My Wife (Kiwi Princess), my Brother and I, just returned from an excellent day on and under the water with Barri.
We stopped by his shop on Sunday afternoon, and Barri and his wife immediately made the three of us feel welcome. No tour act here. Authentic Hawaiian family, warm and honest; and with a welcoming smile and island humor that plenty of others try to package and sell; however here it’s the real deal and nobody is trying to be anything they are not. While the three of us where sitting and chatting with Barry and his wife. They pasted around Natural Ginger, that was to die for and fresh bananas, mangos, and other treats while they both answered all our questions. Never once did I feel we were getting the standard sales pitch that is shoveled out by so many of the seasonal hired help of the big tour companies.
The three of us are very “seasoned” travelers got together for a little team meeting. There was no question or any doubt; we all felt Barri was the go to guy for any tour or local knowledge. So we booked our trip for the next morning. The Queens Tour Kealakekua Bay Captain Cook Monument. We had a terrific time, all the TA reviews are correct. The tour is not perfect. I have no idea what a perfect tour would look like. All I can report is that everyone in our group had a fantastic time.
What I did find interesting is how the entire tour group all got to know each other throughout the day and at the end of the day, everyone is saying goodbye, hugs, shaking hands, and wishing everyone a good trip. That never happens on the big boats. Barri’s infectious honesty and hospitality just runs through the entire group. It was like you wanted to join everyone for a BBQ after and discuss all the great sites, fish and experiences of the day.
The big boats showed up in the bay as well. People there seemed to enjoy themselves, and then tended to stay as couples or family groups. They would often wave at our little cluster of tied up kayaks and wave. Barri would be in the water with us, swimming and pointing out everything of interest. Soon our group would get larger and larger as snorkelers from the other boats would start hanging around listening as Barri answers all our questions and then explains the fish, coral, or invertebrate he is about to dive and point out.
Yes, if you want a fun and informative 2 hour history and biology lesson; Barri is the only guy in the water in Kealakekua Bay.
We will be back. :)
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