Saturday, July 9, 2011

Swimming with Dolphins in Kona

Spinner dolphins in the wild
They're one of the most dramatic and exciting sights in Hawaiian waters. Pods of spinner dolphins amaze visitors with incredible aerial displays, spinning and leaping out of the water several times in succession before slapping their bodies on the water's surface.  Underwater, they are equally playful and majestic, emitting a "clicking" sonar sound that can be heard clearly by swimmers within the vicinity of an approaching dolphin. Mothers and babies can be seen swimming and spinning together.

Spinner dolphins frequent the entire Kona Coast, but certain areas are prime destinations for dolphin viewing. One of the most popular is Kealakekua Bay, a marine conservation area and site of Captain Cook Monument. Here, dolphins enter the bay in the morning hours to rest after nightly hunting excursions. The crystalline waters and calm conditions provide the ideal setting for witnessing dolphins in the wild.

Kealakekua Bay
Most dolphin/snorkel cruises depart from Keauhou Bay, sometimes twice daily such as the Fair Wind catamaran or Captain Zodiac inflatable rafts. You can also rent kayaks and paddle to Captain Cook Monument yourself. If you find yourself in the water with spinner dolphins, be mindful of the Marine Mammals Protection Act, a law that prohibits people from chasing, feeding or touching marine mammals in the wild. Resist the temptation to pursue dolphins, rather, allow them to swim to you. Continual human interaction can be disruptive to their natural behaviors and well-being. Simply enjoy their beauty and grace from a distance.

Kealakekua Bay is located just 20 minutes from Holualoa Inn. Guests of the Inn can enjoy complimentary usage of snorkel gear and other beach equipment. Our Holualoa Inn ohana will even help you book your snorkel cruise, or recommend other beaches and bays where dolphins are known to frequent.

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn

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