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About Us


Michael & Melainah Yee are your 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.

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.

a group of people posing for the camera

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.

If you are seeking an experience that is out of the ordinary and that will connect you to the Aloha and Spirit of Hawaii there is simply no better tour operator than SunLight On Water with whom to experience these magnificent creatures.

We invite you to book your trip today and experience one of the most memorable days of your life.

SUNLIGHT ON WATER has been honored to have been one of the oldest, still originally owned, and most experienced Dolphin Swim companies in Hawaii. We helped create and set the standards for the proper and respectful way to interact with Dolphins. Unfortunately, NOAA has refused to engage in any meaningful conversation with Dolphin Swim Companies over the last 20 years and is implementing a new rule effective October 28, 2021, to ban all in-water interaction with our Dolphin Family.

To say we are heartbroken would be an understatement. It has been our privilege to have shared this amazing and magical experience with so many of you over the past 25 years. Countless numbers of you have become our Ohana. Although we cannot continue offering Dolphin Swims, we have created some exciting new ocean tours, and we hope you will join us soon for a new adventure. Our goal is that the same care and standards of excellence we created with the Dolphin Swims will be evident in our new ocean tours.

Our commitment for the last 25 years, has been that all of our tours are conducted with the utmost respect for all the Dolphins, Whales, Manta Rays, the Ocean itself, and all who live there. Their safety and yours are always our top priority.

Come join us on our comfortable 40ft boat “Uhane Nui O Naia” (which means Great Spirit of the Dolphin). Our adventures will be sure to leave long lasting memories and smiles for you and your family or group.

Our Captains and Lifeguard/First Aid/CPR Certified Crew members will continue to educate and share the protocols for snorkeling respectfully in the Ocean before anyone enters the water.

We offer many wonderful opportunities for you, your families, and groups to have the experience of a lifetime, all in the natural environment of the breathtaking Ocean. You can view the Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins from the boat, snorkel with the Manta Rays at night, watch and listen to the magnificent Humpback Whales, or snorkel in the pristine waters of one of our amazing reefs.