Are you ready for an exciting adventure in the open ocean? Join Laura On The Move as she takes you on a thrilling kayaking journey to snorkel at the Captain Cook Monument on the Big Island of Hawaii. This vlog captures their biggest adventure yet, where they rent kayaks and navigate through the ocean to reach the famous monument. With minimal instruction and a whole day ahead of them, Laura and Courtney embrace the challenge and soak in the stunning beauty of Hawaii’s 50th state. After an eventful day on the water, they end the evening with a picturesque sunset dinner and shave ice in Kona. Get ready to dive into this thrilling ocean kayaking experience and witness the wonders of Hawaii’s natural beauty.

Step into Laura’s shoes as she recounts the excitement and challenges of their kayaking adventure. From getting lost at the wrong boat ramp to finally finding their way, Laura and Courtney share their journey of kayaking into the ocean for the first time. With no prior experience in the open water, they paddle their way towards the Captain Cook Monument, taking in the breathtaking views and encountering the possibility of dolphins along the way. Their day is filled with adrenaline, exploration, and new experiences that will leave you captivated and dreaming of your own oceanic adventure. Join them as they make the most of their time on the Big Island before heading off to their next destination.

Our Biggest Adventure Yet on the Big Island in Hawaii

Welcome to our biggest adventure yet on the Big Island in Hawaii! Today, we’re going to take you on a thrilling journey as we kayak in the open ocean to snorkel at the Captain Cook Monument. This is an experience you won’t want to miss, so grab your snorkeling gear and get ready for an exhilarating day on the water.

But before we dive into the details of our adventure, let us introduce ourselves. We are Laura and Courtney, two avid travelers and adventure seekers. Our goal is to visit all 50 states in one year, and Hawaii is our 50th state on this incredible journey. Throughout our week on the Big Island, we have been amazed by its natural beauty and unique experiences. Today, we are embarking on our biggest adventure yet, and we can’t wait to share it with you.

Kayak Rental – Bay Side Adventures

To start our day, we rented kayaks from Bay Side Adventures. They offer kayak rentals without any training or tour guides, allowing us the freedom to explore on our own. The rental cost was just $60, which was a great deal considering the adventure that awaited us.

Breakfast at Coffee Shack

Before we set off on our kayaking adventure, we fueled up with a delicious breakfast at Coffee Shack. This place offers both sit-down and to-go options, perfect for our early morning start. We highly recommend trying their breakfast options, as they provide a great start to the day.

Trying Poke at Honaunau Poke Shop

After kayaking, we worked up quite an appetite and decided to try some poke for lunch. We headed to Honaunau Poke Shop, a laid-back restaurant that serves delicious poke. If you’ve never tried poke before, this is a great place to start. The flavors were incredible, and we couldn’t resist going back for seconds.

Sunset Dinner at Fosters Kitchen

For dinner, we wanted to enjoy a meal with a stunning view. Fosters Kitchen was the perfect choice, offering a great drink selection and appetizers. While their dinner options might not be the best, they do have small plates, like the steak, priced under $20. Plus, the timing was perfect as we enjoyed a beautiful sunset while savoring our meal.

Kayaking into the Ocean

Now, let’s dive into the details of our kayaking adventure in the open ocean. The excitement was palpable as we made our way to the state park where our journey would begin. After a quick breakfast, we parked our car and prepared to get on the water. We also brought snorkeling gear, just in case we felt adventurous enough to explore underwater.

Informal Kayaking Instructions

As we arrived at the kayak rental spot, we were surprised by the informal nature of the process. We received very little instruction, especially considering this was our first time kayaking in the ocean. The rental staff pointed us in the general direction and told us to paddle out of the cove and turn right. While it seemed a bit unorthodox, we were ready to embrace the adventure and set off towards the Captain Cook Monument.

First Time Kayaking in the Ocean

For us, kayaking in the ocean was a whole new experience. We were used to calm lakes, so the waves and currents presented a thrilling challenge. As we paddled further into the open ocean, we couldn’t help but feel a mix of nerves and excitement. The possibility of encountering dolphins added to the thrill of the adventure, making it an unforgettable experience.

Adventure and Uncertainty

Kayaking to the Captain Cook Monument was not without its challenges. The weather seemed to be a bit grumpy, creating clouds that hinted at a potential storm. We knew we had to make it back safely before 4 pm, adding a sense of urgency to our journey. Despite the uncertainties, we persevered and headed towards the big bushy tree, our only point of reference along the way.

Kayaking in the OPEN OCEAN to SNORKEL The CAPTAIN COOK Monument- The BIG ISLAND Hawaii Vlog Day 3!

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Snorkeling at the Captain Cook Monument

Finally, we reached our destination – the Captain Cook Monument. This iconic landmark is only accessible by boat, making it a must-visit for adventurous travelers like us. We were in awe of the colorful coral and vibrant fish that greeted us underwater. Despite the slightly dim sunlight, the beauty of the underwater world shone through, captivating us throughout our snorkeling experience.

