Saturday, March 28, 2015

Big Island Day 5: Kayak & Snorkel Adventure


A school of yellow tangs at Kealakekua Bay. Photo by Todd.

We got up around 7ish and ate papayas for breakfast.  I also had corn flakes and Todd had popcorn.  We put our swimsuits on and packed our backpack for our kayak trip.  Left the condo around 9:30am.  Drove to Kona Boys to rent our kayak and snorkel gear.  We didn't see them on the left side of the road and drove too far.  Had to backtrack back to their store on Mamalahoa Rd.  

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They had a smallish store front, but had a store cat named Billy there.  He's rather fat but cute.  The two ladies at the store helped us.  That’s funny that two ladies work at Kona Boys, ha ha.  We got our kayak and gear and they secured the kayak on top of our rental car.  Then they were like, "Do you need snorkel gear?" and we had assumed it was part of the rental, so good thing they asked!  Todd was able to get some prescription snorkels, (#1) so he was really happy that he could see the fish.  In total we paid about $100 the kayak and snorkel rental.

We drove down Napo’opo'o Road and it was a long windy ways down.  We dropped the boat off at the dock and Todd went to park the car  up the street.  This big Hawaiian guy named Rufus was also renting kayaks down at the dock.  He helped get our kayak set up and ready to go.  Todd was putting in the seats backwards, LOL.  Rufus helped us secure our snorkel gear and dry bag too.  And he helped us get the kayak down into the water.  We tipped him for his help.  Then we were off!  


This was the “dock” where we embarked on our kayak adventure.  I don’t have photos while kayaking across, because we didn’t stop to get our camera out of the dry bag.  The water was slightly choppy and it was slightly scary to kayak all the way across the bay.  But it was certainly less scary than when we first did it in 2008.  We got to the Captain Cook Monument in about 25 minutes. We are no longer allowed to dock our kayak at the monument anymore.  Our kayak had to stay in the water away from land.  So once we got there I stayed in the kayak while Todd got out and snorkeled.  He put on his gear and got out of the kayak without incident.  


He was having so much fun swimming back and forth looking at the fish!  


Because he had the prescription snorkels, he could see the fish well.  I kept seeing his cute blonde head bob up and down, as well as his bright yellow snorkels.  He took a lot of great photos with our Olympus TG-3 waterproof camera.  He saw so many fish.  







Look at all the coral!


These fish look like they were smiling!








After a while he came back into the kayak.  



Then I put on my snorkel gear.  I was apprehensive about getting into the water from the kayak without tipping it.  Finally I got up the courage and flipped into the water in what I thought was a graceful fashion.  I started swimming and immediately saw fish.  I was so busy looking at all the fish that I didn't look back.  When I finally did, I didn't see Todd on top of the kayak.  That's when I realized that he was in the water and the kayak had capsized!  Some guy snorkeling by helped him get the stuff back into the kayak.  I went over to the kayak and Todd said, "You don't know how happy I am right now".  He thought he had lost the waterproof Olympus when he capsized, but he had just found it in the dry bag.  Everything in the dry bag got wet though.  But he had the camera! Thank goodness!  (Otherwise there would be no fish photos!)  He got himself settled back into the kayak and I went snorkeling some more to see more fish.  Finally I was finished and went back to the kayak.  I tried to climb back in, but I was really afraid of capsizing it again.  I tried to do belly first but couldn't.  So I tried doing leg first but wasn't strong enough to pull myself up into the kayak.  It was a frustrating 10 minutes.  Finally I was able to get back into the kayak after much effort, and thank goodness it didn't capsize! 

I got my snorkel gear off and regular gear back on, and we kayaked across Kealakekua Bay to get back.  




This time the waves were bigger.  It took some effort and we went into the wrong inlet before the one where we left.  Finally we made it and I was so relieved!  Rufus was there to help us get our kayak back up again.  Todd went to get the car and hoped that the car would start, because the car key got wet inside the dry bag.  The car started without a problem. We got the kayak back onto the roof of the car and secured it.  Then we went back up the road to Mamalahoa Road.  We stopped by the Chevron to get two bags of Cheetos and a coke!  (To mimic what we did last time.)  It was so good.  

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Then we went back to Kona Boys to return the kayak and gear.  We drove back to the condo to change into dry clothes.  Then we went out to lunch.  We were going to go to Kenichi Pacific but it was closed at lunch.  So we went cross the Longs Drugs plaza to Los Habaneros Mexican.  I had the carnitas plate and Todd had carne asada burrito.  It was 2:30pm by then!

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It was decent!  Then we rented "Whiplash" from Redbox.  We hung out and watched the start of March Madness basketball.

For dinner we went to Orchid Thai.  It is still good Thai food!  (We went there in 2008 also.)  We started with some veggie fresh spring rolls.  

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Then we had green curry chicken and chili basil chicken with bamboo.  Yum!

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Got back to the condo and had some Roselani's ice cream.  Then we watched the "Whiplash" movie.  It was ok.  I don't get why it had such Oscar buzz.  It was an awesome, adventurous, and tiring day!


  1. You had me scared for a second when I read "capsized." Glad everything turned out okay - found camera, car key worked, etc. Your camera captured such beautiful photos. TFS. And you are right, the fish were smiling.

  2. Love seeing the fish photos - glad the camera survived the adventure!

  3. Those underwater fish photos are amazing!

  4. Beautiful underwater photos! My fave memory of Hawaii was snorkeling in Hanauma Bay..we used an underwater camera, but it was 1992, so my photos are nearly as clear as yours! (proud of you getting back into the kayak..if it had been me, the Coast Guard would have been called..there's NO way I could get 'me' back into the 'boat'. ;) )


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