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Underwater Wonders in Hawaii

11-22-2013

We've been perusing photos coming back from our first trip of the season in the Hawaiian Islands. So many of the photos depict the colorful fish and other sea creatures our guests see when snorkeling and partaking in water activities. It's a major highlight in the clear waters off the Hawaiian Islands.

The 36-guest Safari Explorer is currently sailing weeklong adventure cruises between Moloka'i and Hawaii, the Big Island. You unpack once and explore four islands and surrounding waters. Sounds pretty good right? It is.

Take a look at some of the underwater creatures we regularly see besides the big guys--whales and whale sharks. The smaller creatures can be just as captivating as you swim among them, so close, you feel one with the fish (or sponge).

seastar

This is a Crown of Thorns Star. Isn't it interesting with the spiky exterior? They eat the algae off the coral and leave it blanched white. They have 20-29 legs. Woah! Wouldn't want to tangle with this guy.

dolphins

These dolphins are taking a joy ride on the yacht's bow wake. Great fun for them and we love watching them zip around. A number of types of dolphins--bottlenose, spinner, spotted--are seen in Hawaii. The spinner dolphins are easily spotted as they jump and spin around airborne. You may likely find yourself snorkeling or swimming near dolphins at some point during your trip.

Capt. Cook memorial

Kealakekua Bay off the Big Island offers some of the best snorkeling around. It's incredibly scenic and historic. The monument marks the death of Captain Cook who was killed here by native people in 1779. He was the first British explorer in the Hawaiian Islands. An exhilarating high-speed inflatable boat ride brings you here to snorkel. We sight see along the way. You may see whales, dolphins and green sea turtles. Then it's into the water! The reefs along the shore provide shelter for many sea creatures. It's a safe and fun location to leisurely snorkel and float around eyeing the colorful world beneath you.

Pink tail triggerfish

Oh la la! Check out the outfit on this one. It's SO this year. Thank you for coming out to strut your stuff pink tail triggerfish.

sea urchin

Watch your toes! Watch your fingers! This one is a bit prickly. Hello sea urchin.

Spanish dancer

Oye! Quieres bailar? Te amo Spanish Dancer.

Wrasse

Pretty blue Wrasse. Like a rainbow underwater.

yellow tang

Do you remember TANG? Well, this isn't the tang we drank as kids out camping. These are bright, yellow fish you'll see all over in Hawaii. So pretty and aptly named Yellow Tang.

Manta ray

This is the wide open mouth of a Giant Pacific Manta ray coming right at you! No need to worry. Though they are huge, they are gentle. We go out for a night snorkel one night to see these impressive creatures feeding on tiny sea creatures. We don wet suits and hold onto lighted surfboards to stay together. Bright lights placed underwater draw the zooplankton they feed on which in turn draws the Mantas. WOW. This is an experience you will not forget. There might be two coming to dinner. There might be 20. They might be really hungry and bump you in their eagerness. But don't worry, thought they might be able to fit smaller people in their large mouths, they have no interest in you whatsoever.

Sea turtle with snorkeler

Green sea turtles abound in Hawaiian waters. They come in all sizes and are very serene and graceful as they move through the water. You may find yourself snorkeling next to them one day. We don't touch. We look and feel with our eyes only. It is peaceful.

skiff

Although you are vacationing on board the 36-guest Safari Explorer yacht, we use smaller boats to get you around for water sports activities. You'll spend time riding in our inflatable skiffs to and from the yacht and other destinations. It's quite a comfortable ride. This is also your launching pad for snorkeling and just a general homebase. The skiff is nearby if you need a rest or feel like you've taken in all the sights you can underwater for the moment. A ladder and a helping hand from the crew making getting in and out of the skiff manageable for all of us. We have lifejackets, flippers, snorkeling gear and floating noodles to help you make the most of your time in the water and stay comfortable. You might want to bring your own rash guard (water shirt) to extend your time and keep warmer.

hang loose

And we'll leave you with this: hang loose Hawaii style. We hope to see you in Hawaii this winter.



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