Captain Cook is a town located on the Big Island of Hawaii, and it draws many tourists because of its proximity to wonderful natural and historic attractions. One of the favorite attractions among tourists in Captain Cook is the Kealakekua Bay. It's the largest naturally sheltered bay on the Big Island, measuring 1½ miles long and 1 mile wide. Its clear water and abundance of coral reefs and fish make it the perfect place for snorkeling, scuba diving and kayaking, and it's also home to the famous Captain Cook Monument. The bay was named a Marine Life Conservation District in 1969, and a section of it was declared a State Historic Park in 1967.
Captain Cook, Hawaii 96704
Swimming, Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
Kealakekua Bay is protected from strong winds and waves, and it has calm and crystal clear water. Underwater visibility can reach as far as 100 feet. As such, it provides the ideal conditions for swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving. The bay is the only area on the Big Island that is designated an underwater state park, and it's home to a wide array of marine creatures and plants.
Snorkelers and scuba divers at Kealakekua Bay will discover an amazing underwater world that features colorful tropical fish and coral reefs. Some of the fish in the bay can't be found elsewhere in the state of Hawaii, and these include the butterfly fish, spot-flames angelfish and lizard fish. There are also secret caves along the cliffs of the bay, where one can discover the bones of ancient Hawaiian chiefs. To make your visit to Kealakekua Bay more memorable, you should bring an underwater camera to capture the wonders of the bay's stunning undersea world.
If you set off from your Captain Cook Inn early in the morning, you may be able to see Spinner dolphins playing at Kealakekua Bay.
Captain Cook Monument
If you look across from the Kealakekua Bay wharf, you'll see the Captain Cook Monument, a white monument that was erected in honor of the first British sea captain who arrived in Hawaii. Captain Cook was warmly received by the native Hawaiians upon his arrival, because they thought that he was an immortal. Later on, they discovered that he and his crew were just ordinary human beings, and they decided to rob their ships. On the 14th of February, 1779, Cook went ashore with 9 marines and demanded that the Hawaiians return the stolen goods. A fight ensued, and he and 4 marines were killed at the site of the present monument.
The Captain Cook Monument is not accessible by road, and most people choose to paddle a kayak to the site. The monument is not only a historic site; it's also one of the best snorkeling spots on the Big Island. Sea turtles are commonly seen in the shallow waters around the monument. You can ask the staff at your Captain Cook Bed and Breakfast to recommend a good kayak rental service.