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Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Hawaii



Aloha, friends!  The jet lag of flying home from the Big Island of Hawaii has finally subsided and I'm excited to start sharing some of my recent adventures with you.  One of the main reasons my friends and I went to Hawaii was to be able to swim with the wild dolphins.  SunLight on Water is the premier Dolphin Swim eco-tour charter company on the Big Island of Hawaii and we had the wondrous opportunity to spend a morning with them.

Marie and friend, Ariaa Jaeger
Marie and friend, Ariaa Jaeger, awaiting our jump into the ocean!














Michael and Melainah Yee are the owners/captains/guides for a truly extraordinary and unique Hawaiian experience. Together, their great love and respect for the Dolphins, Whales and all who call the Ocean their home, is reflected in the sharing of their extensive knowledge and etiquette for swimming with free Dolphins.

Theirs is truly a coastal love story! Michael and Melainah met in 1998 when she first came to Hawaii to be with the Dolphins. In 2002, surrounded by their Ohana (family, friends and loved ones), they were married at sunset by Michael’s hanai Father, Kahuna Lanakila Brandt. Their deep personal, some might say magical, connection to the Dolphins was reflected when the Dolphins arrived just as the ceremony began, spinning and leaping out of the water during the entire ceremony! It’s this uncanny and special connection with the Dolphins that accounts for their 98% success rate of finding Dolphins on each Dolphin Swim.

Both Michael and Melainah are USCG licensed captains. “China” Mike has been surfing, diving and has captained boats on the Kona Coast for over 25 years and is one of the most experienced captains on the Big Island. He operated the first charter boat offering Dolphin Swims in Hawaii. While in his teens, he became a well known champion surfer in Hawaii and Southern California. He is a complete water-man, and his extensive knowledge of the coastline is unsurpassed. He is as comfortable in the water as most people are on land.

In 1999, Melainah returned to the Big Island for a two month sabbatical from Atlanta – she never left! She is a facilitator who teaches and hosts seminars on attaining self empowerment and remembering who we truly are. She offers Dolphin Retreats, retreats on Hawaiian Spirituality and retreats about the Ancient Land of Lemuria.

Together, Michael and Melainah are Kona’s unquestioned leaders when talking about experience with Dolphins. They are known internationally and have been featured on several television documentaries discussing the Human/Dolphin connection.






"China Mike" was the skipper during my adventure and what a class-act he is! My personal experience swimming with these mammals in the wild was extraordinary.  As a first-time snorkeler, the crew made me feel comfortable and well-equipped for my journey.  All snorkel gear including fins were provided as well as a ton of food and beverages during our four hour journey into the depths of the ocean.

I can honestly report that I was a bit overwhelmed as I scooted off the back of the boat. I'm not sure if it was the fact that my fear of drowning kicked in, or the fact that when I looked down it was an endless abyss (very cool, but daunting knowing I couldn't touch bottom).  Once I stopped hyperventilating and relaxed I was fine and just calmly floated around waiting for the dolphins to come visit.  Boy, did they visit -- swarms of wild spinner dolphins calmly floated by me to say hello.  Wow!

All of the excitement produced some sea-sickness on my part, but the captain kept me calm and relaxed.  Next time I get to the Kona region, I'll be calling SunLight on Water for another coastal adventure.  This was really a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Keep in mind that SunLight on Water also offers Whale Watching Tours and night swims with Manta Rays.

Thank you to SunLight on Water for a wondrous adventure ~ Visit their website for more information SunLight on Water>

1 comment:

  1. That sure sounds magical. I have always loved dolphins. So glad that you got to have that wonderful experience!

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