The sun beamed with warmth stretching its rays as far as the eye can see. It was a perfect day for a swim. I promised myself not to leave Hawaii without dipping in its waters, specifically, in Hanauma Bay.
Hanauma Bay (pronounced by some locals as ha-NOW-mah) is one of the wonders of Hawaii. Among the sights that I’ve seen, it was the one that stood out the most for me. It was also interesting to know that this bay was formed in a volcanic crater due to volcanic eruptions that happened centuries ago.
My first glimpse of Hanauma Bay was during our “little circle island bus tour” which was included in the company incentive trip. For those who do the bus tours, tourists just take photographs at the viewpoint. This was where I got this panorama shot of Hanauma Bay.
But just seeing it was not enough for me. Hence, we returned to the bay to experience it on our last day in Oahu. Snorkeling! After all, it’s one of the most popular snorkeling destinations.
We were early at 7:30 AM. There was still no queue at the ticket booth. The bus tours haven’t arrived either. For visitors like us, Hanauma Bay’s entrance fee is $7.50 (or Php 323.00) but for Kama’aina (Hawaii residents), the entrance is FREE.
Being a nature preserve, all visitors are required to watch a video about the conservation and preservation of marine life in Hanauma Bay. In the video, guests are also advised of the do’s and don’ts while snorkeling in the bay.
From the theater, we walked down for about 5 minutes to the beach area. Since I brought my mask and snorkels, the only thing that I rented was the life vest. Yes, I’m not a good swimmer or a swimmer to start with. haha.
To be able to rent gears, one should leave either car keys, driver’s license or credit card. The life vest rental costs me 7 USD (~Php 320).
After a quick shower, I plunged into the turquoise waters. Woooowww… It was refreshingly cold! And so the happy clicks began as I snorkeled in Hanauma’s waters.
Marine life was indeed abundant but I was disappointed not to see colorful corals and the green sea turtles. The green sea turtles were mentioned to be abundant as well.
This was the only colorful one that I saw.
It was also my first time to see a flatfish (don’t know the specie name) that actually camouflaged with the sand.
I only swam for about an hour since Mama, Tita Ruth and Jett were waiting for me under a little shade of the coconut tree. There’s no native hut to take shelter on unlike in the Philippines where there are beach huts or bahay kubo as we call it.
As I bade Hanauma goodbye, I saw this picturesque sight as we were on our way to the parking lot. It was short but sweet.
*Special thanks to Tita Ruth, mama’s friend, who showed us around Oahu for a day.