Saturday, July 18, 2009

Snorkeling Snapshots - Two Step

The other afternoon my father and I went snorkeling at Two Step.  Two Step is one of the two most famous snorkeling spots here in South Kona (the second is at the Captain Cook monument). To get there from the Inn, we follow Napo'opo'o Road down to the water (about .8 mile), then stay on it until we reach the park (about a ten minute drive).  Napo'opo'o turns into Pu'uhonua Road, the road that leads to Pu'uhonua O Honaunau national park.  Two Step is just to the north of the park.  We parked in the park parking lot and walked back out, down to the water.  It was about three in the afternoon and there were a few people around, but it was pretty quiet.  The water was calm, warm, and clear as usual.  The afternoon was just a touch overcast and a misty rain fell part of the time we were down there.  We jumped in and swam out a bit, then spent about an hour just floating and observing the reef world below.  We saw all the normal, beautiful things: huge coral heads in lush yellow hues, brilliant-yellow tangs, vibrant rainbow parrotfish, darling little spotted box fish and shy puffers.  Then we happened upon a small group of threadfin butterflyfish.  These butterflies have grey cross-hatching on their sides and bright yellow on top.  One particularly inquisitive little fish swam right up to us from below and looked into our faces.  Neither of us had ever had this experience before.  Although tolerant of snorkelers and swimmers, reef fish are watchful and shy and usually keep a distance.  This little threadfin kept coming right up to us.  It came so close I got a good look at its delicate little face and flowing yellow top fin.  We eventually moved on, not wanting to bother it.  We weren't sure if it was just curious, or if we were infringing on its territory.  We exited the water feeling relaxed and refreshed as only the salt water can leave you.  We marveled at the fact that each session spent in the ocean is different, each provides something new, surprising, and beautifully mysterious.  It is always different, at different moments through the day, on different days, in different seasons; always filled with life, always wondrous.

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