The Sunlight on Water crew has figured out a recipe for success for snorkeling with dolphins. The entire crew works in unison to make sure everyone is ready when dolphins are spotted. The captain is highly regarded in The Big Island for navigating the waters to the perfect dolphin spot. One of the crew members even stated that he has seen dolphins every time with their captain.
On board, once the captain has spotted dolphins, he positioned the boat to be in their direct path, so that when all fourteen guests are in the water, the dolphins will pass through. Their first pass was thrilling and stunning. Once all three schools had passed us, we boarded the boat and leap-frogged the dolphins so that we could have two more passes with them for optimum viewing. Their second and third passes were even more breathtaking than the first.
We knew that they were coming and everyone in the boat was calling out their locations to ensure the readiness of the group, however, the exhilaration felt when they finally became visible is difficult to convey. They are beautiful, friendly, graceful and muscular. It’s truly awesome to swim with them and to capture the experience on video will allow us to enjoy it many times over. We had the privilege to witness a new born pup swimming with its family. After the third pass, it was clear that the dolphins were headed out to deeper waters and they very swiftly bid us adieu.
Our adventure was merely reaching the rising action, though. Our captain, a master marine spotter, called out, “pilot whales!” Everyone very excitedly searched the surface of the water until we saw what looked like giant dolphins. As we found out this was a very rare treat. The crew only sees them about 7 times a year.
After the boat was moved into place, all snorkelers were in the water within moments. The pilot whales are larger, more muscular and less social than the dolphins, so our first sighting was at a distance of about 50 yards and only lasted a few seconds. The second sighting was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Two pilot whales passed us at a distance of 30 yards followed by a mother and child. Dan was able to close the distance to about 20 yards for a some amazing footage before these majestic creatures disappeared into the deep, blue ocean. These photos are but a glance of of the beauty captured in the videos here.