Spotting Dolphins in the Kealakekua Bay in Hawaii

Wow! It has been a great start to my week in Hawaii! Regardless of almost forgetting how long the fight is until I boarded and they said we would be there in 7.5 hours, I could not have planned a better first two days.

On the plane ride over, I sat next to a woman who I’m pretty sure is my kindred spirit..and definitely is my new inspiration. Her name is Sue and she was heading to Hawaii for 2 weeks to attend the wedding of her good friend’s son. After talking to her for a bit, she told me that after graduating with her teaching degree in the 60’s, she applied for jobs all over the USA (she was living in TX at the time). She ended up getting an offer in Oahu so off she went. She expected to stay for a couple of years but ended up staying for 43 years. After being diagnosed with lung cancer in 2004 and given 3-4 months to life, she moved to College Station, TX to be closer to the hospitals in Houston. 11 years later, she is still beating it. While she is always enduring treatments and long flights are really hard (not to mention walking through airports out of breath), she was really excited for this trip (and I was so excited for her). She was telling me about all of the traveling she has done over the course of the flight and asking me about my travels as well (she hasn’t been to Ireland or Englad and was asking for tips). Also, she told she has a black poodle that gives her sad eyes and acts out when she leaves…hmmm, sounds familiar (yes Stella, I am looking at you). It was so great to have such an interesting and inspiring person to converse with on the long flight. It made it almost pleasant. After arriving on the Big Island and getting to my hotel room, I was able to watch the second half of the Iowa game. 10-0! Whoop! Go Hawks!

Today, I scheduled a kayaking and snorkeling adventure with Kona Boys, Inc. Due to a mix up (they tried to contact me the day before but my phone was off because I was in the air so I wasn’t reachable), I ended up being the only person on the excursion. I felt bad but they told me it was okay so they took me out anyway and it was so worth it. I met the guide at the marina and he told me there was “a 110% chance” we would see dolphins while we were out on the water. He was absolutely right! We didn’t just see a few dolphins, we saw at least 3 pods. At 20-40 dolphins a pod, we saw about 100 of them. And to top it off, there were BABY dolphins slightly bigger than the size of a football with them. It was AMAZING! I have never been so content to just sit in a kayak and chill. They came so close to us. I couldn’t have asked for anything better (ok, maybe a momma and baby whale but I can’t be picky). After hanging with the dolphins, we started kayaking across the bay. I jumped off about 3/4 of the way over and snorkled/swam the rest of the way. It was one of those times where I said a big silent thanks to my mom for making me take all those swimming lessons and dropping us off at the pool every day during the summer. The guide asked me if I wanted to swim the rest of the way so I could snorkel along the way and I didn’t hesitate. Absolutely! Between swimming lessons and going through SCUBA certification where I learned the proper way to put gear on in water, it was a breeze! And the water was so warm. The best part was that there were only a few people out snorkeling (so I wasn’t being kicked in the head every 30 seconds like usual) and there were no motorized boats…so I could just float along and not have to be so concerned about what was going on at the surface. Once I reached the other side of the bay after snorkeling for a while, we checked out Captain Cook’s monument, had a snack and then headed back to our vehicles. On the way back to the hotel, I stopped at the grocery store and picked up my two Hawaii staples…poke and pineapple before hitting the pool with a book for the rest of the afternoon. It was such a great day! I 💛 Hawaii!

One quick observation that maybe someone can confirm for me: I noticed that the flight attendants were all veterans on the flight over. I remember the same being true the last time I went to HI because there was a mini celebration for an attendant who was retiring and that was her last flight. Is the flight to Hawaii the most coveted? It seems like that must be the case because the most senior attendants are the ones on those flights. Anyone know for sure?

Sue and I right before landing in Honolulu. She was heading to Maui from there. I boarded a flight to Kona.  
The Big Island from the air.

While waiting for the flight to Kona, this man entertained us with his ukulele. It was fun listening to him and silently singing along to the songs I knew (including Puff the Magic Dragon). 

Sunset on Sat night

There is a luau at the hotel on Wed and Sat nights. I didn’t attend the dinner portion (I went to a luau last time I was in HI so been there, done that) but I happened to be exploring the grounds and was nearby when the fire acts came on stage so I stayed and watched them. This guy was pretty good. 

There was a power pole blocking the main road to the marina this morning so I had to take back roads to get there, including this one lane road for about 15 minutes. I couldn’t help but chuckle at some of the pickles I get myself into…although this road wasn’t nearly as harrowing as the one we encountered in Ireland, just ask my cousin Deb. 

Kealakekua Bay 

Looking back at the dolphins (and fully protected from the sun).

I don’t look cute when I snorkel. The water photos were taken with my iPhone in a waterproof case.     

Captain Cook Monument. Hawaiians have been known to vandalize this plaque by scratching out “The Discoverer.” Makes sense since they were already here.   

The X below is where Captain Cook was standing when he was killed. 

Dolphins!!! I don’t have any good photos of the babies. I was focused on enjoying the moment and taking it all in.   

Pineapple and poke! Poke is a salad usually made with raw tuna. Delicious! 

The sunset tonight was beautiful! These photos are from my hotel balcony.   

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1 Comment

  1. November 21, 2015 / 10:04 am

    Love love love. Yes, getting to Hawaii is such a long process. Last time we flew United with the kids and forgot to bring substantial snacks for the 10 hour flight….haha….yeah. Sue seems amazing. Hopefully she is enjoying the sun and the wedding; keep showing that cancer who is the boss Sue. Iphone in waterproof case = brilliant! Dolphins pods = mega lucky!! And yup, it’s good to be in a moment without the need to take pictures!! Enjoy the rest of your time in Hawaii!!

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