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THE KONA

KONA HAWAII CHARTER BOAT TOUR

Experience the incredibly clear water of Kealakekua Bay!

Recommended for beginner-advanced snorkelers/swimmers

THE KONA is one of our most popular tours. 

We offer this tour at at 6:45am or 10:15am, pending availability. 

Beginner snorkelers are welcome, as are advanced snorkerlers and swimmers.

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

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While the boat is underway, the crew will point out interesting features along the Kona coastline which is rich in Hawaiian history.

South Kona has a bevy of historically significant Hawaiian Heritage sites, full of mana (spiritual power).

Staying close to the Kona coast as we travel south towards Kealakekua Bay, we watch closely for any interesting marine life.

Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins

We may stop the boat to enjoy the Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins (Stenella longirostris) putting on a show. Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins rest close to shore during the day and will sometimes interact with the boat.

Humpback Whale Watching

December to April is Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) season in Hawaii. We will look for Humpbacks whose annual arrival to Hawaii and lengthy stay make for the very best whale watching.

Seeing a breaching Humpback is an experience like no other! 

After a brief show from the Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins, Humpback whales and whatever else of interest is found along our way, we arrive at the world famous Kealakekua Bay, the site of the Captain James Cook monument.

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Your crew will share with you some of the fascinating history and legend surrounding Kealakekua Bay State Historical District.

"Kealakekua" roughly translates to "Pathway to the Gods." The impressive Pali Kapu O Keōua (the sheer cliff face) in the Kealakekua Bay once served as a burial ground for the Hawaiian Ali'i (royalty). 

Large fishing villages flourished on both the north and south ends of the bay in the 1700's, with several thousand Hawaiians inhabiting the area. Many ali'i chose to live in this area, because it was believed to be the burial site of Keōua Nui (considered to be the Father of Kings).

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Captain James Cook and his men made landfall in the HMS Discovery and Resolution in January of 1779. The villages were celebrating Makahiki, a festival to honor Lono, the god of fertility. Makahiki was a time of peace and aloha.

Because of the coincidental timing of their arrival, Cook and his men were viewed as demigods and accepted as guests, allowed to stay in the village for several weeks. Cook's men traded goods with the Hawaiians, who were fascinated with the white man's use of iron.

It is suspected that Cook and his men exploited the Hawaiians generosity and over-stayed their welcome. One of Cook's men died and the first documented Christian service was performed in Hawaii for his funeral. This exposed Cook and his men as mere mortals, and tensions began to rise. Cook and his men decided to leave after Makahiki.

Two weeks out to sea, the foremast of the Resolution was damaged during a storm. Cook and his men were forced to return to the safe harbor of Kealakekua Bay. This time they were met with hostility and animosity. Cook tried to find the supplies to repair his ship, but received no assistance from the Hawaiians.

It is rumored that a band of natives stole a small cutter ship and Cook, in retaliation, attempted to kidnap King Kalaniopu'u (the ruling king of Hawaii island). Cook was killed in the skirmish that ensued and eventually a monument was erected by Captain Cook's countrymen in 1874 on the spot of his untimely demise.

Captain Cook's monument in Kealakekua Bay is only accessible by water or a lengthy hike along steep, rocky trails. 

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Kealakekua Bay became a Marine Life Conservation District in 1969 and is a federally protected park. Entry into this natural Marine LIfe Conservation reserve is limited to only boats with permits to operate within the Kealakekua bay.

Hawaii Oceanic is pleased to be included among the boats that offer our guests the unparalleled experience of snorkeling in this pristine marine reserve.

Because it is a protected park, the coral reef and abundant marine life is second to none for snorkeling.

Your crew will guide you through the calm waters, pointing out several varieties of colorful marine life you might encounter.

Some exciting finds may include the color-changing trumpetfish (Aulostomus chinensi), the schools of cheerful yellow tang (Zebrasoma flavescens), the fearless black triggerfish (Melichthys niger), the brightly colored parrotfish (Scarus rubroviolaceus), the shy white mouth moray eels (Gymnothorax meleagris), the elusive octopus (Octopus cyanea), and many more!

Keep your eyes peeled for the state fish of Hawaii, the humuhumunukunukuapua'a (Reef triggerfish, Rinecanthus rectangulus) who is only found in Hawaiian waters and a rare endemic inhabitant, the lauwiliwilinukunuku'oi'oi'ele'ele (Black long-nosed butterflyfish, Forcipiger longirostris) who is only found in Kona waters.

Because of the protected nature of the bay, best snorkeling in hawaii on tour boat hawaii oceanicthe hard, rocky corals native to Hawaii are able to flourish. Winter storms and swell do not disturb the fragile corals growing within Kealakekua Bay.

You will see some incredible varieties of corals dotting the reef, such as rice, lobe, or finger corals, all displaying some spectacular colors. The different textures of the coral provide safe havens for all manner of marine life. Please keep in mind that coral, despite looking very much like a rock, is very much alive. Coral is very sensitive to even the slightest disturbance, from a fin kick to fingers.

We will do our best not to touch the coral so that future visitors to the bay can enjoy the same vivid seascape.

After snorkeling in Kealakekua Bay for about an hour and a half, we start heading back to the harbor while keeping an eye out for more exciting marine life we may encounter on the way home.

After all, you never know what you might see our there! You are assured a first rate Hawaii Oceanic adventure on Pueo Kai - our goal is to make your day exceptional on the Kona Cost!

Do You want to Make this a Private Tour?

If your group or family would prefer to have their 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, beverages, and complimentary photos of your trip.

We will return to the Harbor after about 3.5 hours. 

The Kona tour is an ultimate snorkel adventure in the Kealakekua bay!

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Small groups only.
$175.00 + tax per person.