We enjoyed a beautiful experience as we paddled in a Hawaiian-style outrigger canoe along the scenic Kona Kohala coastlines. We glided through crystal blue waters while our guide Tony told us about the area coves and pointed out Neil Young’s house. We snorkeled around a marine preserve and enjoyed getting gently rocked by the waves as we watched colorful fish swim among the beautiful coral formations. We enjoyed a snack of fresh banana bread, pineapple and mango and watched a few friendly green sea turtles that were swimming by the dock when we returned.
Next stop was at a Seahorse Farm. We saw tiny seahorse babies that were one day old. After washing our hands in iodine, we were allowed to hold a seahorse as it wrapped its tiny tail around our finger.
In the evening we went snorkeling with Manta Rays. We were suited up in wet suits and went on a short boat ride to the area where the Manta Rays appear. We all jumped into the water and circled around a large donut float with a noodle under our legs to hold our feet up. A bright light penetrated the water below us and almost immediately we saw a Manta Ray coming at us. It was huge, had its mouth wide upoen and it looked like it was going to eat us. When it was within about a foot from us, it dove backwards and circled back up at us again and again – such an incredible sight! When we returned to the parking lot, a locked chain was across the exit. Jim was able to barely squeeze the car out through the pedestrian walkway, with Betsy, Kenny and Alex, directing him through the narrow opening. Over the sidewalk and onto the street and we were free! We all cheered and jumped in the car to head back and pack up for our trip home.