Saturday, June 9, 2012

Kahauloa Bay, Hawaii

June 9, Saturday:  We went to the farmers’ market in town.  Good food and there were crafts, but it was not as fun as the markets we had been to in Kauai which were beautiful with lots of smiling venders offering tastes and tidbits.

We spent most the day looking for another place to get into the water, with an easier entrance and exit, and where we could have the dogs with us.  We did not find one, so we went back to the place we had been the afternoon before.  I was sitting on three reed mats on top of the sharp rocks again holding the dog leashes while Bill and Rachel were snorkeling.  It was about 4:30 p.m. and I saw splashes and a large fin.  It was headed toward them.  I yelled and signaled for them to get out of the water.  Their hurry to get out quickly caused Bill and Rachel to get scratched and a little bruised climbing out.  
Fin in the water.
Out of the water. Now!
I explained that it was either a dolphin fin or a shark fin, but until I knew for sure which, I wanted them on land.  They watched the water with me.  As we watched the water, a large turtle swam close enough to us that we could see the expression in his dark eyes.  It was the first turtle we'd seen in Hawaii this trip.  Rachel said, "Mom, we could have been swimming with turtles!"  Then they saw what I had seen: multiple little fins splashing, and a then a large dorsal fin broke the surface.  They understood immediately why I had been so insistent that they get out of the water.  Another group of fins splashing a little further away.  We decided it couldn't be pods of dolphins, because we never saw them come up to breathe. 

Finally one group came close enough that we could make out what it was.  It was a manta ray.  The splashing, that I thought was multiple animals, was simply his wings coming out of the water and the waves braking over his large body.  When he dove, there was the shark-imitating dorsal fin we'd seen.  Rachel said, "Oh my gosh! We could have been swimming with manta rays!"  So, they did.  They climbed back into the water.  I acted as spotter and pointed out the direction of the ray.  They swam towards a manta ray as it swam towards them, much to the horror of the people in the next inlet who were yelling to them about the shark.

Wish we had the underwater camera set up.

The manta ray was very much the highlight of the trip so far.

Manta Ray
Manta Ray, Kahauloa Bay, Hawaii