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Kealakekua Bay - best snorkeling spot on Big Island

The Captain Cook Monument was erected in 1874 by Princess Likelike and marks the approximate location of Cook's death; the monument is unreachable by road but was worth the hour hike each way for great snorkeling

The Captain Cook Monument was erected in 1874 by Princess Likelike and marks the approximate location of Cook's death; the monument is unreachable by road but was worth the hour hike each way for great snorkeling

Peacock hind; despite dozens of boats, lots of people and a difficult to access location, Captain Cook is consistently rated the best snorkeling destination on the island

Peacock hind; despite dozens of boats, lots of people and a difficult to access location, Captain Cook is consistently rated the best snorkeling destination on the island

Achilles tang; settled more than 1000 yrs ago, Kealakekua Bay is now a marine life conservation district that supposedly is home to spinner dolphins although we didn't see them

Achilles tang; settled more than 1000 yrs ago, Kealakekua Bay is now a marine life conservation district that supposedly is home to spinner dolphins although we didn't see them

To minimize damage to the reef there is now a permit system in place if you want to kayak in the bay; it is probably easier to join one of the kayak excursions but your time would then be limited

To minimize damage to the reef there is now a permit system in place if you want to kayak in the bay; it is probably easier to join one of the kayak excursions but your time would then be limited

There were mongoose everywhere on the island (including quite a few dead in the road); if you left a backpack unguarded a mongoose would magically appear to inspect the contents

There were mongoose everywhere on the island (including quite a few dead in the road); if you left a backpack unguarded a mongoose would magically appear to inspect the contents

The adult male Pacific bird wrasse is blue and green (above) while females and juveniles are white and gray with a reddish snout; named for its bird-like snout, this wrasse feeds by plucking small crustaceans from between coral branches

The adult male Pacific bird wrasse is blue and green (above) while females and juveniles are white and gray with a reddish snout; named for its bird-like snout, this wrasse feeds by plucking small crustaceans from between coral branches

Captain Cook was the first documented European to arrive in Hawaii (Jan 17, 1779); Cook was attacked and killed Feb 14, 1779 during a dispute with the local Hawaiian chief over a stolen boat

Captain Cook was the first documented European to arrive in Hawaii (Jan 17, 1779); Cook was attacked and killed Feb 14, 1779 during a dispute with the local Hawaiian chief over a stolen boat

Yellow trumpetfish; Kealakekua Bay is located 12 miles south of Kona and is popularly referred to as Captain Cook (there's also a town above the bay called Captain Cook)

Yellow trumpetfish; Kealakekua Bay is located 12 miles south of Kona and is popularly referred to as Captain Cook (there's also a town above the bay called Captain Cook)

Pacific sailfin tang; it's a relatively easy 30 minute paddle across the bay if you want to kayak to the Captain Cook Monument and the most popular snorkel area

Pacific sailfin tang; it's a relatively easy 30 minute paddle across the bay if you want to kayak to the Captain Cook Monument and the most popular snorkel area

Yellowtail coris; this colorful fish is common in the shallow waters around Hawaii and can grow to 15 inches long; wrasses are very alert and typically would flee before I could get a good photo

Yellowtail coris; this colorful fish is common in the shallow waters around Hawaii and can grow to 15 inches long; wrasses are very alert and typically would flee before I could get a good photo

Ornate butterflyfish; it's a 2 mile hike each way to reach the best snorkeling area; you lose 1300 ft on the hike down to the bay but our walk up had cloud cover and wasn't bad at all

Ornate butterflyfish; it's a 2 mile hike each way to reach the best snorkeling area; you lose 1300 ft on the hike down to the bay but our walk up had cloud cover and wasn't bad at all

Scrawled filefish; Kealakekua Bay is one of the best places in Hawaii for snorkeling; fish are plentiful over a well-developed reef that slopes steeply from the shore into nearby deep water, making it easy to see different kinds of fish in a short time

Scrawled filefish; Kealakekua Bay is one of the best places in Hawaii for snorkeling; fish are plentiful over a well-developed reef that slopes steeply from the shore into nearby deep water, making it easy to see different kinds of fish in a short time

Yellow-billed cardinal; Lee saw a white-tipped reef shark here in shallow water; if you're not up to the hike or kayak to the bay, you can get on a boat tour from about $90

Yellow-billed cardinal; Lee saw a white-tipped reef shark here in shallow water; if you're not up to the hike or kayak to the bay, you can get on a boat tour from about $90

Hawaiian spotted boxfish; Captain Cook made detailed maps of Newfoundland prior to making his three voyages to the Pacific; Cook's name has been memorialized worldwide including on the highest peak in NZ

Hawaiian spotted boxfish; Captain Cook made detailed maps of Newfoundland prior to making his three voyages to the Pacific; Cook's name has been memorialized worldwide including on the highest peak in NZ

Fourspot butterflyfish; the county of Hawaii (same as the island of Hawaii) comprises 62.7% of the state's land area; it is the highest percentage by any county in the country

Fourspot butterflyfish; the county of Hawaii (same as the island of Hawaii) comprises 62.7% of the state's land area; it is the highest percentage by any county in the country

Juvenile yellowtail coris; the racial makeup of the island is 34.5% White, 29.2% from two or more races, 22.6% Asian, 12.4% Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander and 0.7% African American; 11.8% of the population also identified as Hispanic

Juvenile yellowtail coris; the racial makeup of the island is 34.5% White, 29.2% from two or more races, 22.6% Asian, 12.4% Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander and 0.7% African American; 11.8% of the population also identified as Hispanic

Black triggerfish; Captain James Cook is famous for his three voyages between 1768 and 1779 in the Pacific Ocean and to Australia in particular; he also had the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand

Black triggerfish; Captain James Cook is famous for his three voyages between 1768 and 1779 in the Pacific Ocean and to Australia in particular; he also had the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand

Posted by VagabondCowboy 05:30

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