Almost 50 people with disabilities, their caregivers and volunteers spent a few hours snorkeling in Spencer Beach Park’s clear, calm ocean waters in Kawaihae on Aug. 9 at Snorkel Day, a free event hosted by Kona-based Deep & Beyond.
This Snorkel Day at Kawaihae was an extension of the monthly Snorkel Days in Kona that Deep & Beyond, a Kona-based nonprofit organization, has been offering over the last five years.
An experienced team of community volunteers coordinated by Stephanie Kovatch led the day’s activities. Specialized adaptive and safety equipment such as the mobi mat, hippo-campe and mobi chair was available.
Lunch was provided at no cost for participants by Kawaihae’s Kohala Burger & Taco, which donated burgers, fresh fruits and salads. Chef Cary Peterson and Sous Chef Chris Wall were on hand to grill burgers made from local grass-fed beef and produce.
“Snorkel Days creates possibilities for people with disabilities to take part in assisted adaptive ocean activities that bring family and friends together in a community” said Deep & Beyond founder and Executive Director Annamari Dietrichson.
The Snorkel Days initiative is the only program on the Big Island of Hawaii that provides free snorkeling opportunities for individuals with various disabilities.