The nicest place we saw was Kona on the big Island. It seemed laid back and clean, what you imagine Hawaii should be.
We took an excursion which was advertised as a raft trip and snorkeling. The raft was like what the Navy Seals use to assault the bad guys. 40 mph over really rough seas , sitting on the sides and holding on for dear life. The snorkel place was about five miles from Kona. In the last picture above it was well around that point in Kealakekua Bay. Remember the song My Little Grass Shack?“Take me back to my little grass shack in Kealakekua Hawaii…”. And “It won’t be long till my ship will be sailing back to Kona…” Listen to the Mills Brothers sing it.
The Snorkeling was well worth it. I must have seen thirty species of beautiful tropical fish. If you ever go there get an underwater camera. Kealakekua Bay is where the King lived. There’s a monument to Captain Cook there. See it in the photo. That’s where he was killed. He made the mistake of grabbing the king and immediately was hit with about a hundred spears. The royalty lived on the peninsula where the Monument is. Everybody else lived across the bay on this peninsula:
Separating the two peninsulas is a high cliff where they used to bury the femurs of the chiefs and the great warriors after they died.
On the way back to Kona we passed the lava grottoes where the priests used to hang out. They believed the formation was the image of Pele, the Volcano Goddess. At the left end were two grottoes up out of the water. They would burn fires there, that would look like her eyes. The hoi polloi would bring baskets of fish and pigs and things.
On the way back to Kona we saw one whale off in the distance. I got a video of it but it was really too far away to get a good shot.
Speaking of the Volcano Goddess, here’s a cartoon I drew many years ago. It’s in my Guess Who Got Lucky book.