This Adventurous Life

A young couple exploring the world…and their 30's

Dolphins are wonderfully beautiful and playful mammals. Seeing them in their natural environment can’t be matched by shows at Seaworld or swimming with captured dolphins at a resort. This was the most amazing experience on the Big Island and it only cost us a tandem kayak rental.


Kealakekua Bay is south of Kailua-Kona and next to the Captain Cook Monument.  If you arrive early in the morning (7am is ideal) you will be hanging out with spinner dolphins with the bay all to yourself.  Kayaking from the dock over to the reef where you will want to snorkel is about a quarter mile.  Plenty of time to have a close encounter such as Cayle’s in this picture.

Kealakekua bay is the largest natural bay on the Big Island, and its calm waters make it a perfect sanctuary for a variety of fish including pods of spinner dolphins. The clear waters give you amazing visibility when snorkeling. Early in the morning before the obnoxious tour operators show up, dolphins will rest, eat, and play in the bay…with or without you. They appeared to want to show off their spinning skills.

We were only in our kayaks for about ten minutes before the first pod swam by. As quickly as I could, I jumped out of the kayak with my snorkel half on and our Olympus Tough camera secured to my wrist. Completely unable to catch up to this lad, I took in the moment enjoying their beauty and chatty nature. Wow, they are talkative mammals making such musical sounds underwater.
We highly recommend kayaking at the bay near Captain Cook’s memorial. The snorkeling was okay (most of the reef was dying and the boats get dangerously close to the snorkelers and reef)…..but kayaking and swimming with the dolphins is a must. And, really kayakers are not hurting the dolphins or the environment. Those old polluting boats on the other hand….

3 Responses to “Fairy pools and spinners part II”

  1. Jesse McKay

    Kealakakua Bay ! One of the best places on the Big Island. The snorkeling near the monument is spectacular.

    • thisadventurouslife

      Hi there! Thanks for stopping by our blog. When were you there? The concentration of fish was pretty amazing by the monument. We couldn’t believe how close to the reefs and snorkelers the boats anchored.

      • Jesse McKay

        I go there often its a great spot. Im currently mainland and missing the island.

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