January 21, 2008

Incredible day in Kohala

We had the most amazing day near home in North Kohala on the Big Island.
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The forecast at home in Kapa'au called for rain (and sure enough we were treated to a massive rainbow just after sunrise), so we decided to drive about twenty minutes south to Kawaihae to go snorkeling in a drier area. When we arrived we weren't sure what to expect-- we'd never been to this snorkeling spot before. The path down to the water certainly looked inviting.
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As we came close to the cove, we spotted humpback whales just offshore! Spouts, heads, spyhopping, a back, and some flipper-slapping. Just as we put the camera away to climb down the cliff and get into the water, we saw a whale jump completely out of the water and come crashing down. Unbelievable. We hiked further down the trail to the cove and were treated to an unbelievably clear and deep pool-like entry cove.
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We could still see whales cavorting just offshore, so we quickly donned our snorkeling gear and jumped into water. While we snorkeled around the cove and the endless acres of coral beyond, we could hear whalesong every time we dove down into the water. The whales sounded so close, like you could just reach out and touch them. We saw a ton of reef fish including parrotfish, tangs, wrasses, butterflyfish, and triggerfish. While we snorkeled, a lone fisherman cast his line off the rocks.
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After hours of swimming around the endless acres of coral, we were forced to get out of the water to eat and reheat. We didn't want to, but relaxing on the shore was pretty nice too. We packed up and headed back home, taking the long mountain route back via Waimea. We will definitely need to spend more time at our new favorite snorkeling spot!
Posted by todd at January 21, 2008 10:25 PM