June, 5, 2012 The most popular snorkeling spots in Oahu is found at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. Because of its’ beauty and proximity to Waikiki (only 10 miles east,) the park is frequently full by noon. Water temperature is between 75 and 80. Alan was able to get along with a long sleeved lightweight snorkel shirt, but I would have been sitting on the shore if not for the wet suit. Winds were relatively high, 20-25 mph, during our visit, which meant the water was cloudy; but we still saw a nice variety of colorful tropical fish. Large gardens of reefs are located close to the shore; a greater variety of sea life, including turtles, can be seen just outside the reef, but the strong currents and cloudy water prevented our exploring that part of the Bay.
Living in Florida, where a great deal of oceanfront land is privately owned, it was refreshing to see the large number of public parks available on our drive along the perimeter road, the Kalaniana’ole Hwy.
Reaching the little town of Olomana, we were able to find a quick lunch and a Whole Foods Market to stock up on groceries. In spite of the large population of Honolulu, there seemed to be a dearth of grocery stores. In the city, there are ABC Stores (like a convenience store) on almost every street; they provide everything from macadamia nuts to wine and sunscreen to T-shirts, but limited grocery items. The Whole Foods Market provided an incredible selection of fresh,organic produce. We were like a couple of kids in a candy store. Exhausted from our day in the water and exploring, we took the short cut through the mountains and returned to Honolulu.
|We made it!|
Next we’ll be driving up the North Shore for more snorkeling and to check out the legendary Waimea Bay.
|Sandy Beach from Blowhole Lookout|
|Waikiki from top of Diamond Head|
|Maunalua Bay from Diamond Head|
|The long trek up|
|The final climb|
|Through the crater|
|Down in the crater|