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Also be sure to check out the companion web page for a compilation of the 'land' details of our trip.

Click a picture to see a larger view.


I've grouped the pictures on this page more by activity than chronological sequence. Sonia and I both love to snorkel and I enjoy scuba diving. On this trip we snorkeled and multiple spots. The pictures I've included are representative the sea life we saw at the various locations. We took two boat excursions, one along the North Na Pali coast from Hanalei. The other a repeat of a trip we'd taken in 2009 to the marine reserve near the Captain Cook Memorial on the Kona side of the island. Both included a snorkel stop. I went scuba diving on both Kauai and Hawaii. I borrowed Matthew's underwater camera and this time managed to keep it dry. I took several videos that are interspersed among the pictures. The highlight of my diving was the night manta ray dive from Kona. The awesome manta experience has me ready to sign up again the next time I'm in the Kona area.

Color note: Underwater colors are affected by the fact that not all colors of the spectrum travel through water equally. So the deeper you go, red especially tends to disappear unless to have a strong flash or underwater light shining on the subject. Many of the scuba pictures have a greenish-blue hue which is representative of what you actually when diving with only natural light.

Video note: The thumbnails that have a colored box around them are the videos -- there are eight of them. Once you click on the thumbnail, a new page will open up and the video should start to play automatically, except on mobile devices. All of the videos are stored on YouTube. Click the thumbnail at the left to see how it works.


manta rays



  1. Boat rides
  2. Scuba diving
  3. Snorkeling
  4. Links and recommendations

Boat rides

I first boat ride was along the Na Pali coast starting at Hanalei. It was a very bumpy ride back since we were bucking a strong head wind.

Our next boat trip was a repeat of one we had taken back in 2009. The trip was a combination of breakfast, coastal tour, snorkeling near the Captain Cook Memorial at the marine preserve, and a grilled lunch. We had a great time and saw plenty of fish.

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Scuba diving

I dove both on Kauai and Hawaii. I did the first days of diving in Kauai with Bubble Below from Port Allen. Plenty of fish. The highlight for me was the Kangaroo nudibranch.

The night dive with the manta rays off Kona was definitely the highlight of my dexperienceseinces. Imagine a group of divers sitting in a big circle on the bottom in about 30-35 feet of water, each with a light shining upwards at night. The lights attract plankton [small shrimp like creatures]. The plankton in turn attract manta rays. When a 1,000 animal with a 'wing' span of 8-12 feet swims over you often within a inch of your head, you can feel the wake! There is a beauty of gracefulness to their movements. Be sure to watch a few minutes of the videos!

I found another video of an on boat, pre-dive briefing - not from my dive. Keller Laros, the speaker in the video, was one of the dive masters for our dive and gave a similar pre-dive breifing.

If you want details about manta ray protection efforts in Hawaii, there is a great video by Keller Laros.

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What makes a good snorkel spot? The ideal location is one that is protected from big waves, has plenty of coral to attract the fish, and somewhat selfishly, one that is easy to get to and get in and out of the water. Both Kauai and Hawaii have a multitude of great snorkeling spots. See the first picture [taken from Google maps] that shows one such spot we snorkeled at.

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Links and recommendations

  1. 'Land' pictures from this trip
  2. Jack's Diving Locker -- very professional, efficient organization, concerned with the environment and conservation. Their manta night dive was fantastic!
  3. Manta ray information
  4. Fish identification websites: If you snorkel in Hawaii, you might find these sites helpful in identifying what you saw.

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Copyright © 2014-2015 Michael Botos. revised: 06/12/2015

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