Hawaii Dolphin Swim Information: There are numerous ways to create a dolphin encounter experience in Hawaii. Below are some suggestions based on my experience and information that has come my way.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that when journeying to encounter dolphins in the wild, there are no guarantees. I have had experiences with both outcomes...sometimes they have appeared, and sometimes they have not. Often the times they did not appear physically have been my most profound experiences. The dolphins were definitely choreographing my experiences on land. The dolphins are masterful not only in the water, they are energy masters on land, too. Be aware of all that is occurring around you. A key learning that I have received from them is to let go of ALL expectations and attachments, and be open for the magic to unfold in any way...often it takes the most unusual forms. This is part of the adventure! It is like a treasure hunt, and the treasures are within us and all around us.
The dolphins are also encouraging us to move beyond our physical senses. They are teaching us humans to expand our extra-sensory perceptions...to move beyond what we already know. They are assisting us to move into our future. They do this in a very non-linear way. It is subtle, and very profound. It is the new way, and they are helping us attune to it by guiding us through unique life experiences.
There is a specific protocol for how to behave while swimming with dolphins. Several dolphin swim web sites have very good descriptions of what to do and what not to do.
One site to read is www.waterplanetusa.com/interactions.htm. It’s important to honor the dolphins, and other humans, during your swim experience. Okay, now for the practical information:
Big Island of Hawaii This is where I had my first encounter with the Spinner dolphins (they’re so awesome!!). Kealakekua Bay is a protected bay on the Kona side of the island, in Captain Cook just south of Kailua-Kona (fly into the Kona airport...rental cars are a must). The dolphins can be seen here about 18 days out of the month. I always go here first thing in the morning. If no sightings, I venture on to Ho’okenna Beach, about a 15-minute drive further south. If no dolphins are here, this is a great sand beach just to hang out and relax for a while. The dolphins can also be seen at Ho’Nau Nau (more commonly called ‘Two-Step’), located just before a sacred site on the island called the City of Refuge. For me, this is the best pure snorkeling on this part of the island…lots of colorful fish and amazing sea turtles. It’s a black lava rock ‘beach’, but it works!
Some people like to rent kayaks for Kealakekua, as the swim from shore is a good 1/2 mile to get to the dolphins. It is a fairly easy swim, however, due to the buoyancy of the salt water. Kayaks can be rented at the Kealakekua Dive Shop shop in Captain Cook. Snorkel gear can be rented here, too. Jack’s Dive Locker is the premier dive shop in Kailua-Kona, and also takes people out on dolphin swims by boat.
Economy lodging possibilities:
This is a Buddhist retreat center with awesome grounds on a hill overlooking the ocean, a 5-minute drive from the bay. The accommodations are simple, inexpensive, with a common kitchen area to prepare one’s own meals, and most rooms share a bath. Reservations are by word-of-mouth, so let Barbara know I referred you.
Manago Hotel (808) 323-2642
This hotel is on the main street in the town of Captain Cook. Rates are reasonable and accommodations are basic...if you’re looking for a bed for the night, this will do the trick. If you’re looking for atmosphere, try a resort in Kailua. This hotel is about a 10-minute drive to Kealakekua Bay.
If you’re not on a budget, here’s a lovely lodging possibility to check out:
Dragonfly Ranch (www.dragonflyranch.com)
I have not stayed here, nor even visited, but I hear that it’s very lovely, and they have their own organic gardens from which they prepare yummy vegetarian meals.
Several people in the local dolphin community also have rooms for rent in their homes, these average $50-75 and up, per night per person. Visit www.dolphinville.com for a listing of these possibilities, as well as an extensive listing of other B&B and vacation rental options.