Q. I'm not a strong swimmer and my wife doesn't swim at all. Is this something we can do?
A. Definitely! There is no swimming involved in snorkeling. All you do to snorkel is float on the surface and lo
ok down at the beauty below. You might be surprised at how buoyant you are in salt water. It's quite different than a lake or a pool. We also have plenty of snorkel vests and noodles for extra floatation to put you at ease. Standing on the ladder is a great place to start. Once you feel comfortable, you can paddle off. If you don't get to that point, we'll take you around the bay standing on the ladder!
Q. I've never snorkeled before. Will you show me how?
A. Our specialty! We are frequently recommended for beginners and non-swimmers because we take only small groups. Everyone on board gets lots of individual attention and help.
Q. Why do you depart from Keauhou Bay?
A. Keauhou Bay is the closest commercial boat harbor to the snorkel sites; therefore, you spend more time snorkeling, exploring the coastline, and observing marine mammals and less time just getting there.
Q. Will I see dolphins or whales?
A. Dolphins are frequently seen (more than half the time) on Sea Quest Adventures, but we can't guarantee them. They're not on a track and are free roaming creatures. When we do encounter them, they have been known to approach the raft or surf the wake our engines create. We also will often encounter pilot whales - a smaller species of whale that reside here year round. During Humpback season (late December - April), there is a good chance one of these gentle giants will be seen during our snorkeling trips.
Q. I'm a vegetarian. What do your snacks include?
A. The TROPICAL SNACKS we serve on our tours vary by trip, but none include meat. The EXPEDITION SOUTH KONA tour serves a deli lunch which includes a sandwich that does include meat. We also offer juices and water for your refreshment. For your safety, Sea Quest is a non-alcoholic adventure.
Q. What about shade?
A. The MANTA RAIV, our newest raft, offers shade and is typically used on our Whale Watches and EXPEDITION SOUTH KONA snorkel tour but on occasion may also be used on our other snorkel tours. Our other three rafts do not have a canopy which increases the number of caves we can check out along the coast. To compensate, we suggest our guests consider bringing a good sunscreen. For some guests, a hat might be a good idea too. If you take the proper precautions, you can easily avoid overexposure. Kona weather typically is cloudy in the afternoon, so those who are very concerned will often choose our 3 hour CAPTAIN COOK EXPRESS.
Q. What is meant by a prescription mask?
A. These special masks are designed for people who are near-sighted and come in varying strengths. For those who wear glasses, a prescription mask can greatly enhance their snorkeling experience. For those who wear contacts, a special mask isn't needed. Contacts can be safely worn with a snorkel mask.
Q. What if we have our own snorkel gear?
A. If you have equipment that you are comfortable with, feel free to bring it if you like. The snorkel gear Sea Quest keeps on board is high quality: silicone masks, dry snorkels with purge valves, etc. For your protection, we sanitize the equipment after each use. There is no discount for providing your own equipment.
Q. What about bathrooms?
A. There are no bathrooms on board for our trips; however, we like to say we have the world’s largest restroom available. With that in mind, we suggest you plan ahead and use the facilities near our shop before you depart. Once on board, your first opportunity to get into the water will be approximately 30-40 minutes into the trip.
Q. Can I bring a regular camera?
A Yes. This is not white water rafting. Some people even bring video cameras!
Q. How do I get in and out of the raft?
A. Getting into the water is pretty easy - just slide over the side. Thanks to a substantial aluminum ladder, getting back in is also easy.
Q. How deep is it? Can I stand up?
A. The best snorkeling is found in 5-10 feet of water. Kealakekua and Honaunau Bays feature beautiful coral bottoms. To stand would damage the fragile coral you have come to see - not to mention your feet. If you would feel more comfortable wearing a snorkel vest for added floatation, just ask. You will float like a cork!
Q. I get seasick sometimes. Will I get sick on this raft trip?
A. We have fewer problems with seasickness than regular boats and large catamarans because of the open air, fast-moving nature of a raft trip. We don't have that swaying motion that can sometimes cause problems on a large catamaran, but, while the raft will affect far fewer guests, there are still people who are strongly susceptible and will get sick no matter what. We suggest an over-the-counter medication for those people to ensure a fun adventure.
Q. How far in advance should I make reservations?
A. We suggest at least a week ahead unless you will be here during
one of the busiest seasons (Summer, Spring Break, and Holidays). During these busy times, Sea Quest can fill up a few weeks out. You are welcome to make your reservation as far ahead as you like. For large groups, advance reservations are strongly recommended regardless of your season of travel.
Q. What if I make a reservation and then my plans change?
A. Since we do not overbook our trips and take small groups, Sea Quest enforces a 24 hour cancellation policy. As long as you cancel your reservation at least 24 hours prior to your tour, you will receive a full refund. If you need to reschedule your tour, you must also do this 24 hours prior to your tour. This gives us a fair chance to rebook your seats.
Q. What are the chances that the trip will be canceled due to poor weather or sea conditions?
This is very rare. The Kona Coast is blessed with the best weather, least rain, and calmest seas in the state. The occasional gloomy sky can quickly turn sunny as well. For this reason, should the need arise, Sea Quest reserves the right to determine if the trip will be canceled at the scheduled time of departure. If the trip is canceled, you may reschedule for later (subject to availability) or receive a refund if you have prepaid.
Q. Where is the third snorkel spot on the Expedition South Kona tour?
A. In addition to Kealakekua and Honaunau Bays, we have selected several secluded snorkel spots for the third spot on our Expedition South Kona tour. These snorkel sights are less protected than Kealakekua and Honaunau; therefore, your captain will select the third snorkel sight on the day of the tour based on the prevailing conditions. Because of this, every Expedition tour will be different and you will be in areas typically not snorkeled by any other tour companies.
Q. Is this the best way to see the Kona Coast?
A. YES! The very best :o)