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7 January 2012

January 15, 2012

This morning, I woke up and had breakfast (banana bread from a local bakery). While we caught up on our note-taking, a pod of dolphins appeared off shore and lots of people began swimming/kayaking out toward them. A dolphin-watching boat appeared and after an hour of debating whether I should go and shave and get my snorkeling gear, the dolphins moved closer to shore and I gave in, in spite of having already showered. I swam out to them and they were constantly circling about us and they would regularly swim right under us. One of them came so close I thought it would hit me in the snorkel mask with its tail. The species was the spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris longirostris) and they would occasionally leap into the air and spinning around multiple times before crashing back into the ocean which is the basis of their common name. They swim so effortlessly that with just a few flicks of their tail they can propel themselves long distances. I am pretty glad I made the decision to get of my butt and get in the water.

After another shower, ERE and I went to Ali’i Drive to look around and get some lunch. This is a toursity part of Kona. We saw a heiau at the Marriott King Kamehameha but it seemed staged. We then went to the Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park.

Green Sea Turtle coming up for air.

We arrived close to the time they were going to close the gate but the very helpful park ranger told us we could enter a side entrance from a nearby boat yard that would allow us access to the areas with the petroglyphs (which was primarily why we came) and the lava pools where there were a number of green sea turtles. We headed over there and saw 11 green sea turtles, took lots of pictures and saw the petroglyphs.

We were disappointed to find that, when we returned to our campsite, someone had stolen all our cooking gear (stove, fuel bottle, pots, pans, bowls, etc.). After a depressing cold dinner of peanut butter sandwiches and chips, we went back to drive Ali’i Drive at night to satisfy

Green Sea Turtle in tidal pool

ERE’s sense of completeness to make sure we have done a thorough job of sampling this side of the island as we are heading to Hilo tomorrow.

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