Tuesday, July 12, 2011
You want to get back to your little grass shack in Kealakekua? Then seek out small Manini Beach Park, which gets lost in the shuffle among all the better-known attractions on the bay where Captain Cook made landfall in 1779. Cook was thought to be the coming of the god Lono—a misunderstanding that one month later turned into a dispute that left Cook dead.
Though Manini has little sand (like the rest of Kealakekua), the snorkeling can be excellent when the water is calm. A sandy channel through a lava reef provides entry. When the surf is up, a left break off the point is one of the better rides on the Big Island. Palm trees and picnic tables set up a stunning view of the cliffs above Kealakeua. See pages 96 to 100 of Hawaii the Big Island Trailblazer for more on this park, and the rest of the bay.