We slowed to a stop as the crew had spotted something. A huge dark shape just below the surface of the water. It was a manta ray. I knew all about these 12 feet wide creatures from my previous night’s activity scuba diving with these majestic beings. Not long later we slowed again. Someone had spotted a whale in the distance. We were too slow to see it though, whales come to the surface to breathe but can dive for up to an hour on one breath.
(never touch sea creatures guys, it’s harmful to them and bloody rude really).
Just as we thought they’d moved on, another group came over, some jumping out of the water and giving us a close inspection. Climbing back aboard the boat we all chattered excitedly about what we’d seen as we ate the ample snacks provided by Sunlight on water. But we had time to track down more dolphins and get in the water again. Passing close to the boat we didn’t have to swim far before we were surrounded. It was truly exhilarating to be that close to such beautiful and intelligent beings.
Chatting to the crew I learnt what had brought them to be dolphin guides. In the case of both Steve and Gary it had been the island’s scientific interest, both for its unique environments and for its telescopes. Gary said, “I used to work in that building right there. I could look out of the wind and see the boats going by looking for dolphins. When the grant period ended on my project I knew I wanted to get out on those boats.”
I can’t thank Sunlight on water enough for this life affirming experience. They were professional, friendly, helpful, had great snacks and drinks and provided much needed sunscreen! They also take amazing underwater photos and post them on their Facebook page free of charge - the photos here are theirs. But above all had the safety of the animals as top priority allowing a respectful relationship with the playful dolphins to flourish. I wholeheartedly recommend their services for any marine adventure in Kona. Contact them directly via sunlightonwater.com and mention Hannah the traveller when you do!