Saturday, December 22, 2018

Turtles and Sunsets on a Secret Beach, Big Island Hawaii

Just me and this turtle on our own Big Island beach
  With another month of trips onboard the Safari Explorer with UnCruise Hawaii in store I managed to find a quick adventure in my remaining few hours before going onboard. After landing at the Kailua Kona airport on the Big Island where I will meet the ship, I grabbed a rental car and cruised a few minutes north on the highway to a turnoff for the lava rock coast. A long bumpy road ensued over the lava fields. Off in the distance and slowly coming closer into sight was a beautiful oasis of palm trees surrounded by the jet black lava rock.

  The road to Kekaha Kai Beach park is not one for the faint of heart or cars with low clearance. However after seeing the secret beaches and beautiful coves from the plane as we descended made me have no doubt this adventure would be worth it. The close the park at 7pm, and the sun was already low on the horizon so I knew I had to act fast. Luckily I'm pretty adept at jumping from lava rock to lava rock in my local slippers which definitely came in handy.

  The setting sun through the palms provided a wonderful opportunity for photos. A few people remained but by this time of day I had big swaths of the beach to myself. I did end up sharing the beach with a couple of green sea turtles that hauled themselves up for a respite. I managed to get a few photos without disturbing their rest that really encapsulated the amazing experience of an exploration paying off. Now to switch my mind back into leading trips through the islands from the comfortable platform of the Safari Explorer.

 Check out these pics and more of the Hawaiian Islands at
Beautiful Big Island Sunset

Friday, December 14, 2018

Snorkel with Dad at Two Step, Big Island Hawaii

A secret spot of sand
Snorkelers at Two Step
One of my favorite snorkel spots in the Hawaiian Islands is locally known as Two Step. A beautiful bay south of Kailua Kona, lined with black lava rocks and filled with gorgeous protected coral draws loads of tourists and locals to its clear waters. Sometimes early in the mornings groups of spinner dolphins cruise around the bay, and there are always tons of beautiful fish here. Some of the healthiest, biggest corals in the state also can be found here at Two Step.

School of Yellow Tangs
  A perfect lava bench sits at the edge of the bay. Stepping down onto another bench just at water level that provides easy access to the snorkel site is where the bay gets its name. This was Catalina's first trip to the bay and luckily we found a great little spot of sand that we shared with a couple of other families. The snorkeling was great as usual, and even though the dolphins weren't around, it was fun to share this experience with my dad. Couldn't ask for a much better birthday gift than that.

Dad giving the OK sign

Freediver extreme

Freediving into a cave