We’re still not used to this time zone. We get tired early and wake up early, which isn’t quite conducive to adjusting to “island time.” Awake before the sun, we decided to find snorkel gear to rent, planning to arrive at the rental shop as they opened at 8 am. Boss Frog’s in downtown Kailua-Kona offered great deals and the gear seemed good quality. We decided to stay close to downtown to literally get our feet wet, as we had scheduled a brewery tour for later that morning.
Though we had asked at Boss Frog’s what beach to go to, the beach close to downtown was not recommended, but we proceeded regardless. A canoe race and a triathlon was in progress as we waded into the water, so we were concerned that we may not see many fishes. As I had never been snorkeling before, I was nervous sticking my head under the water the first few times; my heart rate was erratic, trying to relax enough to float in the waves. Phil reminded me of the advice from our canyoneering instructor from a few weeks ago – “Yoga, slow and steady.” After a few tries, I was able to take a few deep breaths, relax, and focus on the brightly colored fish below.
We only had about thirty or forty minutes under the water before we headed back to the shore for our tour at Kona Brewing Company. The tour itself was fairly short as the brewery was fairly small. The tour guide informed us that this brewery did about 11,000-13,000 barrels of beer, while the brewery on the mainland did about 400,000. The tour guide was also very proud that they were a four-star green restaurant, which apparently there are only 28 of these highest certification type restaurants.
The best part of the tour was the tasting. We got to try a couple of their seasonal beers, as well as a few of their beers that they don’t sell on the mainland. We decided to stick around for lunch, as the pizza baking smelled delicious while we were on the tour. They also use some of the spent grain from their brewing process in the pizza dough!
After lunch, we drove up the coast to Anaeho’omalu Beach, which I believe is technically a black sand beach with coarse lava rock sand. We broke out our snorkels again, but were fairly disappointed in the murkiness and blandness of the coral. Despite the lack of colorful fish, we did happen to see a Morey Eel and a Banded Black Snake in the water, from which I swam very quickly away.
With a long and exhausting day, we were happy to come back to the house to grill burgers for dinner, and head to bed at what would be even an early bedtime west coast time.