Aaron Martina is an Florida based programmer and an international man of mystery. Well, he's not all that mysterious but he does travel the world now and then taking photos, eating interesting foods and diving the depths.

Hawaii 2017 - Part 1

Hawaii 2017 - Part 1

Introduction

There are a handful of hobbies that I truly enjoy and it is even more enjoyable when I can combine those hobbies together. I am went to Hawaii as part of an Orlando Reef Divers trip where I planned to do a bunch of photography. So the hobbies I planned on hitting were:

  • Travel (check)
  • Scuba Diving (check)
  • Photography (check)
  • Hiking/Exploring (check)
  • Kayaking (maybe)

I also planned on playing Ingress (which I really need to finish writing a post on). I’m spent two weeks in Hawaii with the first week being on the Big Island (Hawai’i proper) and the second week was spent aboard the Kona Aggressor II. I planned to take in as much of the local culture and ecology as I can in my time on the island.

I know this is probably going to drag into multiple posts so here is a handy link to see the entire series as I post them.

May 20th - Departure and travel

Almost always the worst part of a trip is the travel to the location. I dread getting up early and it causes me a twinge of anxiety when I have to get up early for something important such as flying around the planet. Regardless, I set approximately four alarms on two different devices in order to make sure that I was out my front door by approximately 4:30am. My flight was at 7am but I knew I had to check a bag so I wanted to give myself a ton of extra time. I think I actually left my house around 5am but it was the thought that counted. I made it through security and to my gate without any issues. I boarded shortly afterwards taking my window seat in first class (a perk of traveling almost every week for work). Then we were off to Phoenix, AZ.

We landed in Phoenix very early and phenomenon that I thought was only at the Orlando airport existed in Phoenix as well. Forty minutes early to our gate and we had to wait 40 minutes for them to figure out how to get us to the gate and off of the plane. Oh well!

An hour and a half later and I was on my way to Kailua-Kona International (KOA) Airport. I kept myself entertained and mostly awake and the flight passed. We landed and departed from the plane. For an airport that has such large planes coming in and out of it constantly it seemed very much like a Caribbean island airport. Everything (gates, baggage claim, etc) was outdoors and we had a ramp to the plane instead of an enclosed jetway. The heat hit me but I was a bit chilled on the plane so I welcomed it. I picked up my luggage and made my way to get my rental car.

As I drove away from the airport I started in the wrong direction. That's what I get for being awake for about 17 hours with only about four hours of sleep the night before (actually by the calendar date it was the same day). I found a place I could turn around and I drove the 30 minutes to my resort. I checked in and hauled myself and my luggage up to my room. After a shower and some lounging around I explored the resort and found the club lounge (another perk of traveling too much for work) and I got myself a free diet coke.

 The view from the Kaiulu Club Lounge.

The view from the Kaiulu Club Lounge.

 The view from my room.

The view from my room.

I started to get hungry so I headed into Kona's tourist district and made my way to the Kona Brewing Company for pizza as it came highly recommended. There was a wait for an outdoor table but I was a bit warm (the humidity was very similar to Florida) and opted to sit inside which was basically first come first served. I ordered a Capt. Cook pizza.

I inhaled the pizza and made the trip back to the hotel but I made a pit stop at a scenic overlook near my resort to watch the sun set.

 Ok, it's not really a sunset as the sun is still above the horizon but give me a break. I was tired.

Ok, it's not really a sunset as the sun is still above the horizon but give me a break. I was tired.

While at this overlook I spotted a group of weasel-like animals that I later found out were an introduced species of Indian Mongoose. I later realized that they were everywhere on the island much like a squirrel in Florida.

I finally made it back to my resort where I noticed a group of boats just off the shoreline. I was informed that these were for snorkelers and divers for watching/interacting with manta rays. It was quiet a site to see the boats so close to the resort for this purpose.

And before I passed out and fell into the Pacific I returned to my room and settled in for the night.

Hawaii 2017 - Part 2

Hawaii 2017 - Part 2

Derby Dive - Boynton Beach 2017