Hawaii Trip Part 4: (Sun) Rays by Day, (Manta) Rays by Night

Sunset at Mauna Kea Resort

Thanks to the 6-hour time difference from home, we were up early again and caught up on a bit of work. For breakfast, we drove to the Hawaiian Style Café in Waimea (recommended by my friend Ben). It was fantastic. The coconut pancakes and the omelet were excellent.

Large pancakes – knife added for scale

On our way back, we stopped at Snorkel Bob’s in Waikoloa to rent some snorkel gear. We had used them in Maui and found them to have good service, fair prices and great equipment.

We took our snorkel gear over to Hapuna Beach and set up in a shady spot on the far end of the beach away from the Westin. We spent a few hours snorkeling, swimming and chilling on the beach.

Hapuna Beach

Later in the morning, it got crowded with tourists and locals so we decided to head over to a different beach nearer to the Hilton. We went to Beach 69 and the crowds were much lighter.

Beach 69

After we’d had enough sun, we headed back to the Hilton, stopping at Island Gourmet Market to pick up some lunch to go. At 12:15, we headed over to the sales office for our obligatory timeshare presentation. It was a long two hours, but we were never going to bite on the sales pitch. We got our certificate at the end for $200 cash back on a future Hilton stay and bade the salesman farewell.

We had a short drive back to the Hilton, where we took an afternoon snooze and caught up on some work emails. Then we headed out to the Mauna Kea Resort for our nighttime snorkel with manta rays with Manta Ray Advocates. Of course, as soon as my wife saw the beachfront resort, she wondered why we couldn’t stay there instead of the Hilton 😊

Sunset before night snorkel

We ended up in a group of about 12 with a large family. Manta Ray Advocates snorkel from the beach in a smaller group rather than from a boat. Since my wife can get seasick, I decided this was a better option for us. Unfortunately, she still got touch of vertigo from the combination of the darkness and waves.  She only spent a few minutes out on the water snorkeling before heading back.  We did see an amazing manta ray that swam around us for quite a while.

Up close with a Manta Ray

After we changed out of our wet swimsuits, we tried to grab dinner at the Mauna Kea Resort, which is a Marriott property. Unfortunately, the service was so slow, we gave up and went back to Island Gourmet Market to pick up poke once again before turning in for the night.

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