I'm taking a trip to Hawaii the first week in January [4 days big island, 3 Oahu, 2 maui] and was looking for some help on a few questions for people who have been before/live there. Since were hopping around a lot and have to worry about no fly times we werere looking for a lot of snorkeling opportunities (don't worry I booked the kona manta night dive of course couldn't miss that) but not really sure of other must do snorkeling or scuba. I looked into a spinner dolphin snorkel/whale watch but I was really hoping to be able to get in the water with them (Tonga someday of course). A few quick questions:
1. Are there tours to actually snorkel with the humpbacks? I'm guessing that there are laws against it as all I have seen are topside sightseeing tours
2. What would be the best place on big island or Oahu to see the endangered monk seal? I know they are more common on the northern islands but it would be neat to grab some photos of them, especially in the water!
3. What are some not to miss snorkel spots on the big island? I have heard of Capt Cook monument and don't mind the mile hike to get there. My girlfriend and I are no where near beginner snorkelers and i'de like to go to places which offer the best photo ops of course
4. Are there any big island snorkel spots with the best chance to see some white-tip reef sharks or other sharks? I'm sure we'll be seeing turtles everywhere so hopefully wont have to worry about that
I've done some crazy research but a lot of places are targeting to children or people new at snorkeling. figured the people of wetpixel would know all the best spots for photography! Thanks for the help everyone, I'll write a trip report once we get back!