Snorkeling in Hanauma Bay

Honolulu Travel Blog

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This blog is going to be one of the embarrassing travel moments I’ve had. I’ve done some water-related activities -- not many, but a good few. I like jet-skiing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and surfing. This one involved snorkeling. Okay, it was my first time snorkeling in the open water. :)

Last year a group of friends and I were traveling to Oahu, HI. So, we went to Hanauma Bay, known for beautiful corals just off Waikiki. The bay was shaped like a horseshoe, with a clear, calm turquoise waters. It’s a natural marine sanctuary, home to thousands of colorful tropical fish. The water inside the reef was only waist-deep, so it was okay for first time snorkelers like myself.
After a brief orientation in the sanctuary office, we were off getting our snorkeling gear and soon hitting the water. I was probably the slowest one in the group because it took me a while to adjust to breathing through my mouth using the snorkel. Instead of doing what was suggested in the orientation �" i.e., to take some time to familiarize yourself in the water with the equipment �" I dove right in and just couldn’t wait to explore the corals. Oh, for safety purposes, we got to swim in pairs. So, a buddy of mine stayed in close distance.

The undersea world was brilliant. The corals were amazingly located very close to the beach. Soon enough I started seeing tropical fish swimming around the corals and seemingly okay with me hovering around their place. Let me see, there were parrotfish, yellowtang, surgeonfish, and sea turtle. Yeah, the reef fish was not surprised to see me, I was! I was just so stunned by the beautiful colorful fishes, some as large as my car door, that I opened my mouth in surprise! You know what comes next. Water started filling in my open mouth, which messed up my breathing process through the snorkel. Panicked as I was, I swam up, unfastened the gear, and headed for the shore.

I was fine, though. But I think I drank about two gallons of sea water in that incident. I swear I heard  the reef fish laughing at me.

I did go back to the corals and got better for the rest of the day. :)

That evening my buddies and I celebrated my by little adventure stopping by a local bar for a maitai, or some.
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photo by: crystalware