Can I bring my children?
YES! If you wish to bring your children under the age of 16, there
may be an additional cost for extra swimming guides who can assist them in the ocean. It will be on a case by case basis – please contact Makara to discuss the details and we’ll go from there.
Some of the most enjoyable experiences has been watching young people’s eyes shine like diamonds after their first experience with the dolphins so they are so very much welcome!
I have weak knees, how will I get on and off the boat in the ocean?
We will have staff members from the boating company assisting you in and out of the water. When you get in the water, you will simply slide your butt off the top of the ladder and plop yourself in the crystal blue ocean – it’s that easy!
Upon returning to the boat, first you will remove your fins while still in the water, hand them over to whoever is on the boat, ready to assist you and then you will climb up the short ladder while being simultaneously hoisted up with minimal pressure on your knees!
Do I need to be an advanced swimmer or snorkeler on this retreat?
No, you can be a beginner and be just fine! Lifejackets and foam tubes are available for those who do not wish to swim underwater.
We will also have on hand joyful, fun and experienced swimming guides to show you the way in the water (including Makara and one or two others).
I've never used snorkeling gear before, do I need to be an expert with this stuff?
Not at all! Even Makara was a novice snorkeler on his first dolphin expedition!
I've never swum in the open ocean - I'm apprehensive about this! Will I be safe?
This is a common question and even Makara experienced a little of this fear before his very first boat ride but the moment he slid in and was surrounded by dolphins, all remaining traces of fear magically disappeared!
He felt right at home in the warm seas, especially when the dolphins were nearby. There’s something about being in their incredibly joyful presence that instantly put him (and probably you) at ease. The more he swam with them, the further he got away from this irrational fear.
In fact, Makara felt so at home in the water that he was often the first go in the water and the last to climb back on the boat! By the time he left the Big Island, he was aching to get back in the water with the dolphins. They are highly evolved and intelligent sea creatures and are by nature joyful, playful and incredibly healing being that you can’t help but feel safe! Go to the video gallery
here and see for yourself!
I've had problems with motion sickness in the past - what should I do?
If you’ve experienced motion sickness in the past or you are concerned, please consult either your doctor or your pharmacist. There are some new and improved ways to avoid motion sickness and they should be able to help you. If you do decide to take something, make sure you do so at least one full hour prior to each boat trip. Eat lightly for breakfast, avoid spicy foods, carbonated beverages, get plenty of sleep the night before and avoid consuming alcohol the evening prior to the boat trip.
There are many products on the market that could help you with motion sickness – check with a qualified medical person about what to bring with you to Kona. Here are some things we’ve heard about - we recommend you ask your doctor or pharmacist about them: Dramamine, Bonine, Ginger tablets, Ginger Ale soda, and Pressure Point Wristbands. Others have used one or a variety of them with varying degrees of success. Only you can check them out and see if they are right for for you.
What about sharks?
Believe it or not, they are rarely seen unless you specifically go out looking for them in certain spots of the ocean. Dolphins and sharks actually get along just fine but chances are you won’t see one – they are actually timid and shy so they tend to stay away from humans.
Makara has gone on several boat trips and did not see one shark (except for the very friendly and gentle giant and toothless whale shark, which we actually swam with! See photo!). Don’t worry, if we come upon a rarely sighted whale shark, you will not have to go in the water if you choose not to.
Aboard the boat you will have seasoned captains and swim guides who will inform you on what’s safe and what’s not! You’ll be in good hands!
I'm deaf/HOH, can I come?
Yes of course!
In fact, if you click on the 12 second video, you can see JK and Makara signing underwater during the Nov 2017 retreat!
There's just a few things you need to know upfront.
First, this retreat is NOT exclusively for the deaf.
Second, be honest with yourself and answer this question: “Am I comfortable around other hearing people in an intimate group setting?”
Please know that while Makara is proficient with ASL, his first and primary means of communication has been speaking and lipreading since childhood. He has built a professional speaking career around the gift of speaking.
Just so that you know, two certified ASL interpreters have been hired to help facilitate the afternoon seminars. This way, you (and I) won’t miss out on group discussions and lectures with guest speakers (hearing). The interpreters will most likely not be on the boat as Makara will sign where necessary.
Having said all of this, if you honestly feel comfortable in a mixed group situation,
than you are absolutely more than welcome! Sign up as soon as you can and put down your deposit
to hold your spot!
If you have any questions about this, send an email to Makara and he’ll be super duper happy to answer them before you make the commitment to join us at the next retreat!
Where can I rent a car?
It is highly recommended you book through the
Discount Car Rental website.
The nice thing about booking through them is no credit card is required and you can cancel your reservation without penalty at any time. Makara had a great experience with them in Kona and found deals that he was very happy with including unlimited mileage in relatively new and clean vehicles.
In particular, Dollar and Thrifty rental companies are recommended because they don’t force you to buy additional insurance and are very relaxed about minor scratches/door dents and the like.
Here's an article on
10 Ways to Score a Discount Car Rental 2018.
Can I attend part of the retreat and/or leave early?
One of the most powerful experiences one can have on a trip like this is being part of a pod of people all of whom are having incredible experiences as one mind (or "one pod"). It is strongly encouraged you stay with us from the beginning to the very end in order to get the maximum benefit.
Of course, if you choose to leave early, no one will stop you but you will not receive a refund.
Am I obligated to attend all activities and events?
You may choose to stay behind at the hotel or explore downtown Kona if that’s to your liking but no refunds will be given if you make these choices.
But it is highly recommended that to get full value from the spiritual awakening retreats, you attend as many boat trips and afternoon workshops as you can for they each offer you incredible experience and knowledge that when tied together causes for incredible transformation!
Are meals included?
Due to the wide variety of dietary restrictions in this day and age, you are in charge of your own meals throughout the entire retreat except during the boat rides where lunch will be provided.
You will indicate your sandwich preference (i.e. meat or vegetarian, etc) via the online registration form.
You're free to eat on your own or pair up with a few of your new friends from the retreat. There may be evenings when we will all gather together for a meal somewhere in Kona. We'll probably split the bill using a fun mobile app called
I burn easily, how do I protect myself from the sun?
Even though Makara tans relatively easily, he was completely pale upon arrival on the Island.
Alba Botanica Hawaiian Suntan lotion SPF 30 was what he used and it worked very nicely – he had no bad cases of sunburn. The sun is very strong on the Big Island, particularly in Kona. If you are in need of shade while outdoors, it is recommended you bring a hat and long sleeve/cotton shirt/pants for additional protection. The boat will have partial shade.
What is this "Inner Awakening with Wild Dolphins" retreat NOT about?
1) riding on the fins of dolphins like the TV character “Flipper” – touching dolphins like you would with those captured from the sea and placed in aquariums (or other sea creatures for that matter).
You will not be allowed to touch any of them.
2) partying night after night, going to bed late and waking up with a hangover or bleary eyed..this is spiritual renewal retreat, not a wild party vacation - it is designed to get clear about who you are and expanding your inner awareness. This requires going within and becoming still in a busy world.
Is this retreat for me?
looking to deepen and accelerate your spiritual journey to the next level
think you will experience a paradigm shift within and around you
care about learning how to protect dolphins and underwater sea life
want to learn how to “hear with your heart” versus your physical ears
at a crossroad but aren’t clear what to do next
open to experiencing the mysterious underwater world & the Big Island
always wanted to swim with the dolphins in the wild
tired of living in fear of the unknown
afraid of swimming in the open ocean and want to face that fear head-on
ready to experience the possibility of a greater opening of your heart center/chakra
looking for a social trip, mainly to sightsee, party at nightclubs and drink excessively
prefer to be in control of your own schedule and aren’t a “go with the flow” type
not comfortable opening up in a group setting (i.e. group sharing sessions)
don’t feel emotionally stable, are on anti-depressions or similar medications, or are under psychiatric care
have serious health concerns
you are the type to seek a refund if you back out of an activity (absolutely no refunds for missed events/activities)
How do I book my own lodging?
There are scores of vacation rentals on the Island. It is recommended you secure yourelf a rental through Airbnb as soon as possible.
If you prefer to stay in a hotel, there are numerous hotel sites including hotel.com, Expedia, Priceline, etc.
It is recommended your lodging is within a few minutes from the town of Kona since the boating trips are early in the morning.