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DOLPHIN DREAMING (Dolphin Swim)

Swim with dolphins in the clear warm waters of Kona, Hawaii.
Recommended for intermediate-advanced snorkelers/swimmers.

Dolphin Dreaming is one of our most popular tours; check in is at 6:45am. 

We cruise from the Honokohau harbor out into crystal clear blue waters while sipping on freshly brewed Kona Coffee and snacking on a selection of tasty treats. 

While underway, the captain will be searching for dolphin close to shore and your crew begins an educational briefing on how to respectfully interact with the animals. 

Swimming with Dolphinsswim with dolphin kona hawaii on the tour boat Hawaii Oceanic

Most common around Kona are the Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins (Stenella longirostris).

With well over 1,000 individuals populating the Kona cost, these are the dolphin we aim to swim with. 

As implied by their name, these dolphin exhibit astonishing flips and spins in the air, putting on a great show for everyone!

The spinner dolphin are about the size of an average woman: 5 feet long and 150 pounds.  Male dolphins are a bit bigger than the females, capping out at 170 pounds.  Infant dolphins, or calves, can be seen throughout the year because there is no specific mating/birthing season.  The dolphin are highly social and exhibit complex social bonds.

Finding Dolphins

We find the dolphin close to shore in small family groups, or pods, of 5-30 individuals. 

These small family pods are resting and socializing in shallow, clear water along the coast. 

They prefer protected bay-like areas, which provide a calm environment for the dolphin to sleep periodically throughout the day.

How do Dolphins breathe when asleep?

Whales and dolphins (infraorder Cetacea) are conscious breathers, meaning they have to be awake to remind themselves to breathe.  swim with dolphins  kona hawaii on the hawaiioceanic charter tour boat

This adaptation to aquatic life, while highly beneficial when diving for food, proves troublesome for a tired cetacean hoping to rest. 

How does a whale sleep or how does a dolphin sleep if it has to be awake to remember to breathe?

All cetaceans have evolved the ability to "sleep-swim," a behavior in which they actually shut down one hemisphere of their brain and close the corresponding eye. 

The other hemisphere of the brain stays awake at a low level of alertness to remind the animal to surface and breathe, and to remind the animal to swim. 

This sleep-swim behavior is exhibited throughout the day, interspersed with bouts of socialization and play.

When do Dolphins eat?

Dolphins eat at night, nighttime is when the Hawaiian Spinner dolphin migrate offshore to feed on mesopelagic fish, shrimp, and squid. 

The small family pods of dolphins will join forces with many other groups and form a super pod of several hundred individuals.  The dolphins work and hunt together to corral large bait balls, which they take turns diving through. 

After a long night spent foraging, the dolphin will fracture into their original family groups (or pods) and return to the Kona shore to rest.

What do Dolphins do during the day?swim with dolphins kona hawaii on the charter boat tour hawaiioceanic

Different species of dolphins exhibit different behavioral patterns throughout the day. 

The Hawaiian Spinner dolphin are the most common dolphin, so much more is known about the patterns of the Hawaiian Spinner dolphin. 

We are sometimes lucky enough to see the more elusive species of dolphins, such as the Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatis) or the Pantropical Spotted Dolphin (Stenella attenuata).  Not much is known about the behaviors and occurrences of Bottlenose and Pantropical Spotted Dolphins because they are not as abundant as the Hawaiian Spinner dolphin. 

It is a real treat to see the larger bottlenose or the fast and sleek spotted dolphins.

Where can I Swim with Dolphins?

We cruise the gorgeous Kona Coast looking for the pod of dolphin with which we will interact.  swimming with dolphins in Kona Hawaii on tour boat HawaiiOceanic

Once we find the dolphin pod, everyone on the boat will be reminded of how to swim with the dolphin. 

Showing the dolphin the utmost respect, you will enter the water accompanied by your swim guide: to swim and observe these magnificent creatures in their habitat.  We are guests in the dolphins' home and are honored to be able to share these magical mornings with the dolphin. 

Dolphins, being extremely social and interactive, are also very curious and are a real thrill to be near in the water. 

Dolphin have an intelligence and complex social bond that rival or may surpass that of humans. 

We will never fully understand just how intelligent and aware the dolphins are, but we know first hand that when you look at a dolphin, they are definitely looking back.

Do You want to Make this a Private Tour?

If your group or family would prefer to have a charter boat to themselves, book The Private Explorer charter boat tour.   At Hawaii Oceanic we specialize in making our boat yours for the whole morning, where you can your family can decide how to best enjoy the beautiful Kona coast.

Snorkel Gear is Provided

All snorkel gear is provided, (fins, mask, snorkel), as well as snacks and beverages.

Your guide will take complimentary photos of you with the dolphin.  We are an eco-minded company, and the dolphins' well-being is always our first priority.

We will return to the harbor about 10:30am.

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Small groups of lucky passengers only, for this once in a life time adventure!
$175.00 + tax per person.