the hotel for clean up. Then we headed back to Kona Brewing Co. for a pizza repeat. Why wouldn't we when it was so delicious the first time: :p I skipped the beer this time though. We decided not to stop the calorie over-achievement and got some Hawaiian shaved ice. Todd had blueberry/green apple with ice cream on the bottom: and I had lychee/coconut (with ice cream too): We gassed up the car and headed back to the condo to relax and pack our bags. We were wistful that our Hawaiian adventure had winded down and is coming to an end.