I would love to tell you that my kids LOVED snorkeling in Kona as much as I did. That would be a lie. I am a bad mother. I didn’t bring water shoes for any of us. The water was fabulous and ridiculously clear. I thought the clarity was much better than Haunama Bay on Oahu. There wasn’t so much coral, but there were rocks, hard sharp scraggly rocks and it was extremely shallow. 

DSCF0295I took Arleigh, Hanan and Bria out first. Bria does okay but she doesn’t love the mouth piece. She pretty much just wants to swim around and come up for air. I was struggling to hold onto her and watch the big girls. Arleigh saw a few sea urchins and with no shoes… but she did have flippers…promptly lost her mind. She is like her grandmother and immediately jumped to worse case scenario. It didn’t help that a neighbor friend had just recounted a paddle board incident when he stepped down hard on one. There are a bunch of docs in my neighborhood so they removed the barbs from his bloody foot with pliers on the kitchen table. Good times. 

Arleigh left the waters not much after she came in. No way was my girl chancing her mother pulling those things out. She knows I would do that too, reasonably well. Hanan had scrubbed her ankle on a rock and was so busy swimming around she it was hurt but hadn’t paid much attention to it. With Arleigh on shore with Jack, Ray came out with a board for Bria. Theoretically it should make it easier for me to swim with the board, let her duck her head in when she wants too. We often forget that Bria is like a bull in a china shop and doesn’t hold still for anything. 

So, off we went and it was amazing. I wasn’t fast with the camera. I was too busy holding onto Bria and ogling the fish. 

DSCF0332We didn’t last long. I was paddling Bria and Hanan back in on the board when Hanan kicked too hard and caught her knee on a rock. Her mind immediately went to Arleigh’s sea urchin and it went down hill from there. Her previous ankle injury was actually worse and still bleeding. Her leg was bruised. She was acting like a great white had taken off a limb. I kicked kicked and kicked until we were less than calf deep and got them out.

A tourist was trying really hard to get his fins over his water shoes just as I was getting out. He looks up and says, “You looked like you knew what you were doing.” (This thrilled me more than it should have.) “Can you help?” I told him first, he was never going to be able to walk out in ankle deep water on the rocks with his flippers. It would have been fun watching. Backwards is a little easier but not much. It was barely waist deep out in the middle where the fish were. I told him to make his way out and then put the fins on. No idea if this was the right advice, it’s just what works with the kids. Not sure if it’s the fact that I’m not pasty white or that I might have been faking it until I made it, either way, I took it as a compliment.

We then went from beach to beach. The kids are spoiled with the sand on Oahu. There are only a few rocky beaches that we go to, usually to see turtles. Later in the afternoon, we found some tide pools. They LOVED it.

DSCF0378 DSCF0379 DSCF0370 DSCF0344 DSCF0336 DSCF0401They found tiny crabs, big crabs, sea cucumbers and sea urchin that were all in a respectable level of water. The lava had cooled to form perfect little pools to catch the water and provide a beautiful real life aquarium for the kids to play in. If you are looking for it, we stopped at the Old Airport Beach and found the surf to be a bit much against the rocks for Bria and Jack to really feel totally comfortable. The tide pools are close to the Electric Plant. It’s all in our little Big Island Revealed book.




After our tide pool adventure, we went back to a look where the kids could really swim. 

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Arleigh and Hanan are getting pretty good with the underwater camera.

Then we were off to a beach grill for a spectacular dinner. I couldn’t stop taking pictures of our view.

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When Nana Bonnie and the cousins were here, they went to Big Island to dive with sea rays. I so wanted to but apparently it’s not acceptable to do that and leave your children unattended. Where’s Grandma when I need her? So we watched some people dive from land.

DSCF0499We could only see shadows but we tried. One day maybe I’ll be able to go back and do it. 

It was a nice end to our Kona stay. The next day, we made the drive to the Volcanos!