My husband and I signed up for the Expedition South Kona on line after researching a number of snorkeling tours. Upon arrival, my husband was fitted with a prescription mask (since he wears glasses) and snorkel (I had purchased my own equipment). We left around 8:30 a.m. in a raft with a canopy top for shade. There were 12 of us on board (2 guides, Bill and Joe, and 10 tourists). We were able to put all of our valuables and items that we wanted to keep dry in a compartment on the raft. The first stop was to watch Spinner Dolphins in a cove. I got some incredible pictures of them jumping and spinning. Bill explained how they were doing this in their sleep, so we couldn’t get in the water with them or it would disturb them. The dolphins came up to the boat and even swam in front of us. The next stop was Honaunau Bay (The City of Refuge) where we snorkeled. I saw a Puffer Fish, but wasn’t close enough to it to get a picture. There were a lot of green and brown coral shelves and walls, along with a myriad of other fish. Bill and Joe were very encouraging to my husband who is a non-swimmer. They helped him down on the ladder and he was able to put on the mask and snorkel to enjoy the view underwater while safely holding on to the ladder. During this stop, we had snacks (fresh fruit, granola bars and an assortment of drinks.) We then drove into some sea caves and lava tubes to watch the water rise and fall. It was fantastic! The next stop was the newest black beach on the Big Island. We snorkeled there and I was able to get an underwater video of a sea turtle munching algae on a rock. The last stop of the tour was the famous Kealakekua Bay where you find the Captain Cook Monument. The water was crystal clear and even though there were a number of folks in the water (another tour was just finishing up), the water was teeming with tropical fish! I took a lot of underwater video, and stayed in the water until I got too chilled. When I came back onto the raft, a delicious lunch was served (deli sandwiches, assorted chips, cookies, fresh fruit and drinks.) While we ate, Bill told the history of Captain Cook and his unfortunate demise. I would highly recommend Sea Quest for your next trip to the Big Island! The smaller raft allowed us to go into places that the larger catamaran tours couldn’t take us. I felt that the price was reasonable for the time allotted. That along with the personal attention by our guides, Bill and Joe, made this a delightful 5 hr. tour!
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