We really wanted to see dolphins on our recent trip to the big island, but we didn't have a lot of time in between other commitments. There are plenty of opportunities to see dolphins in captivity but they were expensive, time with the creatures is relatively short (15-20 min), and there's an unfortunate circus/zoo vibe about these operations. Then we found OneLoveOneSpirit which trumped every concern we had: a four hour excursion, with just 6 passengers, tracking (and hopefully swimming with) dolphins for less than the other attractions.
Now, dolphins are living in the wild, and living their own lives, not performing on an event schedule, so we knew there were no guarantees. But Capt. Ray of the Shogun (his fine, immaculate boat) and guides Vicki and Tina explained that they have good luck and experience with the dolphins and would do their best to find them (check ahead, some seasons are better than others). But we leaded out of port at 8am and by 8:30 saw a dozen or so spinner dolphins jumping through the waves. A good omen!
After 9am, a pod (or group) of 100 dolphins were spotted. Our guide had already fitted us for snorkel gear and explained a lot about dolphins and proper protocol (don't touch, don't get carried away!). We jumped in the water and waited. In a moment or two we heard the whistling, and soon our finny friends were all around, swimming in groups of 10-15, above, below and around! Wow!
We repeated this procedure two more times, leaving the water, racing ahead in the boat and jumping in to watch. That would have been good enough, but then we went to the bay where the dolphins would spend their day swimming/sleeping and swam with them one more time. Here, a few dolphins came close enough to touch, circled about, etc. Unbelievable, wonderful, thrilling--pick your superlative, they all apply!
We had a leisurely ride back to shore, eating a delicious lunch provided by the crew, and watching whales and more dolphins at a distance. The OneLoveOneSpirit team provided top-notch service, from the expert help with our swim gear, knowledgeable guides (Tina swims with the dolphins almost daily, and claims to know a few well ;-) a high level of safety and professionalism, and were just plain nice folks! If you're up for a little adventure and have a realistic expectation about seeing animals in their native habitat (again, no guarantees!), this is a great way to do it!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC