Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park, home to Cook monument, is a deep water bay, known for it’s snorkeling and dolphin encounters. Considered by many to be some of the best snorkeling in the world.
Kealakekua Bay is located on the Kona coast of the island of Hawaiʻi about 12 miles south of Kailua-Kona. On the morning of January 17, 1779 Captain James Cook and his crews on the Resolution and Discovery sighted Kealakekua Bay. He estimated several thousand people lived in the two villages. Although it is believed the Spanish may have visited this location before Cook, he and his crew provided the first documented report.
Although there are many stories surrounding the death of Captain Cook, the most common story is that he was killed in a dispute on the shore after an Ali’i (chief) took possession of one his small boats.
When Cook and his crew first arrived at the bay they received a welcome fit for a God. They were showered with gifts and women. During that time, Cook was able to fix his boat and prepare for another journey north to Alaska, in search of the Northern Passage.
After 2 weeks in the harbor, Cook and his crew set sail. But before they could get out of the islands they were hit by a storm in the Maui straights, snapping the mast. The crew returned to the bay, where this time they were not greeted with such open arms.
During this stay is when Cook and several other crew members were killed on the shoreline. Cook’s remains were dropped into the bay, where today, people swim, in what is known as “Cook City”.