In 1779, Captain James Cook, the famous British explorer and navigator, was killed by Hawaiians at the edge of Kealakekua Bay in a dispute over a small boat. We fared much better today as our party of 11 SwimVacationers, guides, and friends swam across the bay to the monument that commemorates the good Captain. We entered at Manini Beach, a tiny little slice of heaven with very soft grass and a perfect row of palm trees at the water’s edge. We swam along the massive cliff on the east side of the bay, passing over a giant “bait ball”: a school of thousands of fish swirling around in organized semi-panic. SUPs are frowned upon in the bay, so we all used Safe Swimmer tow floats. These are great for visibility and to use as a pillow for a quick backfloat break. Guide Ryan invited his lifeguard buddy Mickey to join us. Friend of SwimVacation Carter Thomas also joined us, and followed up on some of the advice he was doling out yesterday during stroke video analysis.
We reached the little cove near the monument in good time though I’m just guessing because I forgot my watch. It’s about a mile and a half each way. This cove has some great coral and lots of colorful fish. A quick stop at the monument, and we headed back the way we came. When there was about a mile of open water between me and a cooler full sandwiches, my stomach started grumbling because I remembered just how tasty they were last year. As the first swimmers climbed out, a local guy gave them a hard time about our bright orange Safe Swimmer floats. Ryan quickly smoothed things over, as usual. Next year we might take a boat down there instead of driving, and stop at some secluded swimming spots along the way.
A wild donkey saw us out, and we drove back up the hill to Greenwell Coffee Farm for a tour and tasting (I was okay; they had decaf). Home for naps. I took guest Leslie out for a late afternoon swim at Kahalu’u, and we went outside the reef to see some amazing rock formations in the deeper waters. Heather worked feverishly on the slide show.
Blue Hawaiians for cocktails. Pot stickers, an amazing salad, then Oho with a lobster reduction for an entree. Ice cream on top of orange cake for dessert. We gave Jeff and Amy Leis for their upcoming anniversary. We went around the table and talked about our favorite swims. Not much consensus there – everyone had a different stand out swim for different reasons. Personal goals achieved. Wildlife seen. Just the raw differing beauty of each place. So no one agreed. A good sign, I think.
Guide Heather takes photos. All week. Underwater, above water, and in-between. She graces this blog with them all week, and they wind up in instagrams and on facebook too. My favorite thing she does with these photos is to put them in a slide show for the whole gang to see. This week’s came out especially great.
Everyone seemed to linger a bit longer before saying goodnight. After everyone turned in, Heather and I pedaled home in darkness, only the sound of (small) waves crashing along the shore in Lyman’s Bay. The good news is we’ll sneak in one more swim in the morning before everyone heads to the airport. We just can’t get enough.