Snorkeling with Spinner Dolphins

Earlier this week we took a small zodiac boat again out to snorkel with dolphins off Kona.  We had done this before but only saw the dolphins from a long distance.  This day we got lucky and actually snorkeled while a pod played around us.  We could hear the dolphins talking which was pretty cool.  Hawaii has a mixture of many dolphins and we were in the water with Bottle Nose (Flipper) and Spinner Dolphins.  The Spinner’s can do flips out of the water to include spinning as they fall.  We were told they can do up to about 8 revolutions and did see some 4-6 revolutions,  pretty impressive.  It was almost like the dolphins were showing off for our applause, which they received.  The dolphins hunt at night and sleep during the day.  They are able to turn off one side of their brain which disables vision on one side as they “sleep”.  Apparently, most of these dolphins were awake.

Being in the water with these graceful creatures was the coolest thing I have experienced here.  They seem not afraid of people and appear curious.  One dolphin actually looked up at us from below, while he swam on his back!  We also saw a young dolphin copying all the swim moves of an adult.  It was pretty neat!

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Kaua’i National Wildlife Refuge and Waikiki Beach

One of the coolest things we saw on Kauai was the National Wildlife Refuge which is located at the lighthouse at Kilauea.  The lighthouse sits about 400 ft above the surf overlooking the ocean and cliffs with numerous bird habitats.  We saw Red Footed Boobies, Red Tailed Topic birds, Frigate birds, Albatross and several others.  Personally, I love birds!  I really appreciate there majestic flight and beauty.  Maybe that is a sign of getting older, but I’m not sure and don’t care.  I love to watch them in flight and appreciate their struggle for living.  From that high vantage point we were also able to see about 8 – 10 humpback whales including a group of four that were very close to shore.  The place cost $5.00/each to enter and is well worth it.  I am not sure why I never visited it on other Kauai trips. Glad I found it this time as it was a favorite site of Jane and I. After Kauai we toured Honolulu for 2 days and had some fun shopping in Waikiki Beach.  We enjoyed some great food and snorkeled in Hananama Bay which is really over rated compared to the snorkeling in the Kona area.  Honolulu is a big city with a lot of traffic, we were happy to get back to our sleepy Kona!  Aloha and enjoy the pics!!

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This week we returned to the garden island, Kauai.  We were married here

5 years ago and at that time we vowed to return on our 5th year anniversary.  So here we are and to celebrate we took a helicopter trip around the island.  What a great way to see this beautiful place, we both loved it and felt it was one of the most exciting things we have ever done and highly recommend it.  Nothing we can say that the pics don’t show.  Enjoy!

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Whenever we have visitors, it really puts us into the Hawaiian vacation mode.  It breaks us out of the day to day routine and encourages us to do some extra fun things.  In reality, it does not take much encouragement as there are many fun things to do here.  Jane’s friend Camille came for a week and during that time we were able to do some snorkeling, sightseeing and then finally a boat snorkel trip where we were lucky to see numerous dolphins and even swam with them below us.  All in all it was a great time and I think Camille came away, as most do, loving this special island.  Enjoy the photos!

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Rainy side of the Island and Volcano

Last week Jane, my sister Donna and I ventured with to the eastern side or wet side of the Island.  For comparison Kona (west side) gets 10 inches of rain annually, Hilo 129 inches annually.  We did have some rain but got lucky and were able to tour one of Donna’s favorite things, the Botanical Garden, during sunny weather.  Later we drove to Akaka falls, a beautiful waterfall that drops 600 feet to a pool.  We timed it good and just got back to the car when the rain let loose!

That night we spent the evening in the tiny town of Volcano and checked out Volcano National Park (VNP) in some heavy wind and rain.  We did get to witness a full 180 degree rainbow, beautiful, but no pot of gold.  Donna is a big quilter and there was a very cool quilt shop in Volcano that had a lot of Hawaiian patterns and materials.  So, it was a very nice trip although a long drive.   If you do a tour they will do the whole trip in one day but it is more enjoyable if you can stop overnight near the VNP and see the volcano glow at night which we did.  The other advantage in doing an overnight trip is that the weather is pretty wild and changeable at the VNP and we have found the mornings are often sunny.   The next morning we were greeted by a sunny day and a lot of birds enjoying the sunshine.  Enjoy the photos!

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Picnic and some nice pics

Today we toured a coffee farm and then went to the Area of Refuge (Pu’uhonau O Hon

aunau)  which is a national historic park and enjoyed a picnic.  We got some good pics of the interesting vegetation.

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My sister Donna’s visit to Hawaii

My sister Donna is now here in Hawaii visiting us.  We have had a great time snorkeling x2 at Kahalu’u Beach and today we had a whale watching trip.  That was really cool, we saw several humpback whales and even got a pic of a whale breaching.  We were also able to hear the whales singing  due to a microphone dropped into the water.  That was very interesting!  Enjoy the photos!

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