When my sister Heather and I started planning this trip, we drew up a list of things we wanted to do in Hawaii: visit a volcano, swim at Waikiki Beach, go to a luau, and snorkel. But that last one actually made me a bit nervous. I love swimming and could easily spend all day frolicking in the water, but that’s all under the power of my own breath. Breathing while under water is just unnatural. I can’t see myself ever scuba diving, but I thought maybe I could handle snorkeling, seeing as how it’s much easier to surface if necessary.
Turns out snorkeling is really easy. (You probably already knew that, but see how I’m growing and learning on this trip?) You just put the mask on, tip your head down, and breathe. We took the advice of my travel book and asked for prescription goggles at the rental place, which ensured that we saw fish instead of brightly colored blobs once we got in the water.
We drove five miles south of the center of Kailua-Kona to Kahalu’u Beach Park and joined the many other snorkelers. At first we tried putting the flippers on and clown-shoeing into the water, but that was comically difficult, and we noticed other people were walking into the water barefoot and putting flippers on once a little further in. This was a much better plan.
And then, the fish! For two hours, we paddled around staring at fish, giving each other the thumb’s-up, and taking photos with Heather’s underwater camera. Yep, there are pictures. They’re mostly cloudy, since the area we were in on the first day of snorkeling was full of people kicking up sand, and we ran out of batteries on the second day, when we were in a quieter, clearer area. They’re still pretty cool, though. Enjoy!