Hammerhead Sharks on Our Way to Kealakekua

Yesterday we took the Fair Wind snorkel cruise from Keauhou Bay to Kealakekua. We were about a mile from the bay when Captain Kirk stopped the motor and announced that we spotted a school of Hammerhead Sharks in the distance. We rushed to see what was happening and sure enough you could immediately spot the dorsal fins of several sharks in the distance. It looked like a school of about 5-6 sharks and they were swimming near the surface for as long as we were there. In fact our boat got almost 20 feet from some of them and you could see their bodies which were appeared to be about 10-12 feet. The captain said the sharks migrate to the Kona coast to mate for about one month every year, but it is extremely rare to have a Hammerhead sighting.

Seeing the Hammerheads really made our trip as snorkeling in Kealakekua was a little disappointing. We spent about an hour and a half snorkeling in the bay. I was shocked that the number of fish that we saw was dramatically less than the abundant fish population we had seen on our last visit three years ago. We talked to the captain about it and hes said that the fish are coming back, but I can’t really see that happening as it appears that the bay has either been overused by tour companies or people are fishing the area illegally. Either way it is tragic to see such a beautiful bay and reef suffer such a fate.


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