Bay on the day of the Keauhou-Kona Triathlon can be both a challenge
and a thrill. I was
one of the water safety volunteers that try to both keep the triathlon
swimmers in the swim lanes and also be available if any of them need
don't know how well you can see it in this picture, but
the orange mass in the center
of the picture is the
hundreds of swim
caps of the athletes at the starting line just before
the start of the
race across the bay and back (click
on pictures for larger view).
The swim section of the race starts next to the Kailua pier, South
across the bay almost to the Royal Kona Resort
and then back across the bay to Kamakahonu beach at the King Kam
Hotel. If you're interested in being a water safety volunteer or
joining a group paddle, check with Brock Stratton at Kona Boys
This is also one of two places where you can easily put your kayak into
the water. As you can see this is a
protected cove with sand in
and out. Picture on left is taken from the pier
while standing on the other great access: a boat ramp.
You can get access to both by driving onto the pier and
unloading. Normally the guard will let you in if you explain what
you are doing, who by the way is usually a Filipino named Greg.
The water was choppy this day and that can often happen here as
this is an open bay. If you head North around
the point you will view the awesome estate of Paul Allen. If you
do not know who Paul Allen is then you have never been to
Seattle. He is one of Bill Gates's partners in crime. Expect some
channel water after you round the point. Further around
the rocky lava point towards Keahuolu Point you will pass the small
lighthouse, a housing development and then the lava beach along the Old
Airport State park. Its a long park owing to the the length of
the old Kona airport runway.
If you decide to head South instead
across Kailua Bay you will be passing restaurant row plus hotels and
vacation rentals. Eventually you will find some inlets that
offer reasonable egress and almost all of them have nearby parking
along the shore road Ali'i Drive.
Kailua Bay itself is rich in history and historical structures.
Just North on the other side of the cove from the pier, connected to
the King Kam Hotel are several restored structures from the time of the
great Ali'i King Kamehameha.
This was at one time his version of our "Camp David" where he could
survey both his expansive agriculture holding on the Kona slopes as
well as all maritime traffic. There remains the foundation of the
building that hosted the burial preparations for him upon his
death. You can also view from the bay the oldest church in
the Hawaiian Islands, Moku'aikaua Church (look for steeple)
and just in front of that is the restored Hulihe'e Palace.
The bay is quite clear and on a calm day is a great place to view the
Kailua downtown, ships at anchor and often a large cruise boat
shuffling the passengers back and forth to shore.