Dolphin Snorkel Tour • Manta Ray Night Snorkel Tour • Whale Watching Tour

REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL CHARTER PARTICIPATION

EVERY PERSON MUST sign a Complete Release of Liability form prior to boarding the vessel and participating in any of the charters, No exceptions. We reserve the right to deny participation if we see fit.   

DETAILS FOR DOLPHIN AND MANTA SWIM:

  1. MUST be able to swim competently,
  2. MUST be able to climb a ladder,
  3. MUST NOT weigh over 275 pounds.
  4. MUST NOT have any neck or back injuries.
  5. MUST NOT have had any major surgery in the past 12 months.
  6. MUST be at least 6 years old. 
  7. MUST always have children supervised by a family member in the water or on the boat.

CANCELLATION POLICY

Customers will receive a full refund with 48 hours notice of cancellation. Customers will receive a 50% refund with 24 hours notice of cancellation. Afterwards or for no shows, there is no refund. Customers will also receive a full refund in case of operator cancellation due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. Contact us by phone at

808-854-5757 to cancel or inquire about a cancellation.

FAQ

1.  What do I need to bring?  

For daytimecharters, bring a towel, non-aerosol sunscreen,  and sunglasses and/or hat is recommended.  For our Manta charters, bring a towel and a jacket or sweatshirt for after the snorkel as the ride back to the harbor can feel a little chilly.  

For both daytime and evening charters we recommend you take a medication or natural remedy to prevent motion sickness so you can get the most out of your charter.  For morning charters we recommend you take something the evening before and the morning of so it’s well in your system.  For evening charters we recommend you take something in the morning and 2 hours prior to departure on the Manta charter.

2.  Do I need to know how to swim?  

Yes.  We do provide life vests and other flotation devices so you do not need to be an expert swimmer.  We do require that you have some swimming experience.  

3.  What is the minimum age for guests?  

Children must be at least 6 years old and must always be accompanied by an adult, whether in the water or on the boat.  Children (ages 12 and under) are not to be left on the boat without an adult supervisor.

4.  Are we guaranteed to see dolphins and/or mantas on our snorkel tour?  

No.  We are in a big ocean looking for wild animals in their natural habitat.  We will do our best and the odds are very good, but we cannot guarantee nature.  We have a 90% success rate on seeing Dolphins, Manta Rays and Whales on our tours. 

5.  Can I touch the dolphins, mantas, turtles, or other marine life?  

No.  We are visitors in these animals’ habitats and for their health, protection and well being touching is not allowed.  Enjoy the close encounters, but please do not touch!

 

HAWAIIAN SPINNER DOLPHINS

(Stenella longirostris)

Dolphin Encounters

People are fascinated with the Spinner Dolphin and all that it entails.  It is one of the most social of all species.  It is also one of the most spectacular to be able to view due to their amazing jumps, flips, and spins outside of the water.

Snorkeling with Dolphins in Kona, Hawaii - Dolphin Swim Kona Tour

Dolphin Description

This is a small and slender dolphin, and the size of them will vary based on where they reside.  The common coloration for them is dark gay on the back and then lighter gray on the sides.  They are white or light gray on the belly.  They may have a very dark gray stripe that runs from the eye to the flipper.  They have a beak that is long and thin with a dorsal fin that is triangular shaped.

The average size for a Spinner Dolphin is from 6 to 7 feet in length.  They can weigh from 130 to 170 pounds.  The males are longer and heavier than the females.  The males also have a more distinctive postanal hump than the females.  The have a small head.  A dwarf subspecies of the Spinner Dolphin has been identified around the Southeastern portion of Asia.

Dolphin Distribution

The open areas of the tropical seas are where most of them are found.  They tend to live further from land than most other species of dolphins.  They are known to live in various oceans around the world including the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian.  They may be found in shallow waters to look for food from time to time.  In Hawaii, they have been seen closer to the coast than in any other regions.  They will rest in the bay areas for protection during the day.

Dolphin Behavior

Spinning in the air is the behavior that this particular dolphin is well known for.  They are also known to ride bow waves that are created by boats in the water.  They can be found living in groups that range from 100 to more than 1,000.  Within those larger pods, there are many smaller sub pods that can be complex to evaluate.  There is a dominant hierarchy in place.

Dolphins are extremely social within their pods as well as with other species of dolphins.  They have been seen using echolocation to find each other.  They also touch frequently and tend to create very close bonds.  The jumps and spins that they are so well known for will take place day or night.

Resting at various inlets is a common practice during the day for Spinner Dolphins.  It is common to see them returning to the same locations day after day.  After they have rested and the sun is going down, they will get busy looking for food resources.  Migration is a big part of life for these dolphins.  They will move long distances to follow prey and to be able to stay in warm waters.

Dolphin Feeding

Squid is a huge part of the diet for the Spinner Dolphins.  These dolphins have no problem successfully hunting in the deeper and darker waters.  Yet at night the squid are more apt to be coming to the surface of the water.  They will rarely be seen feeding in the daylight hours.  They also consume large amounts of fish and shrimp.  Most of the time, they dine on vertically migrating species.  They can dive up to 984 feet to get food.

Dolphin and calf sightings on the Dolphin swim Kona, Hawaii Tour

Dolphin Reproduction

Dolphin females are ready to mate around 4 to 7 years of age.  For males, it occurs later with an age between 7 and 10 years old.  Mating rituals have been observed with the Spinning Dolphins.  They tend to touch often and to pay plenty of attention to the one they plan to mate with.  The time of year for mating depends on the location where these dolphins live.  It is believed there are a couple of times a year when hormone levels increase which is when mating does occur.

After mating, it takes about 10 months before the single calf will arrive.  The mature females give birth once approximately every 3 years.  The baby dolphin will be born tail first, which is the case with all dolphin young.  They will grow very quickly consuming the milk from their mother.  They will be completely weaned about 2 years of age.

Baby dolphins will be introduced to other food sources around 6 months of age.  The bonds between a mother and her young can last a lifetime.  The average lifespan in the wild for Spinner Dolphins is 20 years.

Excerpts taken from www.dolphins-world.com - The Dolphin Institute - Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology 

 

Manta Ray Facts-

 (Mobulidae)

Manta Ray Encounters

Manta rays are large sea animals that live in tropical, sub-tropical, and temperate waters worldwide.  Their side or pectoral fins have evolved into wide triangular wings that they use to easily propel themselves through the water.  With a diamond shaped body and wing spans reaching over 20’ across, manta rays are one of the largest animals in the ocean.  Their broad blanket-like bodies earned them the name manta that means cloak or blanket in Spanish. In Hawaiian, they are called hahalua.  Like many other open ocean animals, manta rays have countershading coloration - dark on the topside (dorsal side) and light on the underside (ventral side).

Manta Ray Snorkel Kona, Hawaii Tour

Manta rays are related to sharks.  Sharks and rays are cartilaginous fishes and belong to the scientific classification Chondrichthyes.  Sharks and rays are grouped together in a sub-class called Elasmobranchii.  Unlike many shark species, manta rays do NOT have sharp teeth.  They do possess a tooth band that is more like sandpaper along the lower jaw only.   

Manta rays are related to stingrays.  Both have flattened body shapes and wide pectoral fins that are fused to the head.  One of the biggest differences between manta rays and stingrays is that manta rays do NOT have a tail "stinger" or barb like stingrays.  There are other differences as well.  Stingrays dwell on the ocean bottom, but manta rays live in the open ocean.  A stingray's mouth is located on the underside of its body whereas the mouth of the manta ray is along the front edge of its body.

Manta Ray feeding on plankton below snorkelers on the Manta Ray Night Snorkel Kona Tour

Manta rays belong to the family of rays referred to as devil rays, scientifically called Mobulidae.  Devil rays share the common characteristic of cephalic or head fins.  When unfurled, the fins help to funnel in food and water into the mouth.  To make the fins more streamlined, devil rays can roll up these flexible appendages.  When furled, these fins were thought to resemble a devil’s horns.

Manta Ray Species-

Based on a study conducted by Marshall (2009), manta rays are divided into two different species: Manta birostris and Manta alfredi.  Manta birostris typically roam the open ocean and are migratory.  They are regularly sighted at offshore islands, oceanic seamounts, and submarine ridge systems.  Manta birostris are located in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans.  This species can reach up to 22’ across.  Manta alfredi is a smaller species that has an average size of 11’ across.  This species is commonly sighted near shore around coral reefs, often times in residential groups.  The species is widespread in tropical waters and found in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans.  Manta birostris is occasionally sighted along the Kona Coast.  Manta alfredi is the species of manta ray that is sighted on the Kona Manta ray night snorkel & dive tour.

Excerpts taken from  www.MantaPacific.org  Mahalo to Keller Laros the MPR Crew & www.MantaRaysHawaii.com that do our manta ray research in Hawaii.

 

HAWAII ACTIVITY LINKS

Liquid Hawaii Japanese - LHC

The Dolphin Institute - Hawaii Research

Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology - Hawaii Research

Hawaii Ocean Productions - Kona, Hi

Manta Pacific Research Foundation - Hawaii

Manta Rays Hawaii - Hawaii Research

Hawaii Tourism Site - Hawaii

Kona Sea Adventures - Sport Fishing 

Hawaii Forest and Trail - Kona, Hi

Volcano National Park - Hawaii

Ride The Rim - Waipio Valley ATV Tours

Maui Dive Shop - Maui

Alii Nui Maui - Maui Sailing

Activity Zone Maui - Maui

Lahaina Divers - Maui

Aaron's Dive Shop - Oahu

Organik Clothing - Hawaii Style Threads