Sea Rockets and Spinner Dolphins… Snorkeling Off the Kona Coast with FairWind’s Hula Kai

On Saturday I had the opportunity to do something I have never done before and that is snorkeling off the Kona Coast with FairWind Big Island Ocean Guides. I actually was given the choice of a couple of their tours but I chose the Hula Kai adventure.

We began the tour at Keahou Bay where the FairWind headquarters is located.  This also happens to be the bay that Kamehameha III was born at.

They had a few other boats as well parked at the ramps but I was focused on the Hula Kai.

I sat on the top section of the boat right at the perch of the boat or the highest point as we headed out to our first destination.

We passed the Franklin Lloyd Wright designed Sheraton on the way out and we were off for a 30 minute cruise down the coast.

We passed the City of Refuge otherwise known as Pu’uhonua o Honaunana on our way down the coast.

That was pretty cool because I’ve never even been to that place on foot.

Here is a short video of us going past the City of Refuge.  If you turn the volume on your speakers, you can hear the guide telling us about it.


At our first snorkel stop was along a wall of lava cliffs that was just spectacular looking.

I told my guide who I was and that I was on a complimentary trip and I let them know I was interested in the Sea Rockets.

He went up and looked at how many had been rented out and had me sign a waiver and I was off on a complimentary Sea Rocket trip.

I didn’t have an underwater camera with me… but this video from the FairWinds website gives you an idea of what I got to do.


The next stop we went to… I held off on snorkeling and just decided to eat lunch which was Barbecued Cheese Burgers, Beans, Salad and Chips.  I didn’t want to cramp up in the water so I just stayed on the boat.  The place was gorgeous though and the water super clear.

This tour typically is only two stops… but they gave us a bonus third stop which was cool, so I decided to buck up the $50.00 to use one of the Sea Scooters again as I never know when I’ll get that chance to go again!

This time they told us specifically that there was a cave that we weren’t suppose to enter because it was fairly dangerous.  The picture below is not the dangerous cave… however, because I had the sea rocket and the tour guide had a sea rocket so he took he brought me to the dangerous lava tube where we actually dived in one side… hold our breath… and then dive out the other side… it was crazy!

After about four hours out in the ocean and thee dive stops, it was time to pack it in and as we headed back north up the coast, the boats captain gave us a quick lesson of the historic Kealakekua Bay.

This is the bay where Captain James Cook was eventually killed by the Hawaiians and this monument was erected by Cooks people years later.

As we were bringing the boat back to the harbor, we got the best surprise of all… a small pod of spinner dolphins showed up out of nowhere.

Here’s a short clip to show you how close they were swimming alongside the boat with us.


It was a great trip and I appreciate all those that made it happen for me.  Just one question for the dang guides that swam with me… HOW DO YOU FRICKING HOLD YOUR BREATH SO LONG!

One of our guides "Josh" could hold his breath at least three times as long as I could!