A day out with Captain Zodiac.

I really wasn’t sure what to expect from the Captain Zodiac trip, as I had only had a very quick look at the website to find out where they were. This was another adventure that had been organised by Becky at the Big Island Visitors Bureau.

So I was up early again this morning and headed for the harbour just north of Kona. The sun was just rising as I headed up the coast in the open-topped Jeep, and the radio station that I had found was playing reggae music, and I had a big grin on my face. This place is beautiful, and is growing on me very quickly.

Bill and Linda, owners and operators of Captain Zodiac, had very kindly offered me a position on the morning trip, and along with the other guests, I headed down to the Zodiac, which is a rigid-hulled boat, with inflated side tubes. It had twin 150 HP outboards, and looked like it would be pretty fast.

We were all introduced to our captain for the day, Colin, and his first mate Kyle, who soon made us at home, got us all settled, and we were off.

Once out of the harbour we entered the ocean swell, which was still pretty big, although had died down a bit from previous couple of days. The big seas had kept Captain Zodiac ashore yesterday and had been the reason for the manta ray dive being cancelled the evening before.

Within five minutes of leaving the harbour, Colin spotted whales spouting, and we headed over to take a look at what turned out to be a mother and calf pair of humpback whales. We couldn’t get too close, and they didn’t stay on the surface too long, so we pushed on. Conditions were choppy, and the speed of the boat made for an exhilirating ride.

Eventually we pulled into a sheltered bay, called Kealakekua Bay which is where Captain Cook met his untimely demise. There we saw several dolphins, before getting in for a snorkel over the colourful coral reef. Underwater pix by Kyle.

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On the return journey we followed the coastline, and stopped to watch the waves pounding against the shore, and shooting high into the air. It was quite fantastic to get in close to such incredible power. A phrase that Moe had used to describe where she lived up Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory came to mind – raw and powerful. Although it now seems like it was a long time ago, it was only a couple of weeks back that I was up there to go dog-sledding, and the temperature was right at the opposite end of the scale! It’s nice to be back in shorts and a t-shirt!

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Just before we headed back in we saw another couple of humpbacks rolling around on the surface, and stopped to watch for a while. I tried to take a couple of photos, but they were a bit too far away, but to see them was fantastic.

Once again, thanks to all who helped make this possible, including all the wonderful staff and crew at Captain Zodiac.

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