Thanks to my parents, Scott and I were able to escape for two separate evenings together without the boys, which is such a rare treat for us! On Saturday night, we had dinner at a yummy restaurant right on Hilo Bay, Cafe Pesto. After dinner, we drove up to Mauna Kea (Hawaii's highest peak) to the star observatory. Mauna Kea's altitude and isolation in the middle of the Pacific ocean make it an ideal location for astronomical observation. Astronomers from all over the world travel to Mauna Kea to star gaze. It was a clear and beautiful night, and we had fun learning about constellations on the star tour. FYI: excellent people watching too! (Picture: Star Trek convention) :-)
On Monday night, we signed up for a night snorkel with a professional diving company. The adventure started with a 30 minute boat ride down the coast to "Manta Heaven," an area near the Kona airport where manta rays are often spotted feeding at dusk. We admired the beautiful sunset along the way. We saw whales in the distance and even some spinner dolphins swimming alongside our boat!
|It was such a beautiful evening!|
Once it was dark and we got our instructions, we suited up and jumped in the dark water, hoping to see some mantas!
|For those of you who know me well, you know that I'm not a huge fan of open water, large sea creatures, or snorkeling for that matter. This was a big deal for me. So thankful for friends and a husband that challenge me to try things out of my comfort zone!|
That's Scott. The mantas were close enough that we had to really concentrate NOT to touch them.
|Our guide told us that on average, they see 5-6 mantas per night. We saw over 20!|
I can easily say our time in the water with these animals was one of the most unique and thrilling 45 minutes of my life! If you come to Hawaii, don't miss this! We used Kona Diving Company. Our guide and boat captain were super friendly and helpful. We highly recommend them!