Sunday, June 29, 2014

Shark's Cove: Honu and Scuba

Sharks Cove, North Shore Oahu

Sharks Cove was something I had put off for a while.  I had wanted to do it a lot but I don't really spend a bunch of time on the North Shore.  It is a gorgeous lava rock "beach", but it's more of just a cove to snorkel in than any kind of sun bathing spot.

When I finally did snorkel there a couple of weeks ago I wanted to kick my own butt because it was just that awesome.  It might actually be cooler than Hanauma Bay.  There aren't as many fish but there are still a bunch and the water is calmer and clearer at Sharks Cove, too.

The water is crystal clear and there are warm thermal spots where the fish actually gather.  It's not really a place for kids unless you're taking them to the Pupukea tide pools which are south of the cove.  (You can see them and they in the same area. No worries.)

Fish and Marine Life that I Saw Snorkeling  at Sharks Cove:

Sea Turtle Sharks Cove

  • HONU!!  (2 of them!)
  • Angel fish
  • Reef trigger fish
  • Needle Fish
  • Perch 
  • Wrasse
  • Box Fish
  • Butterfly fish
  • Parrot fish

(What I didn't see was any eels but the two Honu kind of made up for that!)

Sharks Cove Tips:

Parking is small.  Get there early.
No beach. Not really.  Just a place to sit while not snorkeling.  It gets crowded too.
Wear beach shoes.  It's rocky especially entering the water.  Get down and snorkeling ASAP
Sharks Cove is a marine conservation district.  Respect the environment!

Need snorkel gear?   Check out our recommended products!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Hawaii’s Sunrise Seashells: Good Luck and Money! - Move to Hawaii! : Move to Hawaii!

Since this is about snorkeling and hiking, I wanted to share this article and let you all know to keep an eye for these shells.  They are worth money and good luck.  Lemme' know if you find any.

Hawaii’s Sunrise Seashells: Good Luck and Money! - Move to Hawaii! : Move to Hawaii!

Maunawili Falls in Kailua: A Muddy Hike with an Awesome Pay-off

Maunawili Falls and the watering hole.

The Maunawili Falls trail is short, muddy and wet.  There is literally mud the entire way through.  I can’t imagine there ever being a “dry time” to go on this hike. 

Distance:  1.4 miles  (2.8 round-trip) 2.25 km (4.5 round-trip)

Conditions:  Muddy and streams. Uneven ground with star, inclines and declines.  Wet gulches with tree cover on 90% of the trail.

Difficulty level:  Without the mud this would be an easy 45 minute trek to the falls at the end.  The mud makes this trip a little bit towards the moderate end of difficulty.

Notes:  Keep dogs on leash.  No biking or mountain climbing.

My daughters

The small waterfall and the watering hole at the end of the hike is the best part about this hike.  There is another spot where you can stop to cross the stream which is kind of cool, too.

There are some short areas and inclines with some steps which are safe and very well maintained by someone.  (Probably volunteers).

The last 100 yards of the hike was my favorite as you are hiking through the stream and over some rock to get to the watering hole.  Once you’re there you can swim out the small, rock wall and jump the 8 feet into the water.  For those of you who are real daredevils you can climb higher and jump 30 feet into the watering hole.


The trail is mostly covered so a one-time application of sunscreen before heading out should suffice.  Unless you sweat a lot.  Re-apply at the watering hole whether you swim or not.

Lots of mosquitoes.  Lather on the bug spray.

REALLY MUDDY.  Wear appropriate foot wear.  Sandals are not APPROPRIATE!  You will slip and hurt yourself.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Residents are complaining and they are petitioning authorities to closing the hike.  People are leaving trash and piles of muddy shoes from beginning to the end of the hike.  NOT COOL.  If you take it in then you take it out.  Be cool.  Malama Hawaii.  Don’t be a jerk and ruin it for everyone else!

Please be quiet in the neighborhood and park far away from the trail head on the street somewhere.  

Directions to the Maunawili Falls Trail

Directions: Drive along the Pali Highway towards Kailua, through the tunnels and past Kamehameha Highway. Pass Auloa Road (on the right) for the first time, then take the second turn onto Auloa Road (it is a horseshoe shaped road). The road splits very soon after the turn off the Pali - take the left fork which is Maunawili Road. Follow Maunawili Road until it ends in a residential neighborhood. Notice the trail access road to your left (look for trail signs). DO NOT DRIVE OR PARK ON THIS PRIVATE ROAD! Instead, legally park on the right in the neighborhood. Please respect the residents by not loitering or making a lot of noise and obeying parking laws. Walk along the access road until you reach the trailhead on your right.

Directions courtesy of Hawaii Trails/

Friday, June 6, 2014

Snorkeling Ko'Olina Lagoons

Ko'Olina Lagoon:  You can how it's protected.

The Ko' Olina Lagoons is a a relatively "new" beach/resort on Oahu.  The area has only seen major development in the last ten years or so.  The lagoons are man-made and the developments around them (the Disney and JW Marriott Resorts) are bringing the area fame as a beautiful vacation spot.

I've heard rumors that in the 15-20 years, the developers hope to make the area as big as Waikiki.  That's alright with me.  I'm not the biggest fan of Waikiki.  Waikiki is expensive. 

My First Sea Turtle Ever I saw while snorkeling at Ko 'Olina Lagoon #2

Snorkeling in Ko'Olina Lagoons

I'll be the first to admit, snorkeling in the lagoons isn't near the best on Oahu.  It doesn't even rate up there with some of the best spots.  However, Ko 'Olina  holds a special place in my heart because it's where I saw my first Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle or Honu.

Benefits of Snorkeling at Ko'Olina

Calm waters.  The lagoons are all protected by sea walls and tiny coves all offer protection from the open ocean.
Clear water in most places.

Some coral at Ko 'Olina but not much.

Disadvantages of Snorkeling at Ko 'Olina

Little to zero coral
Small variety of marine life.

There are ways to get "free" parking at Ko 'Olina but to be safe you can get all-day beach parking for $10 near Lagoon #4.

Directions to Ko'Olina Lagoons

From Waikiki, take the H-1 (located above Waikiki towards the back Mountain ridge)
Stay on the H-1 for about 25 miles
Continue on as the H-1 turns into the Farrington Hwy
Take the Ko Olina Oahu Exit
Drive up to the security gate, where you will need to check in (announce where you are headed on the Ko Olina Marriott grounds) before proceeding down to the beach.
Follow Aliinui Dr to the left, and look for the posted signs for the different Ko Olina Lagoons.  They will be numbered 1 thru 4. 
Directions courtesy of:  Best of