Birthday Dolphins!

We booked a half day snorkeling excursion for this morning–and then Ned & the kids decided to pair it with a night snorkel with the manta rays. While the success of the latter remains to be seen, the success of the first (on Fair Winds) is without question!

While we ate a full breakfast buffet, the catamaran sailed about 6 miles down the shoreline through choppy, deep blue waters to Kealakekua Bay: a protected (both legally and naturally) inlet filled with coral reefs and crystal clear, smooth, turquoise waters. I’d never snorkeled before, but the boat had prescription masks on board and a crazily helpful crew … I took to snorkeling like a 50 year old fish to water 🙂

It was simply beautiful, like swimming peacefully through the world’s largest aquarium while fish nibbled and played on coral reefs just inches from me. It was already pretty near perfect, then the dolphins re-appeared.

They had circled the boat earlier, twirling out of the water, 10-15 fins surfacing at a time. We thought it was great! Then, they sped off. As the kids–who by now had moved on from snorkeling to water sliding and high diving off the boat–floated around me, Harper said: “The dolphins came back!” I peered belie the surface just in time to see a pod of about 15, including a baby, swimming about 4 feet below me. And, this went on for about 45 minutes as they zipped all around the bay, moving a big further out if too many people appeared in sightseeing boats, then coming back in when it was just our snorkeling group. The staff said they’d couldn’t recall seeing so many so close for so long.

Add in a blue sky, lovely sun, charcoal grilled local beef burgers on the boat for lunch, and the sudden appearance of about three whales on the trip back to port. Really perfect birthday!

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