It’s rare to have an experience so amazing that you know it will stand out in your memory for the rest of your life. I had the chance to swim with dolphins in Hawaii on Monday, and believe me, the experience far surpassed my expectations.
Swim with dolphins in Hawaii, it’s amazing!
Even before my arrival at Waianae Harbor I could feel something special was going to happen. When I arrived I was greeted with aloha by the check-in crew as they made sure I had equipment that was comfortable on me.
As our group headed to the dock where the boat was running and ready to go, the friendly dive crew and captain introduced themselves and said a little about how much they love their job taking people to swim with dolphins in Hawaii. Two of the three had degrees in Marine Biology and the captain was very experienced in dolphin tours, so not only were they passionate about what they do, they were educated as well.
On the water and heading up the coast
Our group was the first dolphin tour boat on the water, providing us with uninterrupted views of the Waianae Coast. Dolphins are naturally curious, and were eager to greet us. Motoring out of the harbor and heading up the coast, the sun had began to rise over the mountains for one of the most beautiful morning scenes I have ever seen. As we neared the first dive site, the pod began to swim alongside the boat and seemed to say “Come swim with us!”
Along the way, the crew educated us about spinner dolphins, and how to swim with them without disturbing them. The concern and consciousness the crew had about interacting with dolphins really showed how much they love and respect these playful creatures, and that meant a lot to me.
Making a splash
The captain stopped the boat near where the dolphins were swimming to and within 30 seconds of getting in the water a pod passed by the group. There must have been at least 20 dolphins swimming within 30 feet us! The pod made another pass by us before venturing onwards, but there was plenty to explore.
One of the crew found an giant octopus and brought it to the surface for the group to see. Some people were scared to touch it but I wanted to get as much out of the experience as possible. The feeling of the octopus’s tentacles on me was strange and exhilarating, and is something that will stick with me.
After almost an hour in the water we headed to another dive site to see more dolphins. The captain saw them coming and directed our group where to swim in order to see them. There were a bunch of baby dolphins swimming in the pod at the second site, and all I can say is a baby dolphin is probably the cutest thing I will ever see.
The dolphins swam with us for a bit longer at the second dive site. Seeing and swimming with them in their natural habitat is a completely different experience than hopping in a tank, even though I would have loved a dolphin kiss!
Turtle Rock near Makaha Beach
After that we headed to Makaha Beach for a third dive. Just offshore is “Turtle Rock” where Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles often congregate. The turtles weren’t scared and seemed to want to hang out with us as much as we wanted to swim with them!
“That was AMAZING!”
Getting back on the boat at the end of the adventure was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. I didn’t want it to end! I’ve seen a lot of cool things diving and snorkeling, but nothing, nothing, compared to this. If there’s one thing everyone onboard had to say, it was “That was AMAZING”.
As we headed back, I took one last look up the coast and couldn’t help from feeling utter and complete bliss.
Getting the perfect shot
If you don’t have an underwater camera don’t worry. They have a photographer who does the dolphin swim with you. Taking photos of you, your group, the dolphins you encounter and everything else exciting in between, the photo package is a great way to revisit the memories from an unforgettable vacation experience.
Using a GoPro HERO3 Underwater
I got to shoot some video with our new GoPro HERO3 with its waterproof case. Visit our Discover Hawaii Tours YouTube page to see my whole dolphin swimming adventure.