As with most of our vacations, we came to the Big Island for one of Bill’s conferences. The timing couldn’t have been better — right on my birthday! Staying at home to celebrate my 50th birthday while he enjoyed a conference in Paradise was not an option. So we splurged on tickets (summer is not the cheapest time to visit) and away we went!
We had not appreciated the the Big Island actually has variety in climate. The western (Kona) side is much dryer than the eastern (Hilo) side. The beaches on the Kona side also tend to be shallower and the reef comes right up to the shore. The moment we stuck our heads in the water off the beaches just north of Waikoloa, we saw fish and corals in vivid color.
We spent our first couple of days before the conference exploring the beaches that were recommended by Pete at Snorkel Bob’s. There was a store not far from us and the rental rates for gear were very reasonable. Bill was even able to rent a prescription mask — which really helped him see under water!
These pictures were taken with an Olympus tough camera (birthday present from Bill!) — it is waterproof to 50 feet and can also take macro photos. Mine is a very snazzy red color.