Follow The Shadow, You Won't Be Disappointed...
by Tim M.
On one of our Big Island trips my girlfriend and I pulled up to "two step" for a snorkel on a overcast and rainy day. The place was deserted.
We climbed out of the car with our snorkel gear just as an older man was climbing out of the water. He didn't look like a tourist. He asked us, "you guys know what you're doing?" We sort of looked at him confused. He said, "are you strong swimmers?" We answered "yeah". "Ok, swim out to where you can't see the bottom anymore," he said, indicating towards the 2 o'clock position, "and just wait there. Look down as deep as you can and you're gonna see a shadow. Start following it as it makes circles. You won't be disappointed."
So we did as he said: about 200 yards off the beach and in maybe 100 feet or a little more of water, we waited. Sure enough, after a few minutes we could just faintly make out a shadow. We followed it as best we could, losing it here and there for a few seconds, then reacquiring it.
After maybe 5 minutes it started rising and we could finally see that it was a pod of spinner dolphins. As they came up for air we placed ourselves in their path and they surfaced all around us. This went on again and again over the next hour.
On one particularly memorable pass the dolphins lingered at the surface for a few seconds and as they descended a young one broke from the group, came back up at us, squared off with my girlfriend and stared at her from about 4 feet away before bolting back down to the pod.
When we finally went back in the skies were clearing but there was still no one at the site. The lack of other people allowed the "natural-ness" of the moment to linger as we quietly dried off, got in the car, and made our way back to Kona.