Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Oahu Beaches and Snorkelling

On our trips to Hawaii, we are fortunate to have family living there on the north shore in Lai'e to stay with. The best part of visiting the island is staying with them in paradise.

The mountains of Oahu are beautiful, but not user friendly. There are some hikes, but most of our time is spent on the beach.

And there are lots of beaches! What a great place - we often just drive a while and pull off anywhere to snorkel and swim.
Alot of locals fish all these stretches, too.
Some of our days were actually cloudy, rainy, and stormy. But at 82*F, who carea about alittle cloudy weather?

The sun came out enough to give us a good sunburn...
We walked down to Temple Beach in Lai'e the first night for a little relaxation from the plane-ride.
What a beautiful place!

Our family is close to the LDS Temple in Lai'e. A beautiful highlight on every visit. This trip the temple was closed, so we had to be content with just walking around the beautiful grounds.
The flowers were out, to make up for it.

The next morning at first sun we hit the water.
Here is Hukilau Beach. In the distance you can see Goat Island - another favorite spot we hit later in the day at low tide.
This is a busy beach, but even with heavy traffic there is great snorkelling and wildlife to see.

On this first dive, while gathering a new shell, I found an old, spent 50 caliber casing presumably from WW2. Pretty cool!
This was in a sheltered, populated bay, and as far as I can find, there were no gun placements here.
Either a ship or airplane had fired this round. The reef would have kept any ship out - it is only a few feet deep outside of the beach.

Here is a comparison to a new 50 cal round. The old one has been there at least 50 years.
AFAIK, only the US used 50 cal weapons.
Maybe a plane chasing an enemy fighter? Too many people around for target practice...

Later in the day we took all the family out to wade over to Goat Island. At low tide it is only 2-3 feet deep at the middle.
Be sure to wear tough shoes, though - the coral and urchins are rough on the feet!

The beaches all around are beautiful - definitely the heaviest use of all the north-shore beaches but they are well kept and fun.
Lots of camping, too.

Goat Island has a great, protected bay for snorkelling, fishing, and kayaking. Around the island it gets rougher, and Tiger sharks are known to frequent the area.

This first day the surfing was ok, too, but waves were infrequent.

In the bay was a better place for 'private' surf lessons.

We took the opportunity with all the kids along to bury another treasure package. We'll see how it lasts in this tropical island paradise.

Another recommended snorkel site is Shark Cove on the North Shore. It is sheltered, warm, and easy.
Its only about 4-65 feet deep at the worst spots, but always FULL of fish!
We had it to ourselves for most of the weekday. Alot of BIG fish, too - including a 5' long coronet.

Alittle farther SW of Shark Cove, we went back for a pineapple-burger. The Ahi-Ahi was fantastic, too!

There are so many great beaches and things to do - NO reason or excuse to spend anytime in Honolulu when the best parts are on the north side.