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One can’t really visit Hawaii and not go snorkeling, so we were sure to get out as much as we could.  While Two Step had some amazing fish (and sea turtles), we found the water clarity simply couldn’t be beat at the secluded Captain Cook point.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

This spot is somewhat difficult to get to; only trails and water access it.  Therefore, you either need to hike in or join a tour.  You can rent your own kayaks from private parties, but be careful, as these retailers are required to have permits to rent, and many don’t.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

We signed up with Adventures in Paradise for the early kayak trip (to beat the crowds.. and the heat!), and we had the little cove all to ourselves.  I knew the day would be something awesome when we got to the launch point and I was given these flippers.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

My geek burst forth as I completely squeed…  See Totoro??  Aaron was the only one who understood why I was so excited.  I’m frequently reminded how so few people match my venn diagram of nerd.

I’m not generally one for tours, but I must admit, they do provide some very interesting facts and tidbits, and our guide, Mike, was quite knowledgeable.  We learned about Maui fishing the islands out of the ocean and of Captain Cook blasting cannon balls through sacred tombs while we paddled over a sea cliff that plummeted 800 feet.  He told us about the anger of the Polynesians and the number of times the word “discovered” has been scratched out and re-carved into the monument (as Captain Cook was not the first to the islands).  We were also given the answer to our questions regarding the unusually frequent sight of abandoned cars lining the highway.  All in all, it was quite educational.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

We got a solid hour of underwater play before the big tour boat showed up, I practiced my underwater shooting, and I even managed to get Aaron out for longer than 30 seconds.  The water was amazing, but the sun was intense, with nary a speck of murk to dilute its rays.  Despite covering myself as much as possible, I still burned, but it was a morning well spent.

We got back to our car to find this little guy hitching a ride; he was quite the model for our group of photographers – those colors!  It was kind of him to see us off to our next adventure.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016


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