Sunday, July 1, 2012

Honaunau Bay Naia (Spinner Dolphins of Two Step)

We headed off for another day of snorkeling at Two Step.  Two Step is an unofficial name for a small county park on the edge of Honaunau Bay.  Pu'uhonua Honaunau, the place of refuge, sits on one side of this bay.  Here also is the Keoneele Cove, essentially a boat ramp into the bay and really good place for young children near the shore.

Upon arrival at Two Step, on the right side, over the deeper part, we could see a pod of dolphins surfacing.  Dolphins!  Now how cool is that?  We had snorkeled that side of the bay on several occasions but had never seen dolphins.  In fact, we have snorkeled many places in the world and had never seen dolphins from the shore.  Until today, we'd only seen dolphins from tour boats, but not today.  Whoohoo!

We grabbed our snorkels and fins and gave our masks a quick squirt of "no fog," then headed out to the general area where we'd seen the dolphins and waited.  Are they still here, will they come back, was that the whole show only to be seen from the shore?  A few minutes passed as we were looking down into the dark blue water when a dolphin surfaced a few yards away from us.  Yea, we snorkeled with a dolphin!  Another whoohoo!  The dolphin disappeared back into the blue depths.  Then we saw another dolphin rise to the surface and descend.

Next, looking down, we could barely make out the shapes of even more dolphin.  How many?  One, two, three... twenty, thirty, even more.  The dolphins just glided through the water, appearing and disappearing in the depths.

If that had been the end, that would have been enough, but it wasn't over.  The dolphins appeared again in mass and started rising to the surface.  The spot they were heading towards looked to be right next us, and it was.  We were surrounded by dolphin.  I had the camera ready but was too excited to focus on any one dolphin.  I just kept looking around and around hoping that the camera could keep up with my eyes, and capture what I was seeing.

The dolphin continued with their exciting show, sometimes right next to us, sometimes 100 yards away from us.  They seemed to be swimming in a circular pattern around the bay and on occasion we were fortunate enough to be the recipients of a visit.

I can't tell you how many woohoos we expelled through out the day.

 Whoohoo:  Video of our first snorkeling encounter with dolphins.
Taken on July 1, 2012.  Video about 5 minutes (c) 2013.
Click the "play" triangle.  Then, for best viewing, click the full screen icon in the lower right corner.  

Entry by Bill.  Engela also wrote a long entry inspired by this moment.