During our explorations on Saturday, we discovered a place to rent kayaks on Kealakekua Bay. This seemed rather odd because all of the guidebooks and tourist literature say that the only way to go out in the bay is by guided tour or to rent a kayak in town and bring it down to the bay by car. So we were happy to find a much easier way.
Kealakekua Bay is famous for a few reasons. It is beautiful setting with cliffs rising more than a thousand feet up one side and crystal clear blue water. It has great snorkeling. And it’s the place where Captain Cook, the great explorer who "discovered" these islands in 1775 was killed by the Hawaiians a few years later (As a side note, the Hawaiians liked him. They even thought he was a special god, but just before he was scheduled to leave they took his dinghy and he wanted it back. The ended up having a fight and in a frenzy of rather excessive, and really unwarranted anger, the Hawaiians hacked and stabbed him to death at the shore — in Kealakekua Bay.) They have since erected a white marble monument in a remote corner of the bay to commemorate the great navigator). The monument wasn’t too inspiring for the kids, so the story behind it added a bit more incentive to paddle across the bay to see it.
We packed a bunch of cold cuts, bread, water and enough muchies for lunch and headed out about 10am. Paddling our way across the deep blue water was wonderful. We had three kayaks — a single for Ryan and two doubles. Unfortunately there were the kind of open "ocean" kayaks that are very slow. Ryan’s kayak also had a messed up back rest so he got very uncomfortable quickly. He grumbled and moaned but we eventually made it across to the monument.
Once across the bay we pulled the kayaks up on shore and started snorkeling. It was an amazing place for seeing fish. There is a coral reef next to shore and then a steep ledge where schools of fish would hover. Even though we had found an easy way to rent kayaks, we weren’t alone in the bay. In fact there were several tour boats and groups anchored nearby. There were several hundred people snorkeling and swimming but it didn’t seem crowded. We explored for over an hour and then had our lunch near a tide pool under the shade of a mangrove tree.
After finishing lunch we followed a path over to the monument. Took a quick look the plaque and then headed back into the water for more snorkeling.
Eventually we got water logged and packed up our kayaks for the trip home. This time Sue took he single kayak and Ryan seemed happier, although there were a few incidents and frustrations with the paddling style of his partner (Cal).
[note we took water proof cameras for the trip so we don’t have any digital ones to post here]
As we crossed the bay Sue spotted an area where people were perched at the top of lava cliffs near where we launched out boats. We could see they also had cars. As we packed up we asked the kayak rental place how to get out to see. Of course it was through another one-lane lava field. This one wasn’t nearly as bad or as long as our bumpy trek out to Champagne Pond a few days earlier. There were mostly local fisherman and some scuba divers. We found a spot to park and walked out. Sure enough there was place on the cliff where you could jump into the water. There were different levels ranging from about five feet high up to around 15 feet. Rusty tested the depth with a mask on first to ensure it was safe and then we started jumping into the green-blue pools from the lava cliff. Of course the first to test the water, and the air, was the mountain goat of the family — Roby. He was in within a matter of seconds after getting the OK. We all tested the 5 foot spot and quickly wanted to progress up to the higher levels. Within two dives we were all jumping off the 15 foot ledge. Roby also discovered a more efficient way out of the rocks so we didn’t have to swim around to a shallow rock about 50 feet away.
The jumping was invigorating but we finally hit our limit of sun and water and piled back into the car for the 30 minute trip home.
We were tired and decided to find a movie for the evening. We went to Wal-Mart again and got a bargain bin edition of "A Beautiful Mind" on DVD. We watched it together and finished off the last of the hot dogs, tuna and salad. We also organized our bags in preparation for our early morning flight to Kauai. Once again the sunset off our porch was amazing.