Colorful Coral and Fish

One of the highlights of snorkeling at the Captain Cook Monument was the incredible array of colors in the coral and fish. We were amazed by the diversity and vibrancy of the marine life in this area. From bright orange and purple corals to schools of colorful fish swimming gracefully, it was a sight to behold. We couldn’t resist capturing the beauty on our underwater cameras, ensuring that these memories would last a lifetime.

Less Crowded Space

Another advantage of snorkeling at the Captain Cook Monument was the relatively fewer crowds. Since access is limited to boats, we didn’t encounter large groups of tourists. This allowed us to enjoy a more intimate and peaceful snorkeling experience. We had the freedom to explore at our own pace and appreciate the wonders of the underwater world without feeling rushed or crowded.

Heading Back to Shore

After a magical time snorkeling at the Captain Cook Monument, it was time to head back to shore. However, there were a few considerations to keep in mind as we prepared for our return journey.

Weather Concerns

The weather started to show signs of turning against us as dark clouds loomed overhead. We knew we had to be cautious and make it back before the weather deteriorated further. Staying safe was our top priority, so we kept a close eye on the clouds and made sure to follow instructions from the kayak rental staff.

Enjoying Lunch

Before we set off on our return journey, we decided to refuel with a delicious lunch. Given our busy schedule and the uncharted waters ahead, we had foregone snacks and water during the kayaking trip. However, now that we were back on land, we took the opportunity to enjoy a well-deserved meal. It was the perfect way to recharge and reflect on the incredible adventure we had just experienced.

Dinner with a View

As evening approached, we wanted to end our day on the Big Island with a memorable dinner. We were fortunate enough to find a restaurant with a stunning view and delicious food.

Grilled Calamari and BBQ Sandwich

Our dinner at Fosters Kitchen was a treat for the senses. We indulged in grilled calamari, a dish we had never tried before. The flavors were perfectly balanced, making every bite a delight. Courtney opted for a grilled chicken BBQ sandwich, which was equally delicious. We savored our meals while taking in the breathtaking sunset, creating a perfect end to our day.

Perfect Timing for Sunset

Sometimes, timing is everything, and that was certainly true for us. By sheer luck, we arrived just in time to witness a gorgeous sunset. The sky was painted with shades of pink, orange, and purple, creating a picturesque backdrop for our dinner. As we watched the sun sink below the horizon, we couldn’t help but feel grateful for this incredible moment.

Packing Up and Leaving the Big Island

Sadly, all good things must come to an end. Our time on the Big Island had been filled with excitement and adventure, but it was time for us to pack up and continue our journey. The next stop on our Hawaii adventure was Maui, and we were eager to see what it had in store for us.

Heading to Maui

With our bags packed and a sense of anticipation, we bid farewell to the Big Island. Maui awaited us, promising new experiences and unforgettable memories. We were excited to explore what this beautiful island had to offer and continue our quest to complete all 50 states within a year.

Summary of Big Island Adventures

Reflecting on our time on the Big Island, we couldn’t help but be grateful for the incredible adventures we had. From the thrilling kayak trip to the Captain Cook Monument to the stunning snorkeling experience, each moment was filled with awe and wonder. We also savored the delicious food and breathtaking views, adding to the overall enjoyment of our visit. The Big Island had truly exceeded our expectations, leaving us with memories to cherish for a lifetime.

Hawaii Activities and Tours

If you’re planning a trip to Hawaii, you’re in for a treat. The islands offer a wide range of activities and tours, ensuring that there’s something for everyone. From snorkeling and kayaking adventures to hiking and cultural experiences, Hawaii has it all. Here are some of the best activities you can enjoy during your visit:

  • Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay
  • Hiking the Kalalau Trail in Kauai
  • Exploring the Haleakala Crater in Maui
  • Visiting Pearl Harbor in Oahu
  • Taking a helicopter tour of the Na Pali Coast in Kauai
  • Attending a luau for a taste of Hawaiian culture and cuisine

These are just a few of the many activities and tours available in Hawaii. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or a foodie, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this tropical paradise.


As our time on the Big Island came to an end, we couldn’t help but feel a mix of emotions. We had experienced incredible adventures, tried new foods, and witnessed breathtaking vistas. Our kayaking and snorkeling trip to the Captain Cook Monument had been a highlight of our visit, showcasing the natural beauty of Hawaii’s waters.

Now, we were looking forward to our next destination: Maui. The adventure continued, and we were excited to explore new landscapes, try new activities, and create more cherished memories.

So, if you’re planning a trip to Hawaii, make sure to include the Big Island in your itinerary. With its stunning beauty, thrilling adventures, and vibrant culture, it’s a destination that will leave you yearning for more. Say aloha to the Big Island and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.