If you came to Hawaii and want to get in a boat, have I got some adventures for you! Kona boat tours, fishing charters, private boat rentals, snorkeling and scuba adventures – Kona has it all in the world of boats. The west side of the Big Island has clearest waters and the most diverse coral and marine life, just choose your boat adventure!
Check out this Swimming With a Whale Shark experience. Not typical, you’l have to get really lucky, but things like this can happen!
Maybe you want to be like Hemingway and go out and hook a giant Sailfish. Or you can be the captain of your own motor boat and have your family as the crew. How about a snorkel cruise or an underwater scuba adventure? As they say, “Whatever floats your boat”. Sorry, I had to say that.
Kona Fishing Charters
So you always wanted to go out there and reel in a big one. No problem, in Kona drive north 2 miles out of town to Honokohau Harbor – 3 miles south of the airport – there’s a whole fleet of charter boats out there. You could stand on the dock and throw an opihi shell over your shoulder and hit one, but using your smart phone to find one would be better.
Once at the harbor head straight to the Harbor House Restaurant, the ultimate dockside restaurant. It sits overlooking the sailboats and charter boats. It is an open-air place filled with light and with loud people. It’s one of those typical Hawaii seaside bars where you can almost see Jimmy Buffett sitting on a bar stool. It is definitely Margaritaville.
While you are looking for your Kona boat tour of choice come on into the restaurant and have some lunch. I recommend the cheeseburger, calamari or onion rings. They have big, bowl-shaped beer glasses and awards for having the coldest beer in Kona. Food awards too. For dessert it’s the chocolate milkshake.
As you look out at the sailboats and fishing charter boats, the names, as usual, are clever, and funny. Here they are: Long Ranger, Bite Me, High Noon, Hooked Up, Humdinger.
It seems like it would be hard to choose, but they’re all about the same in price and aloha. Just chose a name you like, maybe two and go for it.
They will take you out half-day or all day, and furnish you with a Hemingway-sized rod and reel, the bait and advice. Chances are you will be reeling in a big Ahi, Aku or a Marlin, who knows? They furnish beer and soft drinks and good food. Whatever happens you will have great stories to tell when you get home and thanks to smart phones, you’ll have a movie of you hauling in the big one. With your phone you can send it to your friends in Kansas or California as it happens.
You might buy some Dramamine for sea-sickness, not a pleasant experience, but ask the captain about this. Sickness doesn’t usually happen on smaller boats like the one you’ll be on. I’ve found when you roll with the swells you don’t get sick. It’s the larger 80-100 foot boats that roll under you that get you. Just a thought from a former sailboat owner and ocean man.
Private Boat Rentals
If you want to be your own captain and have the time of your life, rent a motor boat and take the whole family up the coast. You only live once and it’s your vacation, so go for it. It costs $300 for 3 hours, maybe the best 3 hours of your life. You can pay more for bigger boats and a longer time out. Imagine zooming across the water looking up at the broad green mountains above Kona, and stopping at your own private beach.
Travel Shack offers motor boat private rentals for smaller parties and two catamaran options for larger and large party sizes.
Kona Boat Tours – Snorkeling
And now for great snorkeling experience – if you want a memory that lasts till you’re 99, take one of the snorkeling tours with Hang Loose Boat Tours. They offer early morning dolphin snorkel, afternoon whale watching, and night manta ray snorkel.
Hang Loose modern 24-passenger catamaran is fast, stable and fun. The excursions take place in Kealakekua Bay, considered by many #1 snorkeling location in all Hawaii. The groups are small and the prices – affordable.
The equipment – snorkeling gear, life vest, noodles – is provided. As well as delicious and vegetarian-friendly lunch, snacks and drinks. Free parking at the harbor.
Kona Scuba Adventure
Then there’s the scuba adventure. It’s at the Honokohau Harbor in Kona. They give you a quick course in scuba diving and supervise you underwater as you explore the dazzling ocean. They supply tanks, wet suits and all you need to be an underwater diver.
If you have a larger budget, or can share with friends, you can rent a giant catamaran and have the party you always see on T.V. You can have the big sunset or morning cruise dancing on deck while holding a mai tai. This costs more but you only live once and after all it is Hawaii.
You’ll be back in the freezing mainland soon enough watching the video of your trip. So make it a good one! Aloha.