9:03 a.m. I’m driving an 11 passenger, 27 foot long 4WD van on a road made of lava rocks.
We have this van filled with our guests, guides, an SUP, and a cooler filled with drinks and snacks. We are almost at Mahai’ula – a great little swimming bay in Kona, Hawaii. We’ve been choosing these off the beaten path swims over the bigger state parks, even though the backroads bounce us around quite a bit. We are still being chased by the swell in south Kona, but finding these funky calm bays in the north. The swim was ok, but my favorite part was trying to synchro swim with all 6 guests in a line. This will take more practice.
Truth be told, I often enjoy apres swim as much or more than the actual swim. In this case, we had a picnic table under a giant mesquite tree overlooking a turquise lagoon filled with sea turtles.
Home for lunch. Island Thyme Gourmet is our caterer for this event. Claire and Dan Bobo create these amazing meals and keep our refrigerator and bar stocked, and they are also very very easy to work with. They are fast, light, and fun in the kitchen. They answer questions, allow guests to help, and take special requests. They source locally. Claire sometimes walks in with a random piece of tropical fruit and says: eat this, it’s your new favorite fruit. Wow she’s right that was delicious.
Most of what we do this week is directly linked to guide Heather’s scouting trip a year ago. One of these links is with Steve Borowski, former olympic swimmer and olympic coach, current age group, masters coach, and all around swimming guru in Kona. Steve helped us out tonight when we ran out of open water options. There were high winds all along the coast this afternoon, and along with the swell, made south kona swimming potentially very uncomfortable. Heather called Steve to see if we could grab a couple of lanes in the local pool for some stroke video taping, as well as join his Masters workout. Steve graciously allowed our SwimVacationers to join in.
The Kona pool is fabulous, filled with young Hawaiian swimmer kids, pro triathletes, and regular lap swimmer folks. Guide McGuckin (Ryan) works as a lifeguard here, it’s how we found him. Several of us joined in the Masters workout, and had a blast.
Dinner was traditional Hawaiian fare but amped up by chef Dan. Clare and Dan’s home made ahi and marlin poki for an appetizer, then pork and cabbage, outrageous purple sweet potatoes covered in coconut curry, string beans and snap peas in some delicious sauce, poi, and a salsa-like dish called lomi lomi salmon.
Tomorrow I’ll talk about Hale Ohia Kai, our home for the week.