July 16

This morning we were going kayaking across Kealakekua Bay. Harold, Kay, Keith and Jen joined us. We got to Kealakekua Bay Kayak rentals at exactly 7:30, just as they were opening up. The owners were very nice and gave us a lecture on where we were going today and tied all the kayaks onto the roof. Joel thought he hadn't spent enough money on renting kayaks so bought himself some very nice kayaking gloves, as did Beth. Actually I would have too, but they didn't' have any in my size.

Then it was down the twisty mountain road to the put-in. The put-in was interesting. It was a cement pier and the tide was out, so the water was a few feet down from the top. It was a little bit of a challenge getting the kayaks in. But we ended up just tossing them in and holding their bow rope so we didn't lose them. Then we had to climb down into them.

We needed to be here early because I was interested in seeing the spinner dolphins that inhabit the bay. And indeed as we paddled over we saw a large congregation of kayaks and snorkelers that were swimming with the dolphins. I don't know how many dolphins there were, but the pod has to be quite large. I've heard that there are about 50 of them in all. They would surface within a minute of one another and then disappear for a while before surfacing again. Some of our group saw one jump out of the water and do a twirl in the air; the spin for which they get their name.

When we got tired of watching the dolphins we paddled farther across the bay to Captain Cooks Monument. We pulled our kayaks up onto the lava rock. And walked down to the monument to get in the water. This was a mistake. There were a lot of sea urchins in the rocks here and it was surgy and shallow, so hard to get in the water. It would have been easier to swim from where our kayaks were. Ben finally solved the problem by jumping off the end of the cement wall.

The snorkeling here was quite good. It had much better coral than yesterday's snorkel, but not nearly the variety of fish. We did however see an octopus. I love how they change colors as the move over the coral. Others of our group saw an eel. I was actually looking for eels when I spotted the octopus.

The coral here forms a wall that goes down quite deep; farther than I could see. And there a small crevices that go into the coral. I loved diving down and looking in, though I never found anything interesting inside one of them.

When we got tired of snorkeling we packed up and paddled back across the bay. It took a bit to get the kayaks up on the car. We were now required to go to the place of refuge. One of our party had gotten out and swum with the dolphins. They are protected and you are supposed to stay 50 feet or so away from them. This was Kapu (taboo)! The ancient Hawaiians when they broke a kapu could be forgiven if they got to the place of refuge before they were killed. They would stay there until a priest had absolved him of his sin. So we headed over to the Place of Refuge. Ok maybe he wasn't going to be absolved, but we did go to Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park. It was much nicer than the historic park we visited yesterday. There were many rock walls that were once buildings but there were also statues, canoes and temples. Much more fun.

We first ate a picnic lunch. They have a nice set of picnic tables by the ocean in the shade. Then we took the tour backwards. My favorite was defiantly the woodcarvings. They were logs that had been carved into people like shapes with gruesome faces.

Then we headed to snorkel in Honaunau Bay. We entered right by the boat ramp. The coral was quite nice; the fish not too numerous. Though the ones there were very pretty. The best part was swimming over near the ali'is canoe launch, near the place of refuge. There was a large group of turtles, at least 5 but there may have been more. Some of them were quite large.

Back at the condo we cleaned up for the Luau. We went to the Royal Kona Resort. Our whole family group was going, all 23 of us (two were not yet on the island).

Damon and Lori
They gave us all shell leis that were our bar tabs, or so they told us. The drinks are free but we need to wear the leis to get them. I kept my mom well supplied with white wine.

It drizzled on us on and off, but never very heavily. It was nice and cool. They didn't start the torch lighting ceremony until 6:15. They told me that would start an hour earlier, but I guess they wanted us to get very soused before dinner.

When the torches were lit, they dug the pig out of the imu; the pit they had cooked our pig in. They shoveled off the dirt and took the layers of canvas off. Then all the ti leaves. Then they rolled the pig out to the table. TIME TO EAT. We were hungry.

But we couldn't eat yet. Bert, the most important man at the Luau showed up. His job was to tell each table when they were allowed to go up for food. The food was quite good. Though of course the Poi was awful. Definitely it was purple wallpaper paste. All of the meats were wonderful; the pig was great as was the beef. YUM

After we finished off dinner, the show started. It was a sampling of many of the dances around the pacific. Many of the male dances were war dances and they postured in front of us. For the Fiji dance the man came out and walked right up to Joel's camera and gave it the weirdest look, like what in the world is this strange gadget. It was very funny. Joel got a great picture of him when he went to the next table. The finale was the Samoan fire dance. It would have been better but the MC kept annoying us to clap constantly, and it distracted form the dance.

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Text and images © Copyright 2001 Joel and Daphne Gould. If there are any problems or questions email Daphne Gould.