Snorkel Historic Kealakekua Bay with Fair Wind Cruises
Fair wind’s Morning Snorkel & BBQ is a must do for anyone of any age visiting Kona, Hawaii. It was so fun and relaxing. We snorkeled in one of the most historic and significant bays in Hawaii, the Kealakekua Bay State Marine Life Sanctuary.
Kealakekua Bay is a small protected bay that has sacred significance to the Hawaiian culture. It is surrounded by sheer volcanic cliffs that protect the coral reef from damaging waves and help keep the blue waters of the bay pristine and clear.
Kealakekua which means pathway of the gods, is very sacred in the Hawaiian culture because it is said to be the home of the mythical fertility god, Lono.
Kealakekua Bay is also home of the Captain Cook Monument. Captain James Cook became the first European to set foot on the Hawaiian Islands in 1779. This monument, unfortunately, also marks his death a short time later.
While snorkeling, we saw a wide variety of bright and colorful fish. There were schools of yellow tangs, orange-spined tangs, convict tangs, and clusters of red and black sea urchins. We even saw a spiky green crown-of-thorns starfish.
Fair Wind’s luxurious and sophisticated boat, Hula Kai, offered comfortable seating, two on-board restrooms, and a full galley kitchen complete with a BBQ to prepare gourmet meals and cocktails for the guests.
The Hula Kai was as also outfitted with two 15′ water slides, 2 diving platforms (both a low and a high), floatation boards with viewing windows, snorkel gear, and snuba equipment.
For over forty years, the Dante family has sailed the waters of Hawaii offering snorkeling cruises in the Kealakekua Bay – making them one of the only original tour boat companies on the Kailua-Kona side of the big island.
Fair Wind Cruise maintains a high crew to guest ratio, so there was always someone to help us put on our equipment and help us in and out of the water. We were never worried about our safety because each member of the crew is lifeguard certified with ocean rescue experience.
Snuba has been on our list to try ever since we started snorkeling and diving 18+ years ago. We heard that it was a good way to get your feet wet (yes, pun intended) between snorkeling and diving. If you are not familiar with snuba (snorkel + scuba dive), it is like snorkeling in that you are close to the surface of the water and your air supply is floating on a raft at the surface, but it is also like diving because you wear a weight belt and can go down to depths of 20-50 feet.
Now that I have tried it, I would agree, it is a good step between snorkeling and scuba diving. With snuba you are able to practice important diving skill like breathing with a regulator and equalizing your ears before you make the plunge into diving. I do have to admit, I liked not having the weight of the cumbersome air tank on my back, but at the same time, I did not like the tether of the air hose. Now if I could just grow a pair of gills, the world would be almost perfect.
They feed you!
On the short trip from the home bay of Keauhou Bay to Kealakekua Bay, the crew prepared a tasty breakfast of fresh tropical fruit, muffins, scrambled eggs, and pastries. That hit the spot for a morning snorkel.
Once at Kealakekua Bay the crew started preparing a delicious BBQ lunch while we were busy swimming, snorkeling, and trying our hand at snuba. With all that, we really worked up an appetite! The lunch consisted of both meat and vegetarian burgers complete with a variety of salads and sweets such as cookies. We did not disembark hungry. And they had a cash bar so we could enjoy a cold brew or cocktail on the way back to the home bay.
When to go
There really is no “off season” for snorkeling in Hawaii. With an average temperature of 78 degrees and visibility from 80-100 feet, the water is nearly perfect year round. Our cruise, during mid-April was no exception.
Fair Wind offers multiple cruises that are suitable for all ages and interests. We did the Morning Kealakekua Snorkel and BBQ – they also have the Deluxe Kona Coast, Afternoon Kealakekua Snorkel and the evening Manta Ray Snorkel Adventure.
Ready to go?
Check out Fair Wind’s website at Fair-wind.com to book online. Fair Wind home bay is Keauhou Bay just south of Kailua-Kona. Parking is available at the end of Kamehameha III Road off Alii Highway. Still have questions? Call Fair Wind’s office at 808-322-2788.