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Snorkeling at Captain Cook

Boulder, CO
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Snorkeling at Captain Cook

Returning this February and have heard the snorkeling at Captain Cook now is accessible only from the water and that the companies authorized to do snorkeling trips there have been limited. True? If so, any companies other than Fair Winds doing snorkeling trips which stop there? Thanks.

Big Island, Hawaii
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for Island of Hawaii
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1. Re: Snorkeling at Captain Cook

Kealakekua Bay has been closed to all kayaks, but the Fairwinds and drift-in boat tours are still allowed. Truthfully I think the closure is a good opportunity for visitors to expand their horizons, The snorkeling is good there but not great, has degenerated appreciably in the last decade, and there are many other sites as good or better that don't require a boat tour, like Honaunau Bay and various Kohala Coast locations.

Washington DC...
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2. Re: Snorkeling at Captain Cook

We will be going again soon and will report. Our experience in the last decade is the shallow area by the former kayak landing is trashed but the deep areas where the careless or the timid cannot stand are fine...other side of the rock keyhole, the point, the wall, etc.

northeast georgia
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3. Re: Snorkeling at Captain Cook

The trail down to the monument is fairly strenuous but makes a nice day when coupled with snorkeling there in the bay. Google Earth has good videos of the trail and parking on side of the road is fairly simple. Trail is about two miles each way and approx. 1200 feet of elevation change. It can get pretty hot so plenty of water a must. We are in our mid 60's with hiking experience but also have bad knees and we enjoyed the adventure. Hiking stick very helpful and sturdy shoes also. My wife was able to get some really nice underwater pictures as the sun was out most of the time.

California
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4. Re: Snorkeling at Captain Cook

Congratulations, 13snrklmn. That uphill climb is quite an achievement for a senior. We've done it twice, but the last time I said 'Never again'.

Los Angeles...
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5. Re: Snorkeling at Captain Cook

We middle aged but fit folks have also done the trail a couple of times and enjoy it immensely. HOWEVER, exiting at the Cook monument is tricky, if you are lucky, there will be someone there with a ladder that you can use. There is a slightly shallow spot to the left of the wall at the monument as you look out to sea, but beware of the surge and the urchins.

Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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6. Re: Snorkeling at Captain Cook

Unfortunately, to sub the kayaking or a cruise for the hike down is to circumvent the point of the closure. The entry at Ka'awaloa is a large part of what they want to protect there. They don't want people on the flats there. I guess they failed to realize that interest in the hike would pick up with the closure.

Please help the Bay heal and do not do the entry from land.

San Jose, California
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7. Re: Snorkeling at Captain Cook

Can you provide more detail on good Kohala Coast snorkling locations? We'll be staying in Puako, something close by would be great.

Big Island, Hawaii
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8. Re: Snorkeling at Captain Cook

I thought there were restrictions on the shore entry as well, but regardless, I simply don't understand why people would do that unpleasant, hot, often voggy, not-very-scenic hike just to snorkel in Kealakekua Bay. Folks, it's not that good. Due to the huge numbers of visitors both the reef and fish populations have declined a lot over the past 15 years that I've been observing it. I spend most weekends swimming, diving, and snorkeling all along the coastline here, and I can tell you that there are many, many places that are as good or better that require no effort to get to.

I suspect much of the effort expended by some to get to Kealakekua Bay is for the dolphins. Look, I understand the allure, but aside from the fact that swimming with and chasing them down isn't good for them, they are in the Bay far less frequently than they used to be (again, visitors not helping), and even when they do come, it's usually to the deep center of the Bay which is much too far more your average snorkeler, and you shouldn't be chasing them anyway.

If you must go, take the Fairwinds, which at least gives good guidelines about coral care, and a boat entry, and then you won't be killing coral by trying to get in from the shore, which is really distressing that people are doing that.

For the recent poster inquiry's, please read the Top Question on the right hand side that gives a rundown of Kohala coast and Kona coast snorkel sites. Then if you have any questions, start your own thread so it doesn't get buried and you can get maximum responses :-)

9. Re: Snorkeling at Captain Cook

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