Kolohe haole

Kolohe haole

My Dive Map

Reviews (1)

Kona

5
5
5
3

I was told Captain Cook/Kealakekua Bay was simply the most spectacular place in all of Hawaii and I have to agree it does not disappoint. Our visit was a mid-September Saturday that was sunny and warm. We decided to be adventuresome and kayak across Kealakekua Bay instead of taking a group cruise. Since this was our first visit, we secured the kayak and gear through a vendor in Kealakekua topside (online search will bring you plenty of choices). Our vendor was great, but we had to rack the kayak on the rental car and drive the remaining couple of miles. There is also a natural foods store on the way where you can purchase all the grinds for your invigorating day.

Once we arrived at the wharf, we learned that the smart folks living adjacent to the wharf have established a mom and pop business (cash only) renting kayaks, gear and offer on-and-off loading assistance. Their equipment appeared to be no worse than what we had rented. The guys at the wharf also embody aloha and assist anyone who asks (yes I did tip the guy well, he was invaluable helping me, a short person, on and off the kayak since there are no stairs or ladder on the dock). There is sufficient room on the two person kayak to accommodate all the dive or snorkel gear and supplies you need for a day. There are no facilities or services at the memorial site, so you need to pack in and pack out.

If you prefer to take advantage of a group cruise out of Kailua-Kona, they accommodate both snorkelers and divers and do offer divers the opportunity to bring your own gear or rent tanks. It appeared they only brought in two groups per day and those people stayed around the catamaran. There were less than 10 other kayaks during the day. So there was a maximum maybe 50 people in the entire bay. I was glad we arrived via kayak so we were not time limited like the catamaran people. But if you want to save your strength for your dive, I would pick the catamaran.

The reef at Captain Cook has a steep drop off, though there is ample shallower area around the monument and most of the snorklers congregate there. The coral heads in both shallow and deep water are simply spectacular. Lots of finger and cauliflower coral. A rainbow of color greets you with schools of yellow tang, durgeon and butterfly fish, honu and the occasional pod of spinner dolphins. Moray eels pop out of coral heads and often swim freely. Divers noted black and white tip reef sharks. I saw caves and interesting wall formations but they were beyond my free dive capabilities. The cove geography allows easy in an out both at the monument and adjacent rocky shoreline. There are no real sandy beaches.

After a day on the water, the paddle back was challenging, but well worth it. The water was flat and so azure blue. You will appreciate assistance getting out of the kayak! When I go back, I am definitely renting a kayak there at the wharf, no matter the cost.

Visited on 09/2013 - Submitted on 03/04/2014
Read all Kona Dive Travel reviews

BE THE FIRST TO GET NEWS AND SPECIALS

Sign up for the mailing list today