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Tuesday, November 1

We'd been kind of pessimistic about the bed and breakfast based on the website pictures. But it turned out to be pretty neat. The hyperactive owner, Hans, insisted that we get up for breakfast at 7:30 so he could go off to a coffee-roasting seminar. We should have been irritated by his various admonitions the night before, but instead were bemused by them. Given my mild lingering jetlag I was happy enough to get up then anyway, though I'm usually a late riser.

As it turned out, it was a very pleasant setup--each room opened onto a porch and we ate our breakfast off a little table flanked by lawn chairs where we could sit and look out over Hans's coffee plantation and the coast beyond.

My goal for the day was to try some more snorkeling, so we set out for Kahaluu beach park, which the guidebooks and innkeepers were unanimous in recommending as an ideal beginning snorkeling park.

The Kailua-Kona coastal area seems to be one long string of resorts, hotels, restaurants and beaches along Alii drive. This beach was right off Alii, and featured concessions with snorkeling equipment. So we got outfitted and dived in. I'll never look at a beach the same way. I tend to assume it's all just water and sand under there, but it turns out the sea is full of fish. Who knew?

And the fish here were numerous, colorful, varied, and totally indifferent to swimmers. The coral and urchins were cool too.
I might have spent the day there, but I hardly ever swim, and found it tired me out quickly. The mask also became a little uncomfortable after a while. So after a couple sessions I decided I was ready to just sit on the beach. Sara failed to entice me back into the water despite her reports of watching a giant green sea tortoise swim underwater.

I wandered around the nearby tidepools, though, and saw some more fish, basking sea turtles, and lots of crabs.

We drove up Alii drive to lunch at a sushi place. It was yummy--Thai and Japanese food seem to be the way to go in Hawaii. Then we sat on another little beach for a while and watched kids playing with boogie boards in the surf.

One of the guidebooks suggested dinner at Huggo's, where you could supposedly watch Manta Rays at night. Huggo's looked expensive, so we tried their bar next door. It was perched attractively right over the water, and had spotlights over the water, but the tide looked too low for much sealife. We had a drink and some appetizers anyway, then went back across the street to a good Thai restaurant for dinner.