Hanauma Bay

Oahu Travel Blog

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Hanauma Bay

This was my favorite part of the trip.  I heard good things about Hanauma Bay, and they turned out to be for a good reason.  Hanauma Bay is a marine life preserve located in the protected waters of a large cove created by the ocean filling in an old volcanic crater.  For the experienced snorkeler or scuba diver, it is probably not that special and considered overcrowded.  But to a novice like me, it was a fantastic experience.  I could have easily spent the entire day snorkeling there.  Firstly, the water is very clear and looks turquoise from above.  The amazing thing about Hanauma Bay is that you will see a fish with the first step you take into the water.  There are colorful tropical fish even in 6 inch deep water.

  You then can walk out (actually swimming is easier if you have flippers on) 50 yards or so and still easily stand.  That makes it really easy to spend hours in the water.  It takes little effort to swim along while breathing through the snorkel tube, but you do need to occasionally stop to catch your breath or clear your mask.  It many places this would require treading water, but here you can just stand up.  The best way to see fish is to swim over the coral that is sometimes so close to the water surface that you will actually scratch your belly.  You can also find spots to stand inside (between) the coral as you should never stand on it to keep from damaging it.  I bought an underwater disposable camera.  It took decent shots, but the trick is trying to catch a shot of the fish before it moves.
Mark and Brandon watching whales at Kaupo Beach
  My brother's underwater shots turned out much better than mine.

Even if you do grow tired of snorkeling, Hanauma Bay is a great beach even for just soaking up the sun.  It is also a beautiful cove and worthy of many pictures from higher vantage points.  The parking lot is located up a very steep hill from the beach. We then drove Brandon around the eastern side of O'ahu and even saw some humpback whales.  We could easily see them with the naked eye from the shore.   After swimming and taking in a lot of sun, we were all quite famished and it was about 3:30 by the time we had lunch.  We stopped in Kane'ohe and tried to go to a Thai restaurant, but they were closed between lunch and dinner.  So we found a Chinese place called Joyful Gardens.  We thought that we had ordered too much food with one appetizer and three entries, but it was so good that we devoured it all.  There was nothing left, which was quite impressive.  We ended the day by going back to the hotel to shower and rest and then had a light meal of sushi at Hatsuhana. 

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Hanauma Bay
Hanauma Bay
Mark and Brandon watching whales a…
Mark and Brandon watching whales …
me at Hanauma Bay
me at Hanauma Bay
Mark and Brandon at Hanauma Bay
Mark and Brandon at Hanauma Bay
Hanauma Bay
Hanauma Bay
Hanauma Bay
Hanauma Bay
poster of fish that can be seen at…
poster of fish that can be seen a…
Hanauma Bay
Hanauma Bay
Hanauma Bay
Hanauma Bay
Hanauma Bay
Hanauma Bay
Hanauma Bay
Hanauma Bay
Hanauma Bay
Hanauma Bay
Hanauma Bay
Hanauma Bay
Brandon at Hanauma Bay
Brandon at Hanauma Bay
Mark at Hanauma Bay
Mark at Hanauma Bay
Kaupo Beach
Kaupo Beach
Oahu
photo by: five11d