Everywhere we go I try to get out and snorkel, and have now started to dive. All too many places you pay good money to go out to a busted up reef with little to no fish. This was not the case on our trip to Oahu in 2008 while visiting a friend living on the island. She took us to an awesome spot which is actually a state park. Hanauma Bay is not only a great snorkel but it is super cheap. The park fee was $5 and the equipment rental another $5 as of 2008.
The amount of fish we saw here was top notch, including many colorful and exotic looking fish. We were within a few feet of a large sea turtle for nearly 5 minutes. The coral is just a couple of feet below the surface of the water giving the fish great protection. Good for the fish, but not so great for snorkelers. The shallow depths, especially at lower tides, make it difficult to observe without damaging coral. As hard as we tried the coral still damaged us, skinned knees and a little blood in the water.
The pain was nothing that would stop me from heading back to this spot if I find myself back on the island of Oahu. We went here before the advent of waterproof digital cameras, so we used the old school disposable. Unfortunately Wal-mart had a slight mix up in the processing department. Instead of getting back pictures from my favorite snorkeling trip I got back pictures of some elderly people on a couch at what looked to be an uneventful birthday party. Oh well. The pictures in the post are from above the bay which is a great view on its own.