Sunday, December 10, 2006

Latest status of snorkeling, hiking, kayaking at Kealakekua Bay and the Captain Cook Monument

I went down the hill today to check on what all's going on at the bay. When we had our earthquake back in October and they had landslides, the state basically shut the bay down. It's been reopened for recreational use, but it is more limited than before the quake.

The hiking trail down to the bay has been officially closed for now. The DLNR has had an officer down at the wharf and park much of the time. Someone has put up informative plaques (one is pictured) down at the bay, which is quite nice, and they also have a booth down at the old wharf with this informative video (I linked this back in September, but here it is again) on snorkeling and critter care. They've set up buoys in the bay approximately 100' from shore in front of the monument and inside towards the beach. No boats/kayaks/snorkelers are allowed to land or swim within the buoys and they had a boat out there enforcing that. I guess this is supposed to go on indefinitely for now. Kayaks and snorkelers are allowed in the water, as long as you stay outside the buoys.

I suspect they are also cracking down on improper interaction with the dolphins. That has been a hot button topic here for a number of years, and now that the DLNR has a boat down in the area I suspect it'll be enforced. Last month there was a whale that turned up off Kailua and was basically killed by sharks - several boats got near to it to film it and there are rumors that there's going to be trouble for the photo/video guys and the captains of the boats as far as getting close in violation of the marine mammal protection act. We'll see if there's any fallout from that.

So basically the bay is open for recreational kayak use, the beach has been reopened, but don't expect to get all the way over to the monument.




Lexa Roséan said...

great shots but I gotta say - that burger looks full of trans-fats. wouldn't be allowed in NYC anymore.

Steve said...

Thanks for the comment. I've been wondering how they're going to handle enfocring that trans-fat ban right off the bat.

Anonymous said...

how was the whale killed by the sharks?

Steve said...

I was in Florida when it happened, but from what I was told, it was live with sharks already on it when first sighted. Apparently the sharks go after the fins first then start working it over 'til death. Nobody knows if the whale was actually healthy to begin with.

We get lots of whales here during the season and never see the shark action like this. It seems that every couple years a carcass is found with sharks feeding on it somewhere around the island.

Considering the whales do not feed while in Hawaii, yet stay here long enough to give birth, fatten up the young via nursing, and mate again (I think that's roughly the sequence), it's surprising we don't lose more.