Luksea Travel Diaries: Snorkelling Hanauma Bay, Honolulu, O'ahu
Hearing from fellow adventurers is one of our favourite things on the planet! In this blog you'll get to read about what it's like to Snorkel Hanauma Bay, Honolulu, O'ahu. This story will make you want to add this experience to your bucket list!
About a half hour drive from Waikiki, on the southeast side of O'ahu, you arrive at a car park overlooking the beautiful horse-shoe shaped Hanauma Bay that apparently was formed some 32,000 years ago when a volcanic vent exploded underwater. On arrival at the car park I remember sighting a few jungle fowl and mongoose - but my attention was soon drawn to the clear blue green water and coral in the bay below.
I quickly made the steep descent to the sandy beach and entered the water - a very pleasant 24-25 degrees - then, within 2 metres of the shoreline you are immediately amongst the coral and an amazing variety of tropical fish, many of which are endemic to Hawaii. The first fish I encountered was a large school of 50-60 Convict Tang/Surgeonfish. In Sydney the occasional juvenile Convict Surgeonfish is sighted in sheltered coastal bays like Clovelly in late autumn, brought down on the East Australian current, but I had never seen such a big school of these fish before.
I snorkelled in the clear, sheltered waters of Hanauma Bay for almost an hour, exploring as much of the coral in the bay as I could - and trying to remember all the amazing marine creatures and different fish I encountered so that when I got back to our hotel room I could record all my sightings in my fishy report - it filled 8 pages of my notebook that day!
Sightings that day included 1 Green Sea Turtle, 1 Sleepy Sponge Crab, Plump Sea Cucumbers, 10 species of Butterflyfish, 14 species of Surgeonfish/Tang, 2 species of Unicornfish, Moorish Idol, 5 species of Damselfish/Sergeants, 2 species of Snapper, Coral Bream, 3 species of Trevally/Queenfish, 4 species of Drummer, Mullet, 6 species of Parrotfish, 9 species of Wrasse, Squirrelfish, Lizardfish, 2 species of Goby, 2 species of Blenny, 2 species of Goatfish, Cornetfish, 4 species of Triggerfish - including Hawaii's State Fish - Humuhumunukunukuapua'a ("nose like a pig" or aka the Wedgetail Triggerfish), Filefish, Hawaiian Toby, Stocky Hawkfish and Sprat.
Hanauma Bay is safe, sheltered and a wonderful snorkelling spot, if you ever go to Hawaii set aside at least one day for a snorkelling adventure there!
By Rob Hitchen