This was another experience that I just could not wait to do. We booked the Molokini and Turtle Arches snorkel trip with Pacific Whale Foundation. Molokini looks BEAUTIFUL! It is a sunken volcanic crater, one of only a few in … Continue reading
If you happen to stay near Kaanapali Beach I recommend you check out Black Rock. This spot was brought up again and again by everyone giving me Maui recommendations. Here is the thing: while it was fun, the snorkeling wasn’t … Continue reading
Good ol’ Ko’olina Lagoon. Can’t beat this beach for great weather and calm water. While my sister was hear we had a run of rainy weather up on the north shore and windward side of the island, where the best beaches happen to be! We ended up heading out west to lagoon 4 for some snorkeling and sun. The snorkeling isn’t terrible, I went out once and saw a decent variety considering the lagoons are manmade. The last time we were here a turtle had snuck in but we weren’t so lucky this time. All in all, you really can’t go wrong at too many beaches in Hawaii…
Also! We were getting ready to pack up when this woman came over freaking out, she had been sitting next to us with some friends and had left a little while before. Apparently she took off her rings when putting sunscreen on her kids and set them on the blanket (!!!) When they left her friend shook the blanket off while packing up not knowing the rings were on it. The lady was FRANTICALLY looking for them so a bunch of us starting to help sift sand. We finally convinced her to talk to one of the marina staff which she did and they were able to find someone that had a metal detector to come help her and for us to stop (I guess what we were doing was possibly making it worse) We left before the guy got there so I don’t know what happened but I hope she found her rings! Anyways, that is my PSA for the day, leave your rings at home if you don’t want to get sunscreen on them!
My WONDERFUL husband bought me one last night and we couldn’t WAIT to take it for a spin!
So today started out a bit of a disaster. We planned on going to Hanauma Bay for the morning after dropping the kids off at school (do you even know how awesome that is?!) but guess what? It’s closed on Tuesdays! This is something that we didn’t realize until driving there, so we decide to hit up our other favorite, Shark’s Cove on the North Shore.
Couple things about me:
I have a pretty good memory when it comes to maps.
I am stubborn as hell and don’t like to admit being wrong.
I actually LIKE getting lost/figuring how roads connect etc.
And one thing about my husband:
he highly dislikes being lost and my constant assurance that I ‘totally know where we are.’
Unfortunately I had left my Oahu book in the other car and we didn’t bring the GPS because we knew where we were going. So I suggest we follow the highway around the island instead of backtracking and taking our usual central island route. I knew you could drive around the entire island but I think I may have misremembered (totally a word) quite how large the eastern half of the island is. So while the drive was beautiful, I don’t recommend doing it when you have plans and kids to pick up at 2!
Anyways, a couple snaps from our scenic drive:
Thank GOD we had an awesome snorkeling day, trust me we needed it!
Shark’s Cove was great, we saw a TON of stuff and I put my new camera to use.
I put all of my fish photos here to try and track everything we’ve seen and to help anyone who needs a hand with fish identification!
There is a reason that everyone raves about this place when it come to snorkeling, it is FANTASTIC!
Hanauam Bay is a natural preserve and because of this you have to jump through some hoops when it comes to visiting. First off, get there early, the parking lot isn’t huge and once it fills up, they close it. We got there at 9:30am and they were only letting in 25 more cars. The park is right off of H-1 so there really isn’t anywhere else to park nearby. Parking is only $1 for the day, not bad at all.
There is also a charge to get into the bay, $7.50 for each adult (kids are free). However, if you are a resident (which we are, getting those Hawaiian driver’s license’s are totally worth it!) it’s free. After that you get to line up, yet again to watch a short video about the history of the bay and the conservation efforts being made to keep it safe.
It’s a pretty steep walk down to the beach itself…
But they have a little tram you can ride down (and up) that is $2 for a round trip.
The walk down is fine, the walk up is no joke!
The view is pretty nice as you walk down the hill…
I didn’t take a ton of pictures while we were on the beach, we put all of our valuables in a locker so we didn’t have to guard our stuff. There are bathrooms, lockers, snorkel rentals and lifeguards on the beach, but no snacks or drink sales.
The snorkeling was outstanding, all of the rock in the picture is reef and the fish were everywhere. We saw a moray eel within minutes of getting in the water (the only one we saw all day) and huge naso tangs, goat fish, spotted puffers, and humahuma triggers.
Once the tide started to come in it got really choppy and difficult to swim. I went out one last time before we left and was getting tossed around. Plus the visibility was getting worse and it was no fun to be out there.
The view on the ride home isn’t half bad either…
See that? That is a TRAIL going up the side of that mountain! Insane!
We decided to actually do something Hawaiian and touristy and take a trip up to the North Shore. On the way up we took a quick stop by the Dole Plantation. We weren’t trying to stay all day so we didn’t do the maze or train.
Not even a minute after walking in did Omar spy a pineapple! They have groups of different varieties growing all over the place and it’s amazing to see the many different colors and sizes. Who knew?!
The koi pond was also pretty cool. The koi were outta control, trying to swim on top of each other to get food. Unfortunately for us, the food was all gone out of the dispensers. Go before noon if you want to try to get some!
They had some really pretty plants as well. I am constantly taking pictures of all of the plants and flowers I see (I really need to buy that macro lens I want!) I love how well landscaped everything on this island is! Just beautiful!
My little pineapples… There was a group ahead of us who were doing this as well but they had way more people and a million cameras and were taking FOREVER. It was super annoying and they refused to get out of the way so my kids could take a picture.
Everyone raves about the Dole Whip, and I admit it was good. But really, it’s pineapple soft serve. For $5. But now I can say I ate it.
Guess what? MORE pineapple pictures! They were SO cool, and the baby ones were adorable. (Yes, I realize I just described a fruit as adorable.)
I don’t know what kind of tree this is, but Mckenna and I are now calling it a rainbow tree.
Continuing on to the North Shore, we passed this horse farm. Nothing happened, I just love how this shot turned out. (As we were creeping along in traffic because our bright idea was the same one that half the island had!)
Quick pull off right after the horse farm. Turtle Beach! I was hoping to see at least one sea turtle, or honu as they are known here. Instead, we saw DOZENS!
I just love those sweet faces! But not enough to touch them as they are protected and will cost $250K! The volunteers were actually really great and I would love to join them! hang with turtles all day? Sign me up!
While we were having a religious experience with sea turtles, Omar was happy to watch from the shore.
Next time I am bringing a snorkel!
One of the turtles up close. This is why they are here, to munch on all this yummy algae.
Onward! This time to find something to eat! We ended up purely on accident at Ted’s Bakery. Ended up having a GREAT lunch wishing we had room for dessert. They are apparently quite famous for their cream pies (which looked outstanding!) I did end up having my very first Hawaiian plate lunch. Fantastic!
After lunch we tried to make our way to Waimea Bay, one of the most famous surfing beaches in the world. Parking was INSANE. No where to park for miles, so back up the coast we go, finally stopping at Shark’s Cove. I had read that they had great snorkeling and even though we hadn’t brought any with us, we were hot and ready to cool off!
Omar and Mckenna went in first and I couldn’t tell whether they were enjoying it or not. Once they came back they said they saw tons of fish. We all ended up going out (with just goggles) and ended up seeing hundreds of convict tangs, parrot fish, wrasses, puffer fish, a moorish idol, and a humahuma trigger. I can NOT wait to go back here with a snorkel!
Still can’t believe this is my life. I’m kinda digging it so far.