Two Step Snorkeling Tales, Big Island Hawaii
You wrote an excellent article on Two Step on the Big Island, Hawaii. It was very detailed and excellent advice on how to exit and enter using the swell as a helper.
I lived near there for about 3 months in 2014 and was a frequent visitor. I had the pleasure of visiting the place many times per week over the course of my stay. I got to know it pretty well.
Your article brought back memories of my experiences there, some of the most pleasurable of my life, and I was inspired to relate some more amazing tales to you, in case you might be interested.
The first memory is seeing a Nurse Shark in the shallows off to the left of the entrance, motionless at the bottom of the reef partially tucked under, about 10 feet down. Looked like he was sleeping or resting. I swam over him being careful not to make too much noise so as not to disturb him. He never moved which I later thought was a good thing because I'm not quite sure what I would have done had he moved.
Another tale is when I was swimming across the channel from the south bay head to the north bay head when I saw way below me a some glints of light, like sparklers or fireworks. Eventually I realized it was a "fish ball" of hundreds of smaller fish being hunted by Yellowfin Tuna zipping around at incredible speed feeding on the fish in the ball.
I just hovered there watching the action (and keeping an eye out for sharks) for about 10 minutes as the tuna did their thing and the fish roiled around trying to survive the attack. Never seen anything like it. It was amazing to see.
Like everyone who goes there, I really wanted to swim with the Spinner Dolphins. I was having no luck - sighting them is tricky as they come and go in many-day, many-week cycles according to some locals I met. However, one day during the last week of my stay, I arrived to see a whole pod swimming around in the middle of the bay about 50 feet offshore.
I jumped in and swam out to them and it was simply glorious. Most were very peacefully swimming in groups of 2 or 3, diving down to the bottom of the bay and then swimming up to the surface for air. A group of 3 came within arms reach of me on the way up during one part of my swim and just swam with me for a few yards right next to my side. We looked right into each others eyes and I believe they get as much pleasure out of it as we do. My feeling is as long you are calm they want to swim with you.
Then the younger ones started doing their spinning routines jumping out of the water and spinning in the air and then crashing to the surface. Somehow you can tell they are doing it just for fun. And the neat part about the spinners is once they crash back into the water they continue spinning underwater as they dive down to the deep. I never knew they did that. The spinning you see above the surface is only half the act! Really cool.
Many afternoons around 4 or 5pm, local fisherman come in with fresh-caught tuna to sell to the local markets and restaurants in the area. It's pretty much sushi-quality, pulled right from the bay on that day. If you catch them they will sell you fresh-cut tuna steaks and other fish cuts for very good prices. Offer them cash and pay what they ask and they will give you a bargain. Don't haggle.
I bought a beautiful 3 pound blood red tuna fillet for about $15 and took it home to barbecue that evening. Fed about 7 people well and was absolutely amazing.
Anyway, I really love your site and thought you might enjoy some good Two Step snorkeling tales from a big fan